Preemergent herbicide

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1. A herbicide that is applied to turf to control germinating weed seeds; a herbicide that kills plants as they germinate. See also postemergent herbicide, herbicide, nonselective herbicide, and selective herbicide.

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The spraying of a preemergent herbicide to control weed development.
Source: http://www.ocagcomm.com/weed_removal_slide6.asp

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Some preemergent herbicides are used to keep weeds from taking over a lawn.
Source: http://www.evergreenofjohnsoncity.com/Fertilome%20Products.htm