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How to Apply Spring Pre-Emergents & Spring Fertilizers

By DoMyOwn staff

Your location, grass type, and the correct active ingredients will help you apply your spring pre-emergent with spring fertilizer effectively.

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Video Transcript

Hey everybody it's Heath from DoMyOwn.com. Today we're going to talk to you about spring pre-emergents and using fertilizer with those spring pre-emergents. 

One of the most important parts of doing a spring pre-emergent with a fertilizer is doing a soil test first. That way you know exactly what your soil needs and the fertilizer that you can actually purchase for that soil.

Another important aspect is the timing of the application. You don't want to put your application down too early but you also don't want to put your application down too late. It's real important to get your pre-emergent with your fertilizer down prior to seed germination. Another important aspect is going to be the active that you choose that's going to be determined based off of the weeds that you've had in the past and what you need to control. Read the labels carefully to make sure those weeds are controlled by that pre-emergent so that you don't have those issues going forward.

In cool season lawns if you're doing a split application, you can apply a pre-emergent and a fertilizer at the same time or even a fertilizer that is mixed in with the pre-emergent. For cool season lawns those usually consist of kentucky blue, fescue, and rye. Those growing seasons actually grow from about September through about May or June depending on your location.

It's best to do an aeration and overseeding in the fall, but if you have to do an aeration and overseeding in the spring, make sure that you're not using a pre-emergent prior to that application depending on the label and the rates that are used you may or may not be able to apply the seed after doing that application. If you need to do a spring aeration and over seeding it's a good time to go ahead and apply a starter fertilizer for that as well, something high in phosphorus is going to help generate that root system so that hopefully you're able to put a pre-emergent down early in that spring time as well. That'll help stop all those weeds from coming in and still generating the the seed growth from it.

You don't want to apply a synthetic fertilizer that's going to be high in nitrogen once the temperatures start getting above 80 degrees. That can cause brown patch fungus to pop up and you really want to switch over to an organic fertilizer or something that is low in nitrogen like iron to apply that color for the lawn.

For warm season grasses, it's a little trickier. Your application timing is going to be important. For some locations, you may have to do quarterly pre-emergents and other locations you may be fine doing a spring pre-emergent as well as another spring pre-emergent. Split applications are usually best for warm season turfs because of the long growing season. Generally speaking, turfs in the south... Bermuda, St. augustine,  Centipede, Zoysia... those turf types are going to be growing anywhere from about March on through to about September.

If you're in those locations where the grass type would go dormant, you usually don't apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer to those on the first application you may apply something like a 0-0-7 to generate some root growth out of it but not any nitrogen to be stored into the plant. When you store nitrogen into the plant, if we get a cold snap you can damage the turf and we don't want that so usually you want to wait until the grass is greened up on its own 70 to 75 percent somewhere around there before you would apply a nitrogen-based fertilizer.

So in summary: your location, your grass type, and your active are going to be very important to have a successful lawn. We also recommend reaching out to your local extension service for the best timing of these applications or looking at our videos or calling us for product recommendations. If you like this video, please click the subscribe button and check out our other videos.