Cool Season Lawns ready for GO TIME

I’m writing today’s email from the plane. I just spent the last 5 days up in NW Indiana working on the cool season project spring lawn steps with my good buddy, Jake The Lawn Kid.

In case you’re new here, we started work on this lawn last year in the fall and have a full playlist you can follow starting right here.


I was happy to see how the lawn came through winter (video coming).

It’s already April 1 and many more areas across the country have now opened up for their first application of pre-emergent for the spring.

In fact, this particular weekend when we did our application - Friday, March 29th - is what I’d call the very beginning opening of the pre-emergent window for that area (St John, IN - not far from Chicago, IL).

What I’m going to talk about in today’s email is the strategy in writing and review so that when the actual video comes out later this week, and the podcast to follow, you will be getting dialed in from all angles.

I’m hoping this email clears up many of your questions about “when can I throw down my pre-emergent application?"

WARM SEASON FOLKS - don’t check out on me yet!

Some of you are coming close to step 2 and we will review your strategy down below - but for all of us, there are good overlaps to study and review because repetition is the key to learning!

Cool Season Lawns - Go Time?

Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rye, Turf Type Tall Fescue - All of the Fescues: you guys are waking up further and further north and the window is definitely opening, quickly.

St. John, Indiana is pictured here, right up against Lake Michigan bordering Illinois.

We did our first round of the season, straight from my cool season ebook - Prodiamine granular at 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft.

This will give us crabgrass protection for 90 days or so and get us through the really tough days ahead of driving rains, dipping temperatures with frost and early season foot traffic.

As crabgrass seeds in the soil start looking to germinate, we will have a barrier in place to stop them.

Remember: Pre-Emergent herbicides prevent weeds from germinating and our primary target here is crabgrass, secondarily, foxtail.

We are not going to be able to prevent dandelions, clover or other broadleaf weeds. Pre-emergents are an important piece of our strategy and right now many of you are in Go-Time!

At the project lawn, we applied prodiamine as the first of our two split applications of pre-emergent for the season. Our first application comes “as temperatures approach 55F in the soil.”

We took actual readings in our soil at the project lawn and I’ll show that in the video. But that really didn’t matter - I still knew we were “in the window” and it was ok to throw down, here’s how:

I played around with the dates in the GreenCast Tool to determine when the temperatures in St. John, IN typically hit that 55F mark.

That is April 20. You can see that on average for the last 5 years, soil temps are right there at the 55 F mark.

If I do a little math from our application day of March 29 until April 20, that is 22 days or about 3 weeks before the time when soil temps typically hit 55 F.

If you have been here for a while, I’ve always said that once you know that average date, your window is open 2-3 weeks before that date, and 2-3 weeks after that date.

It’s a 4-6 week window to get that early pre-emergent herbicide down!

Of course, while out there at the property, I did clock some soil temps (actual with a thermometer) at 50+ which just helped to reinforce in my mind that we were “good to go” and Throw’er Down!

I took the actual soil readings at the hottest part of the day and you can see we are very close to 55 F. In this case, I used the actuals to validate the historical and since those two are only 3 weeks apart, I am GOOD TO GO!

Like I said, I’ve got more videos coming out this week to show you the entire process of cleaning up, throwing down and getting it going out there, plus, we will review the property map and work all the math and costs out for you…

...but until then, if you want to read up on the strategy so you can follow along as we progress this season, get the cool season e-guide (immediate download) and you’ll be ready to throw down in no time!

Now you can run this same framework for the city/town where you live and see if you, too are in the window. Remember, you can start 3 weeks before the historical 55 and carry on 3 weeks after. I will run a few for you, too:

Other Areas Who are “In The Window” to Throw Down:

Denver, CO - You are good to go!

Des Moines, IA - Throw’r Down!

Indianapolis, IN - Go Go Go!!!

Lansing, MI - Window just opening this week!

Long Island, NY - In the zone! Go for it!

Boston, MA - In the zone! Go for it!

Get prodiamine here.


Warm Season Folks - Don’t Get Complacent

I’ve been talking to our friends in the north a lot lately, I know. They need the love after all those long days of gray skies in winter. In the meantime, many of us down south are living the #WeekNightLawnWork #EnjoyTheMow life every single week, sometimes even twice weekly!

You know what that means right? As temps come up and you are mowing more, your second application of prodiamine is fast approaching.

Here is a quick scan of soil temp targets for those of you looking to do your SECOND application of prodiamine on warm season turf:

Round 2 Window Open to Throw Down:

Dallas, TX - you are 3 weeks away from 70 F historical - good to go round 2 anytime.

Atlanta, GA - your second app window will open in about 14 days.

Charleston, SC - you are ready for your second application anytime now!

Note: if you just applied your first pre-emergent app less than 30 days ago, you can wait a few more weeks for your second application, no worries there.

The idea is to use the 55 F and 70 F temp milestones are “targets” but you don’t have to hit them perfectly. It’s more important that you have coverage “during” the time before, during and after.

In summary: get down 2 applications of Pre-emergent in spring, spaced 30-45 days apart.

App rate is 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft each application if you are using our product.

What If I’m Late?

You’re not too late to start preventing crabgrass! Starting halfway through the prevention cycle is better than not starting at all.

You can get my warm season e-guide (Zoysia, St Augustine, Bermuda, Centipede, Bahia with a full liquid plan and fertilize blackout plan choices) and pick right up and start getting results right away.

It’s definitely NOT too late to get started.

And never forget, the more you mow, the healthier it will grow.

Speaking of that, check out this blog post I wrote for Milorganite last week talking about growing deeper roots!

Other Great Content in the YouTube Community This Week:

The Lawn Tools explored new lawn care slang while digging flower beds.

Ben The Lawn Guardian tackles his steep backyard and discovers some moss buildup.

Connor got out and showed you how TERRIBLE his lawn looks after winter.

FresYES Lawn Dude is throwing down his first application in California.

Also check out FertWife on Instagram.

Also, be sure to check out the Lawn Care Nut Podcast, Lawns Across America on:


That's all for this week, I'll see YOU in the lawn!


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