Pre-Emergent Got Snowed On and First Cut Zoysia Update

ALERT: I am getting multiple emails and posts on FB asking “is this poa trivialis?” “is this “poa annua?” is this “goose, dallis or crabgrass?” etc etc. to the point where people are getting anxiety over it!

I’ll be addressing this on the podcast this week so be sure to subscribe!

Now to this week’s regularly scheduled email...

Hello Lawn Care Nut!

I’ve got so much to share this week and I hope you’ll enjoy it all!

First off, I had a good time making this week’s primary video entitled, “Lawn Care Tips For Beginners” which is kind of a rehash of 3 core basics to our strategy.

It’s always a good idea to get back to basics and it’s definitely fun for me to try and make the same content fresh year after year.

What’s funny about those beginners videos is they also serve as a good reminder to me, too. And the primary one of those being frequent mowing.

Believe it or not, this past week was the first time I have mowed my new Empire Zoysia. I had it installed last year in October and this is now Mid-April!

Let this be a lesson to my friends who are growing Zoysia, it’s quite slow to get going!

I’ll be making an entire video giving you an update in the next few weeks but until then I wanted to stress a couple of things to my friends with Zoysia.

  1. Because it’s slow you need to have extra patience. I’m in Southwest Florida and the dominant Zoysia lawn in my neighborhood (pictured above) is just now coming into its prime. I’ll admit, it’s looking very good but…
  2. The number 1 biggest mistake that folks make with Zoysia is they cut it too tall. I learned that straight from Travis Council at Council Growers. He asked me to do the best I could to get the word out that Zoysia likes it low - even down to 1” is good for it! Looking at the picture above, that is being cut higher than 3 inches. It’s doing ok now but I suspect it may fade when the real summer heat comes in. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

That said, I mowed my Zoysia and I took it to just under 2”. I really want to get it lower but I’m going slow with it.

Again, this was my first cut so it’s a little rough looking still, but for you, if you have a fully established Zoysia lawn and you have been cutting too tall, bring it down slowly, over several mowings.

This goes for those of you who have established Zoysia lawns too, take it down slow. Give it a fresh cut at its current height this week during your Wednesday #WeekNightLawnWork mowing, then go down a notch on your full-service Saturday or Sunday cut.

Then go ahead and gain another notch the following Wednesday and take a break. Are you scalping any spots? Any low or high areas being revealed? Some spots may struggle a bit so don’t go too fast.

You also may want to consider that at some point during this process, on the very hottest day, spray in some D-Thatch at the high rate of 9oz/1,000 sq ft. The molasses in the D-Thatch will cause the microbes to go crazy and eat up the thatch.

You can spray this on every 3 weeks while you are taking your zoysia down lower.

If things start to scalp, just maintain that current height for a few mowings, continue with the D-Thatch, and let things recover. Once you see the green in the turf again, continue on another notch lower until you get to your desired height of cut (HOC).

I recommend you get it to 2” for sure but go lower if you can! Stay on that twice-a-week mow schedule and the rhizomes and stolons that Zoysia is known for will finally start to spread wide and roots will deepen. It’s a beautiful thing!


If you need to take your height down for some reason, you can use this very same method and get great results.

My Pre-Emergent Got Snowed and Rained On!

I’ll be talking much more in-depth on this in the podcast this week, but for now, many of you across the Midwest are concerned that the snow last week may have negatively impacted your pre-emergent you put down previously.

Similarly, some of you also got “heavy rain” on yours and some even both! Oh no what?

First off, snow is just cold rain severely slowed down. (read that twice)

No worries here unless you got enough to where you had snow plows destroying your parkways, or you had to get the snowblower out and decimate the yard with piles 4 feet tall - in that case, yes the pre-emergent was probably affected in some spots.

This is exactly why we do a split application in spring. You apply your first application as soil temps approach 55F and the second usually comes about 40 days later as soil temps approach 70F.

That second application is your insurance against any freak weather events such as 4-foot tall snow piles and plow trucks driving on your lawn in mid-April.

But again, if it’s only just a little bit of severely slowed down cold rain, then you are just fine, stay the course, trust the process, and mow on!

What about “heavy” rain?

In this case, we have to logic together and decide just how we define “heavy rain.”

Kind of tough to do that right? Is it the amount we got that concerns us? Is it the amount of time that amount fell?

If it all came down in 10 minutes heavy is that worse or better than if it came down steadily for 4 days?

How much also came from your downspouts off your roof and concentrated much of it into one area?

How did this affect any of our theories?

No one knows.

Lawn care is largely weather driven. That means that quite a bit of your results are NOT in your control. This is hard for a lot of us because we are control freaks!

This is why you often hear me say:

  • Study and Learn
  • Make a Plan
  • Re-Check the plan (re-read labels)
  • Execute the strategy: Throw’er down/Spray and Pray
  • Hope for the best
  • Keep notes and records of progress
  • Go back to Step 1

If you control the controllables then you just have to let God sort out the rest for you.

When it comes to pre-emergents and “all that rain” I’ll offer this.

  1. Trust the science. These products are/were created by chemists who had to take the products through all kinds of rigorous studies before bringing them to market (in this case prodiamine).
  2. Trust the history. Prodiamine has been the gold standard in crabgrass pre-emergent controls in the professional lawn care industry for years and years and it still is. Rain happens every year, heavy.
  3. Trust the process. You can only control the controllables. From there I ask that you trust the process and realize that even in the very best seasons, only about 80% of your plans go right. All the rest is weather driven and frankly, that is what makes it fun and not boring!

There you go my friends, I really hope this email has helped you in some small way!

We are in the throes of spring and things are REALLY kicking off almost everywhere! That said when in doubt, MOW IT OUT!

I’ll see you in the lawn!


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