Cool Season Lawns FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

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Written By: Mark Marino

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

Updated on

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What’s the difference between pre-emergent and post emergent herbicides?

The difference is pre-emergent prevents weeds from germinating and emerging from the soil, while post emergent herbicide kill weeds after they’ve germinated and have emerged from the soil. Example, prodiamine is a pre-emergent and applied in early spring to cool season lawns to prevent crabgrass from germinating. For crabgrass that has emerged from the soil, a product like quinclorac is an effective post-emergent herbicide to eradicate crabgrass.

What’s the difference between selective and non-selective herbicides?

Selective herbicides selectively kill specific weeds and grasses, while non-selective herbicides kill virtually everything it comes in contact with. Example, glysophate which is the active ingredient in Round-Up, is a non-selective herbicide and will kill both nuisance weeds (i.e. broadleaf weeds) as well as the good grass (i.e. turf type tall fescue) in your lawn. A product like Speedzone is a selective herbicide, which is designed to eradicate a list of grassy and broadleaf weeds, while being safe for most cool season grass types.

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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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