Can You Use Preen Around Tomato Plants?

Weeds in a vegetable garden compete for nutrients and space with your crops. One of the recommendations includes using herbicides to get rid of them, raising the question:  But can you use Preen around tomato plants? 

Yes, you can use Preen around tomato plants as it’s an effective way of controlling weeds. Fortunately, it’s non-toxic and therefore relatively safe in your vegetable garden. You shouldn’t, however, apply it on a recently seeded garden bed as it may hinder the seed’s germination.

The article discusses at length the steps to follow when applying Preen for it to be effective. It also discusses what you can and can’t use this product on. 

What’s more, you get to learn if you can use both Preen and fertilizers on your tomato plants. 

Also Check: Why Do My Tomato Leaves Look Burnt?

Can You Use Preen Around Tomato Plants?

You can use Preen around tomato plants. It helps keep your crops free of weeds and pests that may compete for nutrients with your plants. As a result, your yield decreases, and you don’t get juicy tomatoes. 

Using Preen ensures that your tomato crops also get all the essential nutrients for a bountiful juicy fruit harvest. 

Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide that kills germinating weed seeds of broadleaf and grassy weeds. These weeds tend to take up the space required for your tomatoes to grow. 

Nevertheless, it’s advisable to use it after sowing the tomato seeds and waiting until the seedlings have grown for a few weeks. 

It would, however, be best if you didn’t use it on newly transplanted tomato seedlings. Give them time to take root and become sturdy before using Preen in the garden. 

It’s important also to note that Preen doesn’t stay for long in the soil. The soil’s microorganisms feed on the product, thereby breaking it down. Therefore, it’s necessary to reapply it to prevent new weeds from sprouting and invading your garden.  

For instance, Preen Natural’s reapplication should occur every 4-6 weeks. Reapply Preen Garden Weed Preventer after about 9 to 12 weeks. 

Keenly read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying Preen. 

Is Preen Safe To Use Around Vegetables?

Using Preen around vegetables is safe, especially if you apply it at the right time. Its main ingredient is corn gluten which is toxic-free. A toxic herbicide may end up killing all your vegetables as well. So, you must ensure that you don’t use harmful products that may ruin your hard work. 

Preen is created specifically for vegetable gardens. You can use it on flower beds, herbs and fruit gardens, shrubs, and trees.

It has a trifluralin herbicide that affects new weed seeds in the initial development stage. Once absorbed by young weed seedlings, it stops the root and shoots development, effectively removing the weeds. Weeds compete for nutrients with your growing vegetables. They increase the risk of diseases and pests. It’s therefore imperative to kill them for your vegetables to thrive. 

Preen doesn’t kill developed perennial weeds, and you’ll notice the label states you should first get rid of any existing weed. 

You should avoid using it in gardens with newly planted vegetable seeds. If the seeds have been placed deep in the soil, Preen doesn’t affect them. For instance, peas and bean seeds are placed deep in the ground. 

Also, there’s no significant absorption that can affect vegetables grown in soil treated with Preen. It contains 10% nitrogen which is necessary for growing vegetables. Getting rid of weeds provides additional nutrients to your plants. 

What Should You Not Use Preen On?

It would be best if you didn’t use Preen on recently sown vegetable seeds that are usually shallowly planted, like carrots. Most importantly, it’s advisable to wait until the seedlings are 2-3 inches tall before using it.

Preen primarily works by effectively stopping weed seeds from germinating. Thus, if you apply it before you plant your vegetable seeds, they might also not grow. It may hinder the seeds from germinating if not used properly. 

The herbicide is harmful to flower seeds planted in a garden after it has been applied since they don’t germinate. Therefore, if you’re using it in your garden, keep it away from where you have planted flowers. 

It’s safe to use the product in flower beds once the flower plants grow. According to the label, it’s advisable to use the herbicide once the flowers are about 3” tall. 

Preen, interestingly, only works on gardens and not on lawns. If you’re experiencing weed issues on your grass lawn, you need to look for a different product altogether. The grassroots go pretty deep into the ground, so the Preen cannot reach them. 

