What is the Best Fall Pre-Emergent for Zoysia?

Using a pre-emergent is one of the best ways to keep your lawn free of annual weeds all year long. But not any just herbicides will work, and there are only certain times each year that zoysia grass has to deal with weeds. A few weeds aren’t the same as absolutely no weeds, and the winter weeds that show up in this turf grass can cover your entire lawn fast.

To get ahead of a weed infestation, you should know the best practices for your turf grass and follow all of them. If you are doing all that and still have to deal with annual bluegrass and other winter weeds, then pre-emergent herbicides might be your best bet. Read on below for the best fall pre-emergent for zoysia grass. 

Should You Use Pre-Emergent on Zoysia Grass?

Pre-emergents are the best way to keep your zoysia grass lush and weed-free when the temperatures change. Late spring and fall are the two most common times weeds will pop up in a zoysia grass lawn, so that’s when pre-emergents should be used. The type of weeds that pop up when the soil temperatures change are winter weeds, and they begin to sprout in the fall with the dropping temps.

If you want to help thin areas of lawn survive winter and rebound in the spring, then fighting off zoysia invading weed seeds is a good first step. Warm-season grasses like zoysia go dormant in the winter, and a pre-emergent weed killer can protect your southern lawns from grassy weeds. Use some of the best fall pre-emergents to stop invasive weeds and accomplish complete weed control for your turf type.

Best Fall Pre-Emergents

A soil thermometer is the best way to know when to apply pre-emergent weed control for the type of weeds that invade zoysia grass. When the cooler weather comes, and it’s time for pre-emergent herbicide application, you will want to select the best brand for your type of grass. 

Quali-Pro Prodiamine

Quali-Pro Prodiamine, Pre-Emergent Herbicide, 5 lbs, Yellow Granules

With the active ingredient of prodiamine, this pre-emergent herbicide is effective against crabgrass, chickweed, henbit, and other broadleaf weeds. It is easiest to apply with a pump sprayer for a consistent and uniform coating. The label gives clear instructions on how to dissolve the granular in water.

Make sure to wear protective gear like gloves and goggles when mixing the herbicide to avoid accidental contact. Treat when the temperatures have dropped below 55 degrees, and make sure to follow the product application rates for best results. Reapply 8 weeks later to ensure all weed seeds are dead. 

The Andersons Barricade

The Andersons Barricade Professional-Grade Granular Pre-Emergent Weed Control - Covers up to 5,800 sq ft (18 lb)

A favorite for broadcast push spreader pre-emergent herbicides Anderson’s Barricade Pre-Emergent Weed Control works on crabgrass, poa annua, goosegrass, henbit, and other grassy weeds. This should be applied before frost and watered in thoroughly for fast activation. Winter annuals are best stopped early, and this granular herbicide can be spread by hand to problem spots. 

Read the label and load the spreader with the correct amount of granular for the square footage of your lawn. Make sure to spray the lawn and walkways down with water, or a brown color may appear and stain for a month or longer. Make sure to empty the spreader of fertilizer or other granular forms before filling it with these pre-emergent products. 

Hi-Yield Fertilome

An application of dithiopyr found in Hi-Yield Fertilome makes an excellent selective herbicide for late winter annuals and weeds that love cool temperatures. This granular herbicide will stop common weeds and grassy weeds from growing in your zoysia grass. Ferti-Lome broadleaf weed control can be used for up to 4 weeks after the temperatures have dropped to 55 degrees and below. 

Ferti-Lome Broadleaf Weed Control stops weed root growth and prevents any invasive weeds from popping up in the winter months. This herbicide will kill target weeds but may also cause some pale green color changes near heavily infested areas. A second application may be needed if there is a late frost. 

Bonide Herbicide

Bonide 752 Concentrate Herbicide, 16 oz, White

Bonide Weed Beater generally only needs a single use each season to control weed growth that spreads throughout your zoysia grass lawn. Bonide Weed Beater knocks out all types of weeds but is most effective on summer weeds and late winter annuals. It is an effective selective herbicide for common weeds in warm-season turf grasses.

