Those of you in snowy areas (cool season lawns) are at that point in the early early spring where the weather is teasing you. You’ll go from 35 degrees with light rain/snow and gray skies for weeks and then, for one day, usually on a Monday when you’re working… you get a blazing sun and cloud-proof blue sky day... ...the high crosses 58 degrees at 1PM and holds for about 3 hours until sundown.
You make any excuse you can to get outside on those days. You can smell it in the air - the spring is near.
Naperville, IL - soil temps are still in the low 40s in most places, even the warm zones. Is the sun trying to peak out?
PRO TIP: head out into your garage or shed and open up a bag of Milorganite. Just let that sweet and rotten, blueberry/blackberry scent permeate your space.
I actually pour the entire bag into a dry plastic bucket. Then I set the empty bag on top. Close up the garage and in about an hour you’ll smell the success. If your spouse complains, blame me. Total Savage!
By the way, have you seen any crocus coming up in your area? I’m pretty sure they are the very first sign of real spring… I always kept a few in this one bed at my house in NW Indiana as a natural weather gauge.
April 14, 2014, NW Indiana. Crocus up fully. This is a nice sign every year!
Order your pre-emergents now. Start the season with Prodiamine. If the granular is sold out, get the wettable dispersible granule, mix in a pump sprayer and blanket spray - this is a little more difficult but gives you much greater control.
Here is a video I did where I show you how to bucket test and spray. Mix in 3oz per gallon RGS with it if you have some on hand.
Be sure to water it in! (I’m pretty sure spring rains will take care of this one for you. But be ready to handle it yourself anyway)
This is a tough one to logic your way through. I totally understand the feeling that have about it. You really need it to work and are wondering if you should re-apply.
The answer is: wait, be patient.
2010, reviewing the day’s pre-emergent reports. Calling my boss to report the big production day we had! (Merrillville, IN … hair may or may not be real)
When I worked for TruGreen-Chemlawn, we applied thousands of applications that got rained on every single spring. I ran the Merrillville, IN operation in 2009/2010. In those days, my guys produced $35,000 per day in lawn applications -- at an average application price of $75. Do the math, that’s a lot of pre-emergent!
We used the VERY SAME prodiamine that you can buy yourself and applied it from ride-on spray equipment. Not only were there many downpours every spring… some of the apps we did... may have even been applied DURING heavy downpours; though I’ll never admit it.
What I will tell you with 100% confidence is that I never witnessed widespread pre-emergent failure in our lawns. Prodiamine is sticky. It’s why I recommend it for early season use: because it sticks. So be patient, have faith and be ready with your next app in early summer, ...don’t re-apply, you’ll be fine. This is not the time to “Throw’er Down” more and hope for the best.
Next, we have redundancy built into the program. Your second application of pre-emergent will be dithiopyr (Dimension) and it can get the escapees. We use Dithiopyr later in the season because it does have some post-emergent control ability on early stage crabgrass plants. That’s your backup. Stock up.
What about you transition zone folks?
You guys in the Carolinas, you are near the end of your *ideal* window already… Virginia - you are not far behind! Oklahoma - you better step up your game here pretty quickly too! Southern Kansas, Missouri, ARKANSAS!!!!!... where you at?
Remember, “go-time” for your first crabgrass pre-emergent is right when the soil temps pass 45. Once they hit 55 is when crabgrass seeds *can* start to germinate. If you remember from last week I talked about hot zones where the soil temps will be much warmer much sooner than the rest of the lawn. Make sure if you are taking manual soil readings, check several spots, shade and sun!
Transition zone folks, I feel for you, I really do. You’ve got it tough, but I can still smell the success in you. (or is that the Milo?)
With that, if you are just waking up to lawn season today (where you been?), and the ideal window has closed (current soil temps past 60 and sustained over 55 for 2-3 weeks or more) then I’d recommend skipping the Prodiamine and going straight in for the Dithiopyr (Dimension).
Again, the idea here is that Dimension has the ability to post-emergently control juvenile crab escapees. You probably have some.
If you are in Texarkana, you are probably still pretty good in the window and can use either Prodiamine or Dithiopyr - depending on what you have in stock, and what you want to hold in stock for the next app, etc.
Early March Considerations - Transition Zone: I’d also recommend that if you have turf type tall fescue, you get some Quinclorac on hand to spot spray any crabgrass you start seeing around the edges here in early summer. If you are using Tenacity as your primary post emergent weed control, then you’ll be good, no Quinclorac needed.
If you are in a transition zone and you have Bermuda or Zoysia, then your best post-emergent weed control option for crabgrass (and pretty much everything else too) is going to be Celsius. It’s easy on turf and kills a lot of weeds, even dallisgrass with 3 successive fall applications. (thanks for that tip Matt Martin). Only drawback is that it’s just a little slower acting than a lot of other weed controls out there. Be patient.
If you have issues with sedges, then you will need to spike in some Sedgehammer, a cheap addition.
Warm Season Friends, where you at? I have not forgotten about you! If you are following along with the pre-emergent guide then you know you we are coming due here for our next pre-emergent application and this one is a specialty - designed to target (suppress or prevent) some big nasties that are probably already hitting you!
I’m talking about Pennant Magnum. Dang I love that name. Just sounds badass.
Last Friday - dang that St Aug is thick. See the dead Kyllinga on the left? (brown)
Now I know this one appears expensive but if you need it, you’ll be glad you invested the extra dollars. Keep in mind, this bottle covers 135,000 square ft, so it should last you a couple years for sure.
So what are we trying to stop with this stuff? These primary pests:
Good news is that Pennant also stops crabgrass and a bunch of other crap that invades warm season, southern lawns. If you don’t have issues with these weeds or are content to just control them post-emergently, then you should not invest in this product. For me, the sedge suppression alone is worth it. We get so much rain here all summer and the Kyllinga just grows and grows… I swear sometimes it looks like fescue from afar.
Well first off, make sure you are subscribed to the channel so you don’t miss out again! Next, if you are not concerned about Sedges, Doveweed or Signalgrass, then go right into the dithiopyr (Dimension). Reason here is that you get quite a bit more leeway with it and this will just make it easier for you to stay with one product all season.
Get your dithiopyr, apply now and water in, hope for the best. Then pick right up with the pre-emergent plan in summer. One product on hand, easy.
Early March Considerations - Warm Season: One other thing is that I’m pretty sure all of you are seeing weeds popping up in your lawn now. This means a post-emergent weed control strategy is in order. In my last video, you saw me use Dismiss. It’s a great weed control (great at killing sedges/kyllinga) and is a solid performer for St Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda and Centipede.
You guys also have the choice of Celsius (won’t kill sedges but easy on St Aug) and I recommend you consider it.
So many choices right? Sounds like I am becoming “The Lawn Chemical Nut” doesn’t it? But that’s not true. I’d really like it if you could get your lawn and soil so healthy that pests no longer invaded. I’d love it if we didn’t have to do blanket apps of post-emergent weed controls and in fact, I almost always tell you guys to zone or spot spray and mix small amounts of herbicides at a time. Trust me, I’d much rather mow with my new Honda Mower (review coming soon) and listen to Stick Figure than have to glove up and mix and spray weed killer.
I do however like mixing up the N-Ext stuff and while I promised myself I wouldn’t flog it too hard this week -- we did go ahead and release some larger quantities of RGS, Air-8 and Micros plus a bunch of others. Apparently, someone is really “Throw-n-er Down” out there. So if you need to get your RGS fix at 5-gallon intervals, click here. Time to go spray and pray… I’ll see you in the lawn!