Does Preen work at preventing weeds

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I have always had weed problems but not ever as much as this year. Maybe it's because I'm a year older and the heat and humidity is terrible. In most of my beds, and soon to be all of them, I have good quality mulch fabric down and about 4 or more inches of mulch. I find it hard to even keep the crab grass and other weeds from taking hold in the mulch, just in certain spots and not the entire bed. Is this from grass clipping from when I moe?

I need to find a better way of controlling weeds and spraying in these areas is not an answer for close plant areas. Does the weed control products work?


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

They do work--but only if you apply (and reapply) them at the right time according to the directions. And they will only work to prevent weed seeds from germinating--they won't do anything for the weeds that are already there.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Do you use it and if so do you think it's worth the expense and time involved using Preen?

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I used it in one flower bed and two shrub beds and absolutely love the stuff. I put it down before the seeds germinated in spring and reapplied it every month or so and it worked perfectly for me.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I always forget to put it down (plus I have a bunch of plants that I'm hoping will reseed and I don't want to prevent them from coming up) . But my neighbors use it and they always have way less weeds than I do so I'd say it definitely works.

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks and I will give it a try.

Hannibal, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi Kathy,

I use Preen regularly, and I would say it works quite well. You do need to reapply it quite often, and be sure you water it in right after applying. I've never seen it hurt a plant.

If you have some areas you don't care what the mulch looks like, I have had such good luck this year mulching with straw. It doesn't seem to get a lot of seeding in it.

And who knows where the seeds might come from. If they're grass, it could be from your mower, but unless you live in the city where everyone keeps their lawns immaculate, you will get weed seeds in the beds. The heat and humidity this year have just speeded up the seeding, you're not alone. I know that doesn't help much :)

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

I really need to try the preen or something. The rain and heat - then humidity are making weeds grow at a massive rate. It's like Jack in the Bean Stalk out there.

Trenton, MI(Zone 5b)

I never used to mulch, but have always used preen in the spring (forget to use it the rest of the summer). I think it is well worth the price even though I only use it in the spring.
In one spot last year, I used a mulch with preen in it, pretty darn expensive even though I got it half off at lowes ... open bag.
It did a fantastic job.

So this year I bought several yards of mulch, mulched almost all the gardens, put down the preen, what a blessing but it did cost some $$$ expecially if you have some big gardens. I hurt my back a couple of years ago, and am getting older and preen and mulch are going to allow me to keep my gardens bigger for a longer period of time. :o)

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I used it a couple months ago under my birdfeeders...YAY!!! no more weeds under there from the droppings.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

If seed from birdfeeders is a problem, the other cheaper solution is to microwave the birdseed for a few minutes before you put it out--that'll kill the seeds so they can't germinate but the birds still find them tasty.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I use lots of mulch to help keep weeds out. I get my mulch free from local tree trimmers. They even deliver it. If you're buying mulch, you're paying too much for it. Check with tree trimmers. When they're working in your area, they'd be happy to drop a load or two (in their big commercial trucks) while they're out that way.

Also, most landfills or recycling centers now offer free mulch, which they get from the tree trimmers. They charge them to dump it, and then they'll load it up in your truck for free. I've been using fresh tree-trimmer mulch for years.

Despite popular belief, if you put it on 6-8 inches thick (or even a foot thick), it won't kill your plants. Nursery people will tell you that it will burn them up, but that's absolutely untrue. I get it fresh off the truck, spread it and move on. It gets well over 100 degrees in our long summers and I've not lost a plant yet to mulch. In fact, my gardens thrive in it. The picture below shows some of my gardens with another fresh layer of mulch on them. I've transformed my red clay to black rich gold with my free mulch.

But my neighbors don't mow their vacant lots often and I get lots of nutsedge and crabgrass seeds that fly over and start up in the mulch. If I get them early, they're easy to pull. Next year, I'll actively begin a Preening regimine in some beds.

Mom, if you have a Farmer's Co-op there or check with your county extension office. There might be a "generic" Preen in bulk form that would be much cheaper. Our farmer's co-op sells some and it's a lot cheaper than the name brand. I also buy the generic Roundup at the co-op for a LOT less than buying the smaller bottles at Lowes. And I can get some Triple 13 fertilizer at the co-op much cheaper too. So if you can find a co-op or something like it near you, you might save a bundle. Of course every penny we save can go towards another unique plant. :-)

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thanks ecrane but I barely have enough time to fill the birdfeeders let along microwave the seed ☺

Trenton, MI(Zone 5b)

Look at all those beautiful daylilies!

Pearisburg, VA(Zone 7a)

That's beautiful. I'll see if there is such a thing here - as the co-op. We have tree triming companies that may deliver it but I need to check out my options and the idea that there is a generic preen is wonderful. I'll be checking on that one. Do you know what they call it in your state?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Well, preen is a pre-emergent. So whatever the generic pre-emergent in your area is. I don't know what ours is called. I just ask for a pre-emergent. It's supposed to only kill seeds as they try to germinate. It shouldn't harm plants that already exist, but read the label to be sure. You'll get a lot more for a lot less than a bucket of preen.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

We tried it at church in one of our beds. It did help with some weeds, but not on the grass seeds.

Forked River, NJ(Zone 6b)

I have used the organic Preen for a few years. Great stuff! I put it on once in early spring, once in early summer and once in the fall. Between the Preen and the 2-3 inches of mulch...I seldom have to pull a weed. Be careful with using township mulch. I have seen the weeds and invasive vines, etc that people throw in there that the township shreds into mulch. The same with township could end up with more weeds than you have already.

Monroe, LA

I have three raised veg garden beds this year. 2 got preen, one did not. I have one million nut sedges in one of them - care to guess which one? It made me a believer this year!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Erik..I've been saying that for years. We did that one time and ended up with so many needs and watch for poison oak/ivy.."Been there, done that!"

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