When to Preen? A Gardener’s Guide to Winning the Weed War

by Jack Grover
women taking care of garden
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Ah, the age-old battle between gardeners and weeds. No matter how vigilant we are, no matter how many hours, sweat, and tears we spend attempting to keep our gardens weed-free, these pesky invaders always seem to find a way into our carefully cultivated gardens.

But fear not, fellow green-thumbed warriors! Today, we bring you the ultimate weapon in your quest for weed-free victory: Preen Weed Prevent. This article will arm you with everything you need to know about this powerful ally, from its inner workings to when and how best to deploy it on the front lines.

Let’s get straight into it!

The Secret Weapon: What Is Preen Weed Prevent & How Does It Work?

Preen Weed Prevent is a pre-emergent herbicide designed specifically for using around 200 established plants in your flower beds, vegetable gardens, groundcovers, and around trees and shrubs. And the best part? It doesn’t harm your beloved plants — it only stops unwanted weeds in their tracks.

Instead of targeting existing weeds, Preen focuses on preventing new seeds from germinating and taking root in the first place. The magic behind Preen Weed Prevent lies in its unique blend of ingredients that form a barrier in the soil, effectively stopping weed seeds from germinating. Once applied, Preen forms a protective shield around plant roots that deters weeds from taking hold.

preventing weed using preen

This means that with regular applications, you can keep your garden free of unwanted visitors without having to constantly wage war on established weeds.

To ensure maximum effectiveness, it’s crucial that you apply Preen before weeds have the opportunity to germinate. This means keeping an eye on your local weather conditions (as different weeds germinate at different temperatures) and being proactive in your weed prevention strategy.

Essentially, Preen is a granular product that can be used on both established gardens and newly planted areas, giving you the upper hand against invading weeds. However, there are several varieties of Preen Weed Preventers available — such as products for extended control, ones designed for use in vegetable gardens or insect control specifically, or those with plant food.

To quickly identify which type of product you need, use the Weed ID feature on the manufacturer’s website. This way, you can find weeds by type and state, learn about their characteristics, and find suitable Preen products to control them.

It’s also important to mention that you cannot use Preen Weed Preventer for lawn care. Instead, browse their products designed specifically for lawns.

Benefits of Using Preen Weed Prevent

Aside from the obvious advantage of keeping your garden weed-free, Preen Weed Prevent offers a host of other benefits and uses.

First and foremost, it saves you time and effort that would otherwise be spent on pulling weeds manually or applying post-emergent herbicides. The only time you’ll need to pull weeds is before applying Preen for the first time.

By stopping weeds from taking root, you’re also giving your cherished plants more room to grow and thrive without competition for vital resources like water, sunlight, and nutrients. This can lead to healthier, more vibrant gardens that require less maintenance overall.

Not to mention that Preen Weed Prevent is incredibly versatile and can be used in various settings in your garden. It’s perfect for use around:

  • flowers,
  • trees,
  • shrubs,
  • vegetables,
  • fruit,
  • groundcovers,
  • herbs,
  • landscape beds.

Furthermore, the product can be applied throughout the growing season, giving you continuous protection against weeds.

Other than that, you should also consider opting for Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer, made of 100% corn gluten meal, as it’s safe for use around children and pets. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your garden will remain a welcoming haven for the whole family.

So, When to Apply Preen?

Timing is crucial when it comes to using Preen effectively.

Apply Preen Garden Weed Preventer during the growing season around established plants and transplants, but avoid using it on flower seeds. Once flowering plants have germinated and grown to be 2-3 inches tall, you can safely apply Preen without harming them.

For vegetable gardens, Preen can be incorporated into the soil when seeding or applied after mulching beds.

Worried about rain washing away your weed prevention efforts? Fear not! Rain does not wash Preen out of the soil, ensuring a lasting barrier against pesky weeds.

By applying Preen as early as possible in the growing season, you can eliminate the need for labor-intensive hand-weeding. To maintain a weed-free garden throughout the entire season, it’s recommended to reapply Preen every 9-12 weeks. This will guarantee continuous protection and keep your garden looking pristine all year round.

A Masterclass in Tactics: Tips for Using Preen

How do you apply Preen correctly? There are only 4 steps you should follow:

flowchart for using preen

Here is a quick video explaining the whole process in greater detail:

To get the most out of your Preen Weed Prevent application, here are some extra tips:

  • Make sure your plants are dry before application.
  • Use a rake to work the granules into the top layer of soil or mulch, ensuring even distribution and coverage.
  • Avoid disturbing the soil surface after activation, as this may result in erratic weed control. Maintaining the integrity of the barrier is key to effective weed prevention.
  • Always wash or brush off stray weed preventer granules from plant foliage to avoid damage or discoloration.


Armed with the knowledge of how, when, and why to use Preen Weed Prevent, you can now tackle the age-old battle against weeds with newfound confidence. By applying Preen at the right time and following our tips for optimal use, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a stunning, weed-free garden throughout the entire growing season.

So, say goodbye to backbreaking hand-weeding and let Preen Weed Prevent become your trusted ally in your quest for gardening success. Happy gardening!

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