When it comes to lawn care, being pro-active can mean the difference between having a healthy lawn or a lawn over-run with weeds. Timing is the most important factor when it comes to the effectiveness of these measures, commonly referred to as pre-emergent treatments. These treatments include a combination of fertilizer and herbicide that promote healthy growth of existing turf while preventing the germination of certain annual weeds, predominately crab grass.
It is crucial that pre-emergent treatments be applied early in the spring season before weeds have a chance to germinate. When soil temperatures exceed 50 – 55 degrees, weeds are able to grow. We recommend getting started with treatments as early as possible to ensure the soil temperature is below that threshold. The final week of February and the beginning of March are great times to start this treatment to maximize effectiveness.
The benefits of pre-emergent
There are several benefits to applying pre-emergent treatments in the waning months of winter and the beginning of spring. Here are just a few:
- Preventative measures are more effective: Using pre-emergent is the most effective way to treat annual weeds like crab grass. It is important to note that post-emergent weed treatments are better suited for perennial weeds that have established deep, extensive root systems.
- Eliminating weeds eliminates competition for nutrients: Weeds are tough and resilient, and once they are established they will drain the available nutrients. Treating for weeds is beneficial to the health of your landscape because it lessens the competition for these nutrients and water.
- Aesthetic appeal: Don’t run off potential buyers, renters, or customers with an unkempt yard. Preventing weeds not only improves the health of your yard, it also improves the aesthetics. For those of you who pay attention to curb appeal and perceived value of your property, this is a great benefit!
Over-seeding and pre-emergent DO NOT mix
One common pitfall that we see is people over-seeding their lawns and applying pre-emergent treatments. While both of these methods are great ways to improve the quality of your lawn, the two do not mix. Over-seeding is the planting of grass seed directly into existing turf. It’s an easy way to fill in bare spots, improve the density of your turf, and enhance your lawn’s color. Because pre-emergent is applied to prevent germination of seeds, it will cancel out your over-seeding efforts.
Topeka Landscape is here to help!
With forecasts predicting nothing but nice weather to come, now is the time to get started on pre-emergent treatments. As you make plans for the coming growing season, keep these facts in mind. If you have any questions or would like more information about our treatment program, call us at 785.232.8873 or click here to email our lawn care maintenance team.