Pre-Emergent

Hi Everone.

My name is Fred Romane.  I am the Landscape Maintenance Manager at Green View Landscaping in Dunlap, IL.

I am writing this blog to answer some recent questions that I have been getting.  

This winter, I almost said Spring, has been very unusual because of the above average temperatures we have been having.  The turf grass is starting to green up.  The trees are budding out and the phones are ringing like it’s April!

Most of the questions I have been getting are about lawns.  The warm temperatures have people wondering if they should be getting pre-emergent herbicide for crabgrass control down now or is it even too late.

For crabgrass to germinate, soil temperatures need to be in the mid 50’s for several days.  We have had enough ups and downs in temperature to keep the soil temperatures in the 40’s for now.  Cool nights in the 20’s and 30’s will keep the soil temps low enough to keep the crabgrass from germinating.

Things to keep in mind going forward- all crabgrass seeds will not germinate at the same time.  Areas near concrete sidewalks and driveways will warm up sooner.  These areas may have breakouts of crabgrass if not treated.  Thin areas in the lawn will be more susceptible to crabgrass, annual grasses, and weeds taking hold.  The best weed control is a thick stand of grass.  If you have a thick healthy lawn, crabgrass and weeds shouldn’t be a problem.

If you plan on seeding your lawn this spring, do not put pre-emergent down.  Usually the first application in any lawn program contains a pre-emergent herbicide for crabgrass and weed control.  This herbicide will also not allow your new grass seed to germinate.  So let your lawn service provider know that you want to seed and they should not put pre-emergent down with the first application.

As for Green View’s lawn care program, we will start applying our first applications to lawns in early March, especially if the temperatures continue to stay above normal.  We will be using a pre-emergent herbicide along with fertilizer for a while and then when soil temperatures warrant, switch to a pre-and post-emergent herbicide.  This will allow us to control weed and crabgrass seeds that haven’t yet germinated and control weed and crabgrass seeds that have recently germinated.  Again, if you plan on seeding your lawn, let us know so we don’t apply these herbicides.

If you have any questions about lawn care or any landscape maintenance, please don’t hesitate to call me at Green View.