March starts this week... you know what that means right? It means March 10 is almost here. That’s the day to “Spring Forward” on the clocks so the illusion of longer days comes back into the public psyche and weeknight lawn work can resume!
While living in Indiana I learned quickly that the first couple weeks of March is when your mood begins to change and you know that warm days are just around the corner. Your spirit and outlook lift, just a bit.
That said, I figured this week we would go back and talk about soil temps again, relate them to pre-emergents, and then see where we stand in a couple spots around the country. Don’t forget, I have a free infographic for you that helps you easily keep track of the best window for your area.
Additionally, if you live in the south or transition zones even up into the Midwest, we have prodiamine available direct in our shop right now. It’s similar to what we used last year in that it’s a 50lb bag of prodiamine that covers 16,600 sq ft at the 3lb/1000 sq ft rate and corresponds directly with all the literature and info I put out for you guys.
Get the full pre-emergent guide here if you didn’t already, it’s free and updated and gives instructions on what to put down, and when to put it down based on exactly what we are talking about here today. (WA,OR,ID,ME,NH,VT,NY,MA,CT,RI - we will have availability for you in the next week or so!) Everyone else can pick yours up now!
Also, real quick, if you have St Augustinegrass, Bermuda, Zoysia, Bahia or Centipede, the Warm Season Hybrid Organic lawn guide is completely updated now and ready! I know many of you have been waiting to get it and it’s ready now and still priced at $25 (over 130 pages now), immediate download here.
The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been great and rest assured, you only have to buy the guide one time - from there, anytime I update it (yearly) going forward it’s sent to you automatically.
In reality, there isn’t much in it that you can’t already find in my emails or on my channel. The difference is the guide just ties all that together for you so you don’t have to search through thousands of words or hundreds of hours of videos. The “guide” brings it all together for you.
Memphis, TN, I’m looking at you first today! I know you are wondering if it’s time yet. Some of you may have turf type tall fescue, others bermuda or zoysia - but the soil temp milestones are still the same, when we reach sustained 55F in the soil, you know it’s time to throw down! Let’s see where we stand: (using this tool)
From what I see here today, Feb 25, 2019, you are running a little warmer than normal. I know the current soil temp is 55F and to have hours during the day like this is pretty normal, especially when you guys have warming rains fall and the sun comes out after. But even still, looking at the 5-day average of 48F I’m def seeing you run to the warm side this year when compared to the 5-Year average of 44.6F.
Hang on though, we shouldn’t make a decision yet - we want to next find the average target date when Memphis, in a ‘normal year’ reaches soil temps approaching 55F.
So now we can decide how we want to handle the data. We know that right now we are running a little warm and it’s Feb 25. We also know that in a perfectly normal/average year, we’d want to get our app down sometime just before March 15.
There are 18 days between today and March 15. I’d say that’s your ideal window for this year, based on the data, anytime between now and March 15 - throw’er down!
You don’t have to rush, but you should def be getting prepared. We are close enough to that ideal window and running warm so we are all good in Memphis, release the prodiamine when ready and water it in!
Kansas City, MO
Head 450 miles just to the north and west and you have a completely different window to look at with our friends in KC:
Looks like you guys are running a little cold right now. I’m sorry about that! But fear not, it will not be long for you although you do have a little time to prepare - in fact, you have just about a month.
Seems like the end of March is historically when you guys are approaching that 55F mark so you should def start getting ready now! If temps do change for the warmer, early this year, you want to be ready to throw-er down!
More Location Data
Without throwing in all the maps, here are two more scenarios I ran based on this thinking. I recommend you run this scenario where you live and see how things shake out. We will also run even more scenarios on the Podcast this week to really drive home the thinking and strategy:
Fayetteville, AR as of 2/25/19
5-Day Average: 42.6F
5-Year Average: 39.2
Currently seem to be running slightly warm.
Fayetteville, AR ideal target in average year:
Since your typical ideal window opens around March 20, I’d say now is the time to prepare since you are running a little warm. Your go time will probably be fairly close to normal, sometime in the second half of March, but just in case, prepare early to throw down!
Austin, TX - as of 2/25/19 - TOO LATE?
Ok so I had to include the screenshot here so you can see what I’m looking at. Actually, right now, today, if the perfect day to apply your prodiamine!
Now, if you are reading this and have not thrown down your pre-emergent yet, don’t panic but certainly take action soon. You see, just because I tell you that 55F is the ideal opening of the window to prevent crabgrass, I’m not telling you it’s an “all or nothing” scenario.
Remember, not ALL of the crabgrass seeds in your lawn will all germinate today. This is only the start and it’s a slow start! Crabgrass doesn’t REALLY all get happy until soil temps get to 70 and even 75 - that’s when the peak party time happens. If you get a pre-emergent down even leading right up to that point, it’s much better than nothing at all.
So if you are in Austin, let’s look ahead a bit to see just where you stand. We next want to know when temps will typically hit 70F and then we can regroup.
So ideally, if your first application were now, then your second application would be sometime in early April. Since you are going to be late here on the first one, that’s ok. In our pre-emergent guide we talk about applying a “split application.” Using prodiamine .38% we put one application down now at 3lbs/1000 and another in early April at 3lbs/1000
Since you are going to be late on the first one, when you do get your prodiamine and get set up, just jump right in and get down the first application, then a few weeks later, leading up to April, do it again. Even if they are only 3 weeks apart, that’s fine, throw’er down.
No one says your split apps have to be 45-55 days apart - they can be 21 days apart and work too, so thrower down! The key is to take action and not let this year get away from you!
With that, I hope this email has been helpful to you, and that you are starting to take control of your own lawn care strategy. I’ll see you in the lawn!