We get a lot of questions from customers about using pre-emergents in the spring, particularly with post-emergents. The answer is not an easy one and it depends on a variety of factors. First off, a spring pre-emergent application is essential to prevent summer weeds and a post-emergent application is essential for eliminating winter weeds.
The problem that we run into the springtime is that temperatures are generally too low to do a post-emergent application. So it's best to do a pre-emergent split application and do your post-emergent application in between. So your first spring pre-emergent application can be done before your soil temperatures reach 55 degrees. You can wait a couple of weeks, wait for the temperatures to get to 65 degrees or higher, not to exceed 85 to 90 degrees. Then, you can do your post-emergent application.
It's a good idea to do a split application with your pre-emergents to give you extended control throughout the season. So for example, let's say you have an established, warm season bermudagrass lawn. And it's the end of March. You can go ahead and do your first pre-emergent application, wait a couple of weeks for temperatures to get to 65 degrees, then you can go ahead and spot treat your turf safely following the directions on the product label of the selective post-emergent that you choose.
Normally, the soil temperatures in the spring to apply a pre-emergent and not be too late to see results are still too low for a post-emergent application to work. However, your winter weeds have already germinated and they are still coming up. There are a few cool temperature product exceptions. You just need to be sure to review the product label to be sure that your grass is tolerable and it's labeled for the weeds you're targeting. You don't want to over-stress your lawn, so spot treating may be the best option for your first application with your post-emergent.
Then, when you do your second application with your pre-emergent, it's possible you could tank mix your pre and post emergent products and do a broadcast application with them at the same time. You just need to be sure they are compatible and your read the product label to be sure there are no tank mixing restrictions with the products. If you're going to mix your pre and post emergents in the same solution to spray as a broadcast, you would get a more effective application doing this in the fall rather in the spring. Your local cooperative extension office is a useful tool in identifying what type of weeds and grass you have.
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