January 17, 2023

Pre-emergent Timing (Why we Start Applications When we do)

Pre-emergent herbicides are primarily used to control crabgrass, and also to prevent other weed varieties from successful germination. If the soil is still frozen, it is considered early to apply pre-emergent herbicides. We use local soil temperatures at a two-inch depth and we also look at the flowering of forsythia shrubs to know that the grass is waking up out of its winter dormancy. This past season, we observed a delayed start of spring with cooler-than-usual soil conditions and late-blooming flowers of local forsythia shrubs. Ideally, soil temperature needs to be in the range of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit when timing pre-emergent applications. This gives the herbicide time to soak into the soil to effectively stop crabgrass and other weeds from germinating and intruding into lawns once the soil warms up. When we are planning our applications, we focus on the effective timing of pre-emergent herbicides and apply a light amount of fertilizer with our first application to promote root growth and provide a nice green color to the lawn while eliminating weeds.

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Tags: fertilizer, Grass, Lawn care, winter