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Prep for Fall Pre-Emergents - Weed Prevention Tips

By DoMyOwn staff

You can prevent weeds in your lawn with a fall pre-emergent. Follow these tips to set your lawn up for success when doing your applications.

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Video Transcript

Hey everybody it's Heath from Today we're gonna talk about prepping your lawn and setting your lawn up for success with fall pre-emergent applications.

We wanna make sure that our pre-emergent is down prior to the soil temperature reaching that 70 degree mark. The big thing is trying to stop winter weeds from coming in like poa annua. Poa annua goes to seed at 70 degrees. And just keep in mind that the pre-emergent is there to stop weeds from germinating. So if those weeds have already germinated it's too late. So it's very important to put that pre-emergent down prior to those weeds coming up in the lawn.

So when selecting a pre-emergent for your fall applications, make sure it's labeled for your turf type first of all. And second of all, make sure that it's labeled for the weeds you're trying to stop. With that being said, we're gonna make sure we're applying that product at the proper amount. You want to make sure that you're calibrating your spreader or sprayer so you're getting the proper amount of product down over your yard. We've got videos online showing you how to calibrate your sprayer or spreader. You can click those how-to videos and see those references there.

One of the important things you need to do prior to actually applying your pre-emergent is to make sure that you've removed all the lawn debris. Make sure you've raked up any leaves or grass or anything like that prior to putting that pre-emergent down. We want to make sure that the pre-emergent reaches the soil and isn't trapped in thatch layers and that sort of thing.

So when doing your fall pre-emergents, it's important to do a split application. A split application is going to give you longer control over those weeds rather than just doing one single application. Along with that, when you've done your first application, you want to follow up with your second pre-emergent application in about 4-6 weeks. Read the labels: some of them will tell you at least 6 weeks in between applications, so it's real important to read those labels to make sure we know what we're doing.

Now if you've got a cool season turf, and you need to do an aeration and overseeding, you do not want to apply a pre-emergent since the pre-emergents would stop those seeds from germinating. For the cool season turf, let's say you just need to do a dethatching on your fescue lawn, youve got a good stand of turf and you don't need to aerate and overseed, but you do want to remove some of the dead areas out of the lawn. You can do that dethatching prior to actually applying your first pre-emergent application or do it in between the pre-emergent applications for the fall. Apply your pre-emergent first, then do your dethatching, then come back with your second pre-emergent application 4-6 weeks later.

But in addition to that, if you have a cool season lawn and don't need to do an aeration and overseeding for that, the fall is a good time to put that pre-emergent. And we want to apply that pre-emergent prior to the soil temperatures reaching 70 degrees. Another factor is if you applied a spring pre-emergent. How long is that pre-emergent lasting? Did you design it to wear off in August so you could do an aeration and overseeding but this year you don't need to do an aeration and overseeding because your yard looks good. Well then, August would be the time that you would wanna put down that pre-emergent to stop those weeds from coming in.

So in the Fall, tha'ts an important time to do a soil analysis. It's important to make sure we have the proper pH as well as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to support the plant. After you've done your soil analysis and you've gotten your feedback on what you need, you can find fertilizers with pre-emergent blended into it. So if you have a cool season lawn that needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, you can find pre-emergents with that analysis in them. Another good thing is for warm season turf, if you need potassium... there's a lot of good fertilizers out there like 0-0-7 that is mixed with pre-emergent that you can use at the same time.

If you're applying a granular pre-emergent application, you can water that pre-em in right away. If you're doing a liquid application, I want you to wait about 24 hours, let that pre-emergent dry on top of the surface and then water it in the following morning. Make sure you're doing 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of water to get a soaking and make sure that we've put that pre-emergent the soil.

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