- The Turf Trainer
- I am a state certified certified applicator and have worked on over 1,000 lawns in the Saint Louis Area. I enjoy fixing lawns and keeping them in shape. My company the Turf Trainer LLC. offers customized lawn health packages to customers in Saint Louis and Saint Charles Counties.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
There is no specific calender date that is best to apply crabgrass preventing (pre emergent) chemicals by. The timing is more based on current soil temperatures. In the Saint Louis area the weather varies wildly from year to year and this can make picking the best time very difficult. I see a lot of my competitors in the area already applying chemicals in early to mid February. This year and most years this is not preferable. They do this more for their own convenience than their consideration of the results on your lawn, although they may say otherwise. You most definitely will be putting it down early enough this time of year. The problem is that by the time July or August rolls around the chemical barrier they applied to prevent crab grass becomes week and you start having a lot of breakthroughs. Using crab grass prevention too late is better than none at all. However, if you closely monitor soil temperatures and apply chemical once the soil temps hit the mid fifties for several days you will apply later and end up with a longer lasting application. The other thing to consider is that in the Saint Louis area we often have a very warm week in January maybe even early February. This may put you in a panic and make you think you need to apply. However, even if this did make some crab grass plants start to germinate your still most likely more than safe and can wait. The reason is that once you have a hard frost, it will kill crab grass plants that started germination. This will start the process over and make it safe again. For instance in the Saint Louis area these companies out applying crab grass prevention are doing you a disservice by doing it so early. We in the upcoming week will have very low night time temperatures. The lows may even hit 15 degrees. This will more than provide enough cold for a hard frost. Killing any crab grass plants that may have germinated and extending the time until the soil temperatures reach the necessary levels. You can't wait on the last frost forever though. At some point based on your knowledge of local weather patterns and probabilities you should take that preemptive strike and apply your chemicals. This is why a lot of times lawn care is best left to a knowledgeable professional. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, experience and a passion for lawn work. Please remember there are many throw and go companies out there, mainly larger companies that know this but do not follow practices they know to be best because they are more concerned with generating billing early and cranking out the bills than doing whats best for the customer. If you are in the Saint Louis Metro area including St. Charles County and need help on your lawn please contact me. My website is www.theturftrainer.com and my phone number is (636) 439-0808. Thank you, Tony (the turf trainer)