Best Time For Pre Emergent Weed Control In Southeast New Mexico

For professional weed control in Carlsbad, Artesia, and Southeast New Mexico,
Contact Horizon Pest Control

While this article does reference specifics for when to apply pre emergent weed control in the Carlsbad, Artesia, and Southeast New Mexico areas, much of the information here is relevant to all areas. Regardless of area, the main points are -

  •  - First identify the weed
  •  - Understand its life cycle to know the best time for application
  •  - Determine the best herbicide to use.
Dandelion Weed

Dandelion Weed

When it  comes to applying pre-emergent herbicides, proper timing is critical in consideration of the weeds and stickers you are trying to suppress. While there are some basic guidelines, good control or suppression is not always just about when the temperature is right. Different weeds make seed, germinate, and sprout at different times. Again, proper timing is a matter of first identifying the weed and then understanding the life cycles of the types of plants you’re targeting.

For Carlsbad, Artesia, And Southeast New Mexico

If you live in Carlsbad, Artesia, or anywhere in the Southeast New Mexico area, the life cycles of weeds, grassy  weeds and stickers will be different than those from different geographical zones of the rest of the country. The general guidelines that suggest March and September to be the optimal time to apply pre-emergent herbicides is not necessarily accurate for all weeds or a cure all for all in these areas.

In the desert Southwest climate of Southeast New Mexico, there are some weeds that are very adaptive and will grow year round. There are Winter annuals that will sprout when the Fall weather cools and grow until it gets warm. And still there are Summer annuals that will thrive in the heat and die out when the weather cools.

Trying to follow guidelines such as when the Forsythias bloom, when the soil temperature is right, or in March or September may only give you partial control. And in our temperate climate where the growing season is extended, three or more applications a year may be necessary for some weeds and stickers such as Sand Bur and Puncture Vine. Late germination can give just enough time for a plant to go through a short life cycle and produce seed for next year. Plants can be very adaptive to survive.

Weed Identification And Proper Timing

Proper timing depends on knowing the type of weed or group of weeds you wish to target. The first step in any pest or weed control is to first identify the pest or weed. In this case of weed control, identifying the pest plant will help you know what type of herbicides to use and what time of year to apply them.

Identifying the type of plant will help you understand its life cycle. Knowing if the plant is a Winter annual, a Summer annual, a perennial, etc., will tell you when the plant makes seed, germinates, flowers, and dies. Use this resource, problem weeds of New Mexico, to identify your target plant and find out its life cycle and when is the best time of year to target it.

Winter annuals such as Henbit make seed at the end of their life cycle in late Spring or early Summer and then will germinate in Fall or Winter and grow through Spring until it gets warm. Summer annuals like puncture vine or sand bur make seed in late Summer, germinate in early spring and grow through the summer.

A Little About Pre Emergent Herbicides

Most pre emergents used at the suggested application rate will generally be effective for three to five months. This often depends on the type of pre emergent, soil type, and the amount of rainfall and irrigation that the treated area receives. So if you’re targeting puncture vine or sand bur for example, a March application alone generally isn’t enough. For these plants, a split application in mid March and May and another in August will generally keep them suppressed. For more information about split applications and Pre-M use see Lawn Weed Control In Southeast New Mexico.

How long the herbicide lasts in the soil will also be affected by the type of soil and how much organic material is in the soil. Soils with little organics and sandy soils will leech the herbicide out quicker than soils with a lot of organic materials in them.

Most common pre emergents used in this area don’t actually kill seeds. The seeds do actually sprout and then the herbicides disrupt the cell division of the newly sprouted plant causing it to die. This is why pre emergents must be watered into the first half inch of the soil shortly after application. If not watered into the first half inch of soil where germination takes place the herbicide will be ineffective.

Targeted Application In Carlsbad, Artesia, And Southeast New Mexico

In the Carlsbad, Artesia, and Southeast New Mexico area there are quite a few residents and businesses who have applications done in December and January to target cool weather plants such as Mustard. This is when these weeds really start to show and can quickly take over a property. While most of these will die out when the weather warms, it can still be a battle to try and keep them mowed down until that happens.

Perennial weeds such as Dandelion grow year round in the Southeast New Mexico area. You’ll even find them healthy and surviving under freezing snow. Targeting them specifically in Winter, again, isn’t necessarily the best time.

Our clients who have a late Fall spray application generally don’t have to worry about these Winter and early Spring weeds. The pre emergent we use keeps most of them suppressed. From a consumer standpoint, this is a much better value since the next necessary spray application will be moved up and take care of warmer weather sprouting weeds later into the season. And with this schedule, most of our clients don’t generally as many applications in a season.

Generally, a post emergent herbicide, one that kills existing weeds, is applied at the same time as pre emergents in order to kill existing weeds. It’s the opinion of many pest control operators that because of this and the heat restricted nature of post emergents, that pre emergents MUST be applied before the end of January in Southeast New Mexico. However, because of new developments, there are herbicides that are not heat restricted and can be applied throughout even the hottest months as long as plants aren’t under heat or drought stress.

As well, pre emergents can also be applied without broadleaf killer.

So again, in order to get the most for your money and control as many weeds as possible -

  •  - First identify the weed
  •  - Understand its life cycle to know the best time for application
  •  - Determine the best herbicide to use.

Professional Weed Control Services & Advice

Whether you would like our services or just need pointers on how you can do it yourself more effectively, give us a call at 575-725-9331. At Horizon, we’re very knowledgeable about the weeds, grasses, and stickers that infest Carlsbad, Artesia, and Southeast New Mexico yards and properties. And we know what pre emergents and herbicides it takes to control them. We’re at your service.

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