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Texas Cold and Snow - Will It Hurt My Lawn or Pre-Emergent?

by Allyn Hane 15 Feb 2021

Texas Snow - Will My Lawn Be Harmed?
My friends across much of Texas got whacked with snow! Who knew it could even happen there! Texas is known for being hot hot hot! Look at my buddy Braandon Davis’ lawn in Austin:

snow in texas lawn

Plenty of questions are piling in about this snow storm, some related to pre-emergent, others are just “Is my lawn going to die?”

And the answer is that it’s not going to die. You see, it isn’t really the freezing temps that damage warm season turf, it’s the cold wind. Rushing cold winds cause what is known as desiccation which is essentially rapid dehydration. This is what can kill warm season turf. All the snow you got is actually insulating the turf and protecting it from this desiccation so you will be fine!

I actually think the humans are suffering more from the cold than the grass ever will. I’ve seen so many of my Texas friends saying things like “I thought this wasn’t supposed to happen here!” or “I should have moved further south!”

Meanwhile, I’m over here in Florida preparing for a day at the beach.

florida survives cold blast

Will My Pre-Emergent Be Wasted?
Prior to this blast, quite a few of you had already hit the window for pre-emergent and applied, now you are covered in snow and are wondering if the pre-emergent will be wasted. The answer is two fold.

First, this kind of stuff happens up north all the time. When I lived in NW Indiana on the banks of Lake Michigan, we would often get late snow storms. Was the pre-emergent affected? … possibly, no one can really know for sure.

But let’s just think about why you applied in the first place.

If your soil temps were hitting that 55F mark a few weeks ago, then that means that crabgrass would have started germinating. If you applied your pre-emergent, then you did a good thing to stop it back then.

If you had not applied, then any crabgrass that germinated back then would have started growing, the cold temps you have now will pause it, but as soon as things warm up again it would continue growing again. But since you applied a few weeks ago at the appointed time, you are good.

So no, it’s not wasted.

And this is also another reason why I always recommend you do “split applications.” Like I said, no one can really know if your prodiamine was negatively imipacted by snow but if you had applied a full app all at once back before the snow, now what would you do?

But since you follow my advice and put your pre-emergent down in split apps, you will have a bullet in your gun and can apply that second app sometime a few weeks from now when things normalize again.

Here is a video talking more about the split application strategy:

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