Ultimately, Preen is a preventive measure and cannot eliminate any existing weed since it only stops the seeds from sprouting. If the weeds are already grown, you’ll have to look for other alternatives. 

How Do You Apply Preen To A Vegetable Garden?

You can shallowly incorporate Preen into the soil, but it doesn’t move much. It’s absorbed into the particles and remains where it’s applied. Nonetheless, if you till the ground disturbing the soil, you provide an opportunity for weeds to develop in that area. 

The principle of Preen is to create a chemical barrier in the soil’s top layer inhibiting the germination of any weed seeds. However, it would be best if you had planted the seedlings before applying Preen. Why? Because planting after application breaks the barrier already created, allowing weeds to grow through. 

Follow the following steps when applying Preen to a vegetable garden:

  1. Wear Protective Gear

When handling any herbicide, including Preen, you should always wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, and long trousers. Ensure that there’s no direct contact of the chemical with the skin. 

However, if you spill some on yourself, wash immediately with water and lots of soap. In an unlucky scenario where you may get some in your eyes, flush it out with water for 15 minutes. 

  1. Clearing Weeds

Clear your vegetable garden of any existing weeds since Preen doesn’t eliminate already developed weeds. Most importantly, ensure you have completely uprooted the weeds. They’ll otherwise simply re-sprout after some time. 

  1. Raking The Soil

Use a regular or a power rake if applying Preen on a large garden to rake the soil. This loosens it up, making it easy for the product to penetrate the ground. 

  1. Spread The Preen

Use the bottle, munchkin, or a fertilizer spreader to sprinkle the herbicide into the soil. Most importantly, ensure you evenly distribute the granules and avoid pouring too much on a spot or missing an area. 

 For organic Preen Natural, use 5 ounces for every 250 square feet. Whereas for Preen Garden Weed Preventer, apply the ratio of 1 ounce for 10 square feet. 

You can rake the soil to mix it up with the herbicide or leave it as it is. 

  1. Watering

Immediately water your garden to activate the product, ensuring it works properly. You don’t want to wash away all the herbicides. Therefore, a light sprinkle is sufficient. You can wait for about 3 days before watering the grounds again. 

  1. After Care

Ensure you immediately wash off any herbicide spilled onto your vegetable crops. Why? Because it can cause discoloration to the crops’ leaves or harm the entire plant. 

Finally, the protective clothing should be washed immediately after application but separately.

Once you apply Preen to a vegetable garden, you shouldn’t till the soil for a while. In addition, it would be best not to plant anything else there for at least a week. Disturbing the soil may result in moving the herbicide barrier where it was, reducing its effectiveness. 


Which Vegetables Can You Use Preen On?

You can use Preen on most vegetables. You can, however, apply the herbicide beforehand if you have to transplant vegetables such as eggplants, peppers, broccoli, or tomatoes. 

On the other hand, if you’re transplanting watermelons, cucumbers, or cantaloupe, transplant them first. Then, wait for at least 5 new leaves to develop on the transplanted crops before applying Preen. 

Can You Use Preen And Fertilizers At The Same Time?

Yes, you use Preen And Fertilizers at the same time. Nonetheless, read the products’ labels to determine how to use each and the ideal time to apply them

Preen stops any weeds from germinating, whereas fertilizers provide nutrients to your crops. So, they’re both essential and help your plants to thrive. 

Wrapping Up 

What do we say now? Can you use Preen around tomato plants? The answer is a resounding Yes. What’s more, it’s made of corn gluten and proven non-toxic, making it safe to use on your tomatoes. 

Preen forms a chemical barrier that hinders weeds’ growth, ensuring your plants thrive. However, if you choose to grow organic tomatoes, you can get the organic variety, Preen Natural, from the same brand.

Don’t use it on a recently seeded garden but instead wait a few weeks for the seedlings to sprout. For it to be effective, you need to activate it by sprinkling it with water.