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Do My Own Lawn Care - How to Measure Soil Temperatures

By DoMyOwn staff

One of the most important things to know when putting down a pre-emergent, is getting them down at the right time.

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Video Transcript

So a friend of mine calls me up and he says to me he says, "Hey, weather's starting to warm up, shouldn't we look at putting down a pre emergent in my yard?"

And my answer to him was, "Maybe. I think so. But I've got to check on something first." And that is the topic for today's video, soil temperatures.

It's important to get the pre emergent down before soil temperatures reach 55 degrees plus. But most people, they don't know how to figure that out. And that's what I want to do in this video, is help you learn how to figure out where your soil temperatures are at, so that you can put down your pre emergent at the right time.

Now, why 55 degress plus? Most pesky weeds, that's when their seeds will begin to germinate; when that soil temperature gets to 55 degrees or higher. So, if we get our pre emergent down on time, we will prevent a lot of weeds from popping up and reducing the amount of work that we got to tackle in the spring and summer.

Now, question is, how do we figure out what the soil temperature is? You can buy thermometer and put that into the top two inches of the soil, leave it for a few minutes and check it that way, but there's another way and it requires a little bit of math.

Ok, so here we go, here's how we're going to estimate where our soil temperatures are at. What we're going to do is take a look at the temperatures, the high and the low, for the past three days. We're going to take the high, add that to the low, and divide by two.

We'll take those three numbers, divide by three and that will give us our estimated average soil temperature. Easy, right?

I...I know. That was...that was probably a little to fast, so let's...let's take where I live for example.

I wrote all of this down. There's now way I could have memorized all this stuff. Okay here we go.

Tuesday, my high was 66 and the low was 31. Add those together, I got 97. Divide by 2, that gives me 48.5 for Tuesday.

Wednesday my high was 61, the low was 42, add those together, I have 103, divide by 2, gives me 51.5 for Wednesday.

Thursday my high was 60, and the low was 33, add those together, I have 93, divide by 2, that gives me 46.5 for Thursday.

So my average temperature for Tuesday was 48.5, my average for Wednesday was 51.5, and my average for Thursday was 46.5.

Now I'm going to take all three of those numbers and add them together. So 48.5, plus 51.5, plus 46.5, gives me 146.5. I'm going to take 146.5, divide it by 3 and that gives me 49 degrees.

So my three day running average estimated soil temperature is about 49 degrees and it's only going to get warmer. So that can only mean one thing!

And just like that, the first application of pre emergents is down in the yard. And I say first application because I'm going to put another one down later on. Let me explain.

I still have to aerate my yard, but I can't do that until I have some green up going on. I know. I know. I can hear it and see it in the comments section, "But wait, if you get an aerator and aerate your yard, won't you break the protective barrier that you just put down?" Yes. Yes I will.

Now, I've checked with the customer service staff, we've read the labels of the products that I used to put down in my yard, and it's ok to do what I just did. I put down half of what I normally put down, or in other words I put down half the rate. After I get done aerating, I'll put down that other half and I will be good to go. My lawn should be good and protected.

Now let me re emphasis this, what I just did for my yard is exactly that; it's for my particular yard. Your situation's most likely going to be different because your in a different climate, you might have different grass type, your in a different region, all that good stuff. So just know all of that before you go into a situation like this, and if you have questions you can always reach out to us and we can try and help you out.

I hope this helped. I hope you got some more knowledge under your belt to make your lawn game that much stronger and you can crush the competition come spring and summer.

Like I say in every video, if I left something out, if you have any other further questions on anything I touched on in this video, you can leave those in the comments section below, email our customer service staff, or pick up the phone and give us a call.

And if your not already, subscribe to the channel by clicking this button, you can click this playlist to see all the videos in the Do My Own Lawn Care series, and click this playlist to see all the other DIY and how to tutorial videos we have here on our channel.

And as always, thanks for watching!