Start this season right with Pre-Emergent

A good start means you had to start right in the first place. A famous religious leader once said “If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time, but if we start wrong we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right.” Don’t let me lose you there, keep reading and you’ll see what I mean! 

I once heard from a pilot and a train operator the same two things. Gordon, the head train operator talked of how he witnessed one train that arrived without it’s baggage car coming from Oakland, California being delivered to Newark, NJ. The passenger car had arrived just fine but somehow the baggage car ended up in New Orleans. The difference between the two was a 3 inch change in the switch causing this baggage car to be thirteen hundred miles away.

On another occasion, in 1979 a passenger jet with 257 people went sightseeing to Antarctica from New Zealand…or so they thought. Unbeknownst to the pilots, someone had adjusted the flight coordinates by only two degrees. The two degree adjustment put the loaded plane 28 miles east of the intended landmarks. Both pilots, being well seasoned, had not enough time to react after descending to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better view of the beautiful landmarks when they realized they were in the direct path of Mount Erebus. With the white snow and ice blending into the white clouds above, the pilots only had seconds to react upon hearing the instrument alarms sound that the ground was fast approaching. The plane crashed into the side of the volcano causing a terrible tragedy brought by a start that was not right in the beginning.

treatment-preemergent

One treated yard vs. and untreated yard. At this point in the grass’ dormancy stage it should look solid brown.

Let us talk grass now. You might be saying to yourself, “what does any of this have to do with grass”. Well to tell you the truth, quite a bit. It’s January and most people don’t even start thinking about their grass until maybe March or April. But you know what they say, “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.” The best time to start thinking about a beautiful green lawn for spring is October and November, the second best time is now. I’m a planner and have been my whole life. So I plan all my lawn care out for the entire year before the year begins. Most lawns in Dallas/Fort Worth are Bermuda or St. Augustine with some being Zoysia. Let’s not talk about the lawns that are over-seeded with rye-grass just yet.

january-26-2009-fayetteville-065This is a what we look for when looking for perfect dormant winter lawn. I’ve heard lots of comments about how this is a dead lawn. The truth is that it is a dormant lawn and not dead. Let’s not focus on the fact that it is all brown for right now because that is how it should be at this time of year. Look at how there is no green! I love it! That means they have done something right when they treated it for weeds. Now we can look at a lawn that was not properly treated for weeds come January.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis one makes me cringe. The proper plan was not set in place and now the weeds have broken through. So how do we do it? The secret is Pre-Emergent. We actually apply 3 pre-emergents throughout the year so that come the winter dormancy period, your lawn will look…well, dormant. Again, we are not talking about over-seeded lawns. September/October is when you want to apply that first pre-emergent for your annual weeds such as Annual Bluegrass, Crabgrass & Henbit. Why a pre-emergent? The pre-emergent puts a barrier on soil that helps prevent certain new growth from coming through the soil. The pre-emergent doesn’t do much for the second picture unfortunately. You would have to use a pre/post-emergent mix in order to effectively control the weeds happening there. Remember all that talk earlier about starting right so that it is easier to continue right? Well, the first picture will come back a beautiful green lush grass. The second will take time of knocking back weeds while fertilizing the grass to choke out future weeds. So the most important thing you should remember about starting right with your lawn is the pre-emergent but don’t fret if you missed the previous pre-emergents. Starting today is better than not starting at all. An application now will help in the prevention of your weeds that germinate when soil temps reach about 55 degree, i.e, crabgrass.

Now a lawn that has been over-seeded with rye grass, you need to be careful in your pre-emergent selection process to be sure it will not harm your rye grass but it is still equally important. If you over-seed with rye then it should still look like the first picture except green. There shouldn’t be any weeds in sight.

When looking for a pre-emergent make sure to check what grasses it will be good for and what weeds it will cover. Most of the time you can google what the weed looks like and it’ll tell you. Or post a picture on our Facebook Page or Twitter (@KingreenServ) asking what the weed type is and we’ll let you know.

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