Snow, ice and frost on Mother’s Day? Yes, it happened across much of the country. It was a late cold snap and let’s look at what it’s doing to soil temps:
My friends in Central Indiana (shout-out to Tractor Time With Tim) are 10 degrees below where they should be. Most of you would be ready to throw down your second and final application of prodiamine right about now as a warmup comes in and your soil temps cross 65F heading to 70F. Just in case you are new here and you missed it, the pre-emergent strategy I talk about is found in this free guide here.
You folks over in Edison, NJ (shout-out to Gary Vaynerchuk) are in a similar situation - late cold has kept your soil temps low.
As I talk to you guys about often, “the weather always wins” and so in cases like this, we have to step back and re-evaluate. In normal years, you’d be throwing down your second application of pre-emergent sometime in the next week or so. This time of year temps tend to rise very fast as the summer pattern starts to emerge.
But there is another master we need to follow, and that is Father Time. In fact, Father Time is greater than Mother Nature, because time waits for no one. Enough philosophy for today, let’s look at some math.
Most of you up north are going to want to throw down some grass seed this fall. When you apply your second application of prodiamine, it’s 3lbs/1,000 as the application rate. As a general rule, for each 1lb/1,000 or product you apply, you get one month of pre-emergence protection against crabgrass. If we are throwing down 3lbs/1,000, that means the application should be winding down somewhere right around mid-August. And that is about perfect so you can seed in September.
So the key here is to stay the course. Even though it is colder than normal, you should go ahead and throw down your second application here sometime in the next week or so even if soil temps continue to stay 10 degrees lower than normal.
You can get prodiamine here. We only have small bags left now, but that is good because they those of you who are starting late won’t have to hold the leftovers. And that is another question I get:
Question: “If I just found your plans and am starting now, is it too late?”
Answer: “It’s never too late to get started and these extra cold/late soil temps mean you can REALLY get some decent results by starting right now. So if you are brand new, your first step is to get that pre-emergent down, ASAP!”
The cold has not escaped you either. You may not be getting snow and ice, but Bermuda and Zoysia lawns across the south area starting very slow this year. Look at my friends just south of Atlanta, those golf cart riding residents of PeachTree City, GA:
You guys are more than 10 degrees below normal in the soil. Thing about it is, most of y’all there have Bermuda lawns, some Zoysia, and those two grass types barely even get started at these temps. Typically, bermuda and zoysia like soil temps at 65F on the rise before they start really running. Normally, right now, you’d be over 70F and in peak party mode heading into summer, but the cold has got you stunted!
For you guys, get that last app of pre-emergent down if you have not already - do not wait! Because in the south, when it finally does get hot, it gets hot fast! Don’t be caught behind!
Normally, for those of you looking to thicken up your Bermuda or Zoysia, I’d be telling you guys to get ready to throw down CarbonX (CX DIY) to get your warm season turf running into summer. And if you did that, it’s ok, no harm… but really, right now, if you are wondering what to apply, I’d recommend you slow play it still. Hit it with bag rate (4lbs/1,000) or XGN DIY (X-Green). You could also use Milorganite right now, just know it will come on a little slower as temps stay cooler - and apply it right around that 10-12 lbs/1,000 rate so we don’t over-do it quite yet.
Centipede grass, XGN is great for you, slow play it all year, or go liquid with 18-0-1 Greene Punch (https://thelawncarenut.com/products/greenepunch%E2%84%A2-18-0-1-fertilizer) . The labeled rates on that product are already Low N which is perfect for Centipede, any time of year.
St Augustine grass in South Texas and Florida (and a few places in between) we have not seen the cool temps that everyone else has so really, feel free to throw down as you see fit. I do admit, the silvery blue pop of CarbonX is beautiful on St Aug. Just know, you will be mowing, a lot! I actually made a video about choosing a lawn mower last weekend that you may like if you plan to mow more this season!
Bahia grass - mostly in Florida and Louisiana - your plan is all micros and VERY low N. If you want the most stunning Bahia grass, you want to hit it with the 7-0-0 Greene Effect monthly and then 3-4 times per year, 0-0-2 MicroGreene (apply them spaced a few weeks apart, as separate apps). Note: the Greene Effect is the only product in the Greene County line that you do NOT water in. It has citric acid in it which makes it available to absorb through foliage, fast. If you do water it in, no harm no foul, it will still work, but if you let it sit on the lawn overnight, it will work much much faster.
Normally, I’d be telling you to get ready to back things down as we head into summer. When outside air temps get over 85F, cool season grasses, especially Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass start to check out and look for summer dormancy. In these cases, I tell you to back down the N, and up the K and slow play your way through summer.
We have a new product being released here sometime in the next week that is perfect for summer. STX DIY (StressX) 4-0-25 is a Carbon Earth product that is high in K and perfect for summer, still featuring the peptides and biochar. Many of you have asked so I just wanted to give you an update. On the website listing here you can sign up to get notified when it is available.
Thing about this cool weather is that you don’t have to back off. The KBG, Rye and fescue love these cooler temps and will continue to set more and more roots right now. So since CarbonX (CX DIY) is back in stock now, why not blast that lawn and make it as green as possible? Feel free to thrower down and get that lawn as thick as you can before summer. If you get your irrigation in line, you can keep it green all summer, especially if the summer is mild, which signs point to that being a possibility for sure.
Lots of info in this week, I hope it’s been helpful, I’ll see you in the lawn!