Question of the Week – Number 2: March 12, 2020

Grassburs on the left and crabgrass growing vigorously on the right. Both can be prevented by use of pre-emergent weedkiller granules, but only if applied prior to the seeds’ germination.

“I’m in a part of Texas where you recommended application of pre-emergent granules before March 15. With rain forecast this weekend, what should I do?”

To bring everyone up to speed, my recommendation for timing of application of pre-emergent granules in the large central part of Texas (east to west) has been between March 5-15.

Continued Below

Gardening isn’t quite that precise, though. If somehow you don’t get the granules out by midnight this Sunday, your lawn won’t turn into a pumpkin patch. Aim to get the job done sometime in the next four or five days.

The critical thing is that you apply the pre-emergent before the seeds start to sprout. You want to water soon after you spread them to help them make a layer across the top of the soil, so if it has rained fairly recently, that’s not a big issue. You’re going to be watering anyway.

The important facts in case you missed them…
Applications at this time are primarily to prevent crabgrass and grassburs.
Pre-emergents only work to prevent annual weeds, so they are not effective on dallisgrass and nutsedge (“nutgrass”).
Apply Dimension, Halts or Balan granules. (There are others, but those are three common types.)
Repeat the application 90 days later for a full season of control. Buy the second batch now. Many stores won’t have them at that time. In fact, buy enough for a third application around September 1 for winter weeds (the ones that are so ugly right now).
You should not attempt to plant new seed this year in areas where you have applied pre-emergents.
The three pre-emergents I mentioned are cleared for use on any type of lawn and for use around trees and shrubs.

Folks in the Panhandle, you’re quickly approaching your prime application time toward the end of this month. Be forewarned now!

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top