Summer Crabgrass Control Starts Now Fairway Green and many other turf care managers will start their first application of pre-emergent Crabgrass control this month through early March. Crabgrass will usually start to germinate in late March or early April throughout the Transitional Zone. Germination will occur when soil temperatures are about 53 degrees and 2… Read more »
Fairway Green and many other turf care managers will start their first application of pre-emergent Crabgrass control this month through early March. Crabgrass will usually start to germinate in late March or early April throughout the Transitional Zone. Germination will occur when soil temperatures are about 53 degrees and 2 to 4 inches deep. Crabgrass germination will be seen first in bare spots with little desirable turf and in full sun. The first application must be completed before Crabgrass starts to germinate. It is always best to control Crabgrass, when possible before it germinates. Controlling it once it matures is often very difficult. Fairway Green utilizes a split three application pre-emergent process on cool-season turf to offer the best summer Crabgrass control possible. This process is used based on local research from NC State University.
Pre-emergent control starts to break down around mid-July. The pre-emergent breaks down so fescue seeding can start around the end of August. Early Crabgrass breakthrough, after proper pre-emergent applications, can be contributed to low mowing heights, thin areas in the lawn and aggressive edging along sidewalks and driveways.
“From previous research, we know that crabgrass germinates with 24-hour mean soil temperatures average about 53-55 degrees at a 2 to 4-inch depth for several consecutive days. Because the climate in NC is quite varied (ski resorts in western NC and palm trees in eastern NC), the actual date of the critical soil temperature varies significantly. Traditionally, in the southeastern part of the state, we know that PRE herbicides should be applied and watered in by about March 1, in the Piedmont about March 15, and in western NC about early April (depending on the elevation). Based on observations of crabgrass emergence and data from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association), my recommendation for 2020 is for turfgrass managers to apply PRE herbicides two weeks earlier than previous recommendations. Why the change? In 2 of the last 3 years, I have found crabgrass emergence in late February (see photo). In the previous 30 years of my career, I have never seen crabgrass emergence in February. Furthermore, NOAA climate data show that in 2019, the average temperature in NC was the warmest on record. The average temperature in NC in 2019 was 61.2 degrees. That is 2.7 degrees above the average from 1901-2000. This makes the average NC temperature the highest ever recorded.
Is there a penalty for applying PRE herbicides too early? The answer is not much. PRE herbicides are degraded (primarily) by soil microorganisms. When soil temperatures are in the 40s and 50s, microorganism activity in soil is low. Therefore, minimum degradation of PRE herbