Time for fall fertilizer and pre-emergent application

The start of the State Fair is always a good reminder that it is time to apply fall fertilizer to our trees, shrubs and lawns one last time before winter. Since this is also the time to apply pre-emergent herbicides for winter annual weed control on warm season grasses you can use a weed and feed type product on your lawn to both fertilize the lawn and control the winter weeds. Do not use a pre-emergent weed killer on the areas where you plan to sow tall fescue, perennial rye or bluegrass seed. Late September through October is the prime season to establish cool season lawns or overseed Bermuda to have a green lawn this winter. .

We apply a pre-emergent in the early spring to control crabgrass and summer weeds. We apply it now to control winter annual broadleaf weeds like chickweed, henbit, fleabane and grassy weeds like annual bluegrass, cheat, downy brome, little barley and rescuegrass. Depending on soil moisture and the weather these will germinate or sprout in late September to early November. A pre-emergent herbicide must be applied before the seeds germinate in order to work. Once the seeds germinate a pre-emergent will not be effective and you have to use a post emergent for weed control. Most pre-emergents are effective for sixty to one hundred twenty days after application. All pre-emergents need to be watered in for them to be effective. If you don’t get ½” of rain in one to two days after application you will need to water thoroughly to activate the product. The pre-emergent herbicide needs to be watered into the root zone where the weed seeds are located to be effective.  Look for a weed and feed product containing Barricade/Prodiamine, Dimension, Sulfentrazone, Simazine, Balan or Treflan herbicides for best results.

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are cooling down and autumn appears to have arrived. Soon it will be time to plant hardy mums, pansies, ornamental kale, cabbage and other fall color plants. In the mean time enjoy the Crepe Myrtle, Autumn Clematis, Roses, Lycoris (Naked Ladies and Surprise Lilies) as they bloom in our yards. Start shopping for your spring flowering bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, crocus and daffodils to plant in your yard later this fall when temperatures are cooler to create a welcoming party early next spring.

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