It may take more than one bag to cover a larger yard or to treat a heavy infestation. The granules do not stain or leave marks if they end up on driveways or sidewalks near your lawn. It is ready to activate once water touches it, but it tends to kick up dust during spreading, so letting it settle for a day is advisable. 

Dimension 2EW

A liquid herbicide Dimension 2EW applies a pre-emergent application that will keep any type of grass free from common chickweed and other weeds. Read the product label to get exact mix rates and apply using a sprayer. The formula is completely safe for pets and humans once it has dried completely on the grass. 

What Do You Do to Zoysia Grass in the Fall?

In order for the pre-emergent herbicides to be effective warm-season turf needs to be properly maintained. There are several things that can be done every fall while waiting for the cooler temperatures that will make any weed control applications much more efficient. For a beautiful zoysia lawn, prepare your lawn like this:

Maintain correct lawn height of 1-2inchesKeeps grass blades healthy and builds strong roots while allowing light and air to reach the feet of turfAdjust the height of your lawn mower, so the zoysia grass stays around 2 inches tall
Let Shady Areas Grow TallerHelps warm-season turf deal with lack of sunlight by allowing more grass blades to absorb sunlightLift the mower an inch higher before mowing areas of zoysia grass that are completely in the shade and allow them to grow more between cuts
Thatch RemovalPrevent disease by allowing air, water, fertilizer, and sunlight to reach the soil around the blades of grassWait until the weather starts to change from summer to fall, then rake up all the half-rotted grass clippings and yard debris suffocating the turf
Core AerationLate Spring and Late Fall are times when the soil needs to be reinvigorated to promote blade growth root growth and allow for adequate soil drainageUse a core aerator to break up clay soils and allow warm-season turfs to become dense grass while perforating the entire lawn. 
Apply FertilizerA fertilizer program helps grass get the right fertilizer levels for continued growth and to beat weed seeds and annual grasses from spreading2 to 4 lbs per 100 sqft applied in the spring and fall using a broadcast spreader, backpack sprayer, or other fertilizing tools

How to Apply Pre-Emergent On Zoysia

It is important to apply pre-emergent at the correct time in the right way with enough of the herbicide to successfully stop weed growth. Suppression of weeds can help give your turf the critical time it needs to grow before winter dormancy. Keeping your warm season turf away from invasive weeds can give you a healthier lawn with a deeper color. 

Avoid Mowing Around Application 

According to label directions on most pre-emergent products, it is not advisable to mow 3 days before or 2 days after you have applied the treatment. Pre-emergent herbicide creates a protective barrier that makes it impossible for annual grass and other weeds to germinate. Mowing near application time reduces the action time and increases the chance of annual grass weeds breaking through.

Correct Conditions

Pre-emergent has a limited effective window and can only stop weeds that haven’t yet broken through the soil. Waiting until the right conditions are met is crucial for the complete control of weeds on your entire lawn. You will want to wait until the soil temperature is approaching 55 degrees before selecting the best day of the week to apply your broadleaf weed herbicide. 

When the air is still and dry, you should apply emergent weed control products to give your lawn the best chance of absorbing it all. Make sure you do not disturb the ground after you have applied the defense against weeds, or you may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. 

Granular or Water-Soluble

If you are using granular application methods, then you will need to add additional irrigation to make sure the herbicide is completely absorbed. Some brands need a bit of extra water applied immediately and then a period of drying for the best results.

The liquid application will not need the same additional water added as it will be mixed with water when it is applied. Let the solution dry completely before coming back onto the lawn for more maintenance. 

Check On Turf Regrow 

Bare spots or areas with a yellow color may need to be revised throughout the season. These are the places on your lawn that are most likely to have weed outbreaks. Apply a pre-emergent here again if it looks like more weed seeds have dropped since the last application. Resow turf seeded or add sod in the fall to give your grass a chance of recovering before winter dormancy.