Prodiamine Vs. Tenacity Herbicide – What’s The Difference?

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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If your lawn is lush and green and free from grass weeds and broadleaf weeds, you might not need to worry much about pre and post-emergent herbicides. However, if crabgrass, dandelion weeds, white clover, and creeping jenny have plagued your lawn before, there’s a good chance you need to prepare for battle again this coming growing season. As you research weed control, you’ll likely encounter herbicides like Prodiamine and Tenacity. Which one can eradicate the weeds in your yard? Which one is best for weed control?

What’s the Difference Between Prodiamine and Tenacity?

Both Prodiamine and Tenacity provide good pre-emergent weed control. Prodiamine is, in fact, a pre-emergent herbicide, while Tenacity can be used as a pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide. Both chemicals can be effective for lawns, but one or the other may be better for your particular lawn, depending on the time of year and even the size of your yard. Other factors may impact your decision about what chemical to choose.

Tenacity herbicide is a good choice when you want to kill weeds within a short period. Its formulation as a selective herbicide makes it safe for cool-season and warm-season grasses, so it’s perfectly safe for your established turfgrass or even when you’re overseeding your lawn. The best time to use Tenacity is in early spring, ideally when the weather forecast predicts no rain for a couple days. 

Tenacity will kill weeds like clover and dandelion along with others as they emerge. The downside to Tenacity is that it will turn your lawn white because of its bleaching action, but it will become green again after a couple mowings. It also needs, ideally, 48 hours of dry weather to work at its most effective strength. 

Prodiamine, on the other hand, will not kill weeds that have emerged; however, it may help prevent weed growth during the subsequent year. If you are attempting to kill weeds or unwanted weedy grasses that have already emerged, Prodiamine is not the herbicide for the job. Prodiamine is a pre-emergent herbicide, so it will stop weeds from growing for roughly six months from the time you apply it to your lawn. 

You can apply Prodiamine any time–even after you mow (you should not apply Tenacity right after mowing). Prodiamine needs to be watered after its application–another difference between it and Tenacity herbicide. Prodiamine is a better long-term lawn care solution for weed control than Tenacity, but if you’ve missed the window for killing spring weeds before they’ve emerged, Tenacity is a great option. On the other hand, prodiamine is better at stopping developing weeds from growing. 

What Is Prodiamine?

Prodiamine is an excellent pre-emergent herbicide. You’ll find this active ingredient in products like Barricade. Prodiamine is a yellow chemical that can stop the growth of pesky weeds like clover and dandelion and unwanted grasses like crabgrass or quackgrass. It is usually applied in spring and fall but can be applied at any time to prevent weeds from infesting lawns. However, if weeds are already visible, the active ingredient in Prodiamine-based products will not kill them.

What Is Tenacity?

Tenacity and its active ingredient Mesotrione (not the same active ingredient as Prodiamine) are ideally applied in spring. Tenacity is a selective herbicide that also works as a pre-emergent herbicide. It won’t disrupt the germination of desired grass seeds, so it’s often favored for use among property owners when they’re overseeding to fill bare patches (bare ground seeding) in their lawn or promote a thick, healthy lawn.

Tenacity’s Unique Mode of Action

Tenacity has a unique mode of action because it works as a pre and post-emergent herbicide. That’s a claim Prodiamine can’t make. Although prodiamine is a better long-term pre-emergent herbicide, its active ingredient won’t harm broadleaf weeds that have already emerged, but Tenacity will. However, Tenacity is a shorter-acting chemical. You can only count on it for about four to six weeks while Prodiamine will work up to six months from its application. 

What Is Similar to Tenacity Herbicide?

Mesotrione MESO 4SC Select has the same active ingredient as Tenacity. It is the generic form of Tenacity, so you can count on it to work as a pre and post-emergent herbicide for your lawn. 

Prodiamine vs Tenacity FAQs

Can I use Tenacity with Prodiamine?

Yes, some people do use both chemicals to treat their lawns. We recommend that you do NOT mix them, but you can apply them around the same time. This might be a substantially more costly endeavor, especially if you are applying them to a large yard or putting greens, but both chemicals offer different benefits. 

How long does prodiamine last in soil?

Prodiamine can be applied anytime and lasts for up to nine months in lawn and garden soil.

How effective is prodiamine?

Prodiamine is highly effective as a pre-emergent herbicide providing you apply it at the right time–before weeds emerge on lawns, garden beds, putting greens, etc.

Is there anything better than Tenacity?

Tenacity and its generic form are effective for use as a pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide. Still, Prodiamine does work better as a long-term solution as a pre-emergent weed killer. To call any product ‘best’ depends on the lawn’s needs and the time of application. 

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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