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Florida, Texas, Gulf Coast Fall and Winter Pre-Emergent Schedule

by Allyn Hane 22 Nov 2019

I wrote this plan specifically for “South Florida” as a winter pre-emergent and soil plan, but many of you could still benefit from incorporating a lot of this into your plans as well.

Watch The Videos

First off, make sure you watch the video I put out just this past weekend outlining the basics of the Florida Pre-Emergent Plan.

I’m not going to get into the watering portion in this written guide, so just make sure you get down at least 1” of water a week anywhere in Florida.

Even if your turf is brown and dormant, your soil is not and we don’t want it to dry out completely.

Here is a fun video showing you some ways to get your sprinkler heads free from being buried after the long summer:

Controlling Weeds In Fall/Winter in Southern Lawns

Keep in mind. There is no pre-emergent that controls every single weed.

A pre-emergent weed control strategy is only a piece of the overall approach.

No matter where you live in Florida, South Texas or the Gulf Coast, if you want a mostly weed-free lawn, you will need to employ a solid pre and post-emergent weed control strategy.

Pre-Emergent Strategy

STEP 1 - Anytime in October or November apply dithiopyr or Prodiamine.

This will prevent weeds that germinate during the winter such as hairy bittercress, chickweed, annual bluegrass, and spurge.

0-0-7 Dithiopyr
4 lbs/1,000 sq ft

or

0-0-7 Prodiamine

4 lbs/1,000 sq ft

(they will both work the same so get which one you prefer)


Here is a video showing you how to apply this product step-by-step: https://youtu.be/BF8Z3XTxLOk

We also have it in a WDG formulation that allows you to mix and apply as a liquid.

 

St Augustine (including Floratam), Zoysia and Centipede:

Sometime in December apply one of the following:

Store bought products:
Scott’s BonusS (available everywhere)
Vigoro Florida Weed & Feed (Home Depot’s in-house brand)
Sunniland St Augustine + Centipede Weed & Feed (locally made option at all Lowes stores and my personal recommendation)

These are unique products because the "weed" part of the "weed and feed" is an active ingredient called "atrazine." This is a great weed control because it provides both pre-and-post emergent control. It will kill quite a few weeds that are in your lawn and also provides about 60 days of pre-emergence protection against future weeds.

There is also fertilizer here so you will get a nice pop of green color - especially the Sunniland - it gives my St Aug a very nice color and is loaded with micros.

So think of this like another layer of protection on TOP of the previous app you did of prodiamine or dithiopyr. If you find this post later in the year, you can actually do the atrazine weed/feed and your prodiamine/dithiopyr on the same day and water it all in together, no worries there.

Atrazine Weed and Feed

There is no flexibility in these products - you have to throw them down at bag rates in order for the weed control to work properly, which means you are also going to get a shot of nitrogen, quite a bit in fact.

My first choice of the 3 above is the Sunniland because it’s loaded with micro-nutrients and is made locally. Supporting a Florida owned and operated company is always my first choice.

The bag is 20 lbs and costs $18.

Here’s the math…
Cost: $18
Weight: 20 lbs
Application Rate: 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft
Bag Covers: 5,000 sq ft

Cost per 1,000 sq ft: $3.60
Cost for 5,000 sq ft lawn: $18

Sunniland Weed & Feed Analysis: 20-0-6

This product will deliver the atrazine as needed, but also gives you .80 lbs/N/1,000 sq ft and .24 lbs/K/1,000 sq ft.

It also contains the micronutrients iron, boron, copper, manganese, zinc, and molybdenum.

Apply this product to dry turf and get it watered in immediately with ½” of water.

I’ll be applying this product in an upcoming video and I’ll do some further comparisons to the Vigoro and Scotts BonusS product as well.

Bermuda, and Bahia

You guys can't use the atrazine products as they can harm your lawns so when you get into the later part of December, if you want you can apply another application of dithiopyr or prodiamine.

Step 2 - January - March

St Augustine/Zoysia/Centipede only:

Scott’s BonusS (available everywhere)
Vigoro Florida Weed & Feed (Home Depot’s in-house brand)
Sunniland St Augustine + Centipede Weed & Feed (Lowes stores)

Bermuda, and Bahia:

You guys can skip this treatment or you can apply another application of dithiopyr or prodiamine. You may also be able to find Scotts Crabgrass Preventor with Halts at this time of year. I’ll be sure to scope out local stores and keep you updated.

Far South Florida like Pembroke Pines - you guys will want to get this one down probably sometime in late January. You will be on a warming trend very quickly from there.

Middle of the state like Ocala - mid-Feb is good for you here and on up to Pensacola, you are probably more like later Feb or early March.

Step 3 and 4 - Pennant Magnum

S-metolachlor is your number 1 choice if you have faced Doveweed and/or sedges and kyllinga.

It only suppresses kyllinga but that is much better than just letting it run wild which I did this year and I’ve got a lot of cleanup work to do because of it.

Trust me, if you have sedge and doveweed, you want to invest in Pennant Magnum. Go in with a few friends if you have to - the bottle covers 135,000 sq ft.

Step 3:
4-6 weeks after Step 2
14 ml/1,000 sq ft

Step 4:
6 weeks after step 3
14 ml/1,000 sq ft

Here’s the math on this liquid concentrate:
Product Volume: 1 gallon = 3,785 ml
Cost: $224.00
Application Rate: 28 ml/1,000 sq ft/per year

Bottle Covers: 135,178 sq ft
Cost per 1,000: $1.65

Note: the yearly maximum you can use of Pennant Magnum is 28 ml/1,000 sq ft.

I like to split this into 2 applications of 14 ml/1,000 sq ft each. Think of split apps like 2 coats of paint being more consistent than 1 heavy coat. Splitting your apps apart helps with this.

If you cost this out for the two apps (28 ml/1,000 sq ft) on a 5,000 sq ft lawn, the cost is $8.25 for the 2 apps.

Think about that - $8.25 for two apps of the best pre-emergent you can get for warm-season turf.

This is one thing to note about professionally formulated products and that is they are very concentrated and while you have to buy large quantities (in this case an entire gallon) the application cost is very low.

I’ve tried to get these companies to work with me and release their products in smaller quantities for the DIY market but so far none have listened.

Plan Summary:

St Augustine, Zoysia and Centipede

October - November
Choose one:

December

 

  • Sunniland Weed & Feed - 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft
  • Scotts BonusS - 2.75 lbs/1,000 sq ft
  • Vigoro Florida Weed & Feed - 3.2 lbs/1,000 sq ft
  •  

     

     

    Jan - March (6-8 weeks after previous app)

    Choose one:

    • Sunniland Weed & Feed - 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft
    • Scotts BonusS - 2.75 lbs/1,000 sq ft
    • Vigoro Florida Weed & Feed - 3.2 lbs/1,000 sq ft

    March - May (4-6 weeks after previous app)
    Choose one:

    • Pennant Magnum - 14 ml/1,000 sq ft
    • Optional: if you don’t use Pennant Magnum, prodiamine or dithiopyr are a suitable substitute.

    May - June (6-8 weeks after previous app)
    Choose one:

    • Pennant Magnum - 14 ml/1,000 sq ft
    • Optional: if you don’t use Pennant Magnum, prodiamine or dithiopyr are a suitable substitute.

     

    Bermuda, and Bahia

    October - December
    Choose one:

    • 0-0-7 Dithiopyr - 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft (if you already have it on hand)

    (prodiamine can substitute if you have it)

    Jan - March (6-8 weeks after previous app)
    Choose one:

    • Skip this app or
    • Apply Dithiopyr or prodiamine
    • Apply Scotts Halts (more updates to come as we get into this time frame)

    March - May (4-6 weeks after previous app)
    Choose one:

    • Pennant Magnum - 14 ml/1,000 sq ft
    • Optional: if you don’t use Pennant Magnum, prodiamine or dithiopyr are a suitable substitute.

    May - June (6-8 weeks after previous app)
    Choose one:

    • Pennant Magnum - 14 ml/1,000 sq ft
    • Optional: if you don’t use Pennant Magnum, prodiamine or dithiopyr are a suitable substitute.


    There you go my Florida friends!

    Be sure to stay tuned all winter as I will continue to give more information about how we can manage our lawns here in South Florida, year-round!

    I’ll see you in the lawn!
    AL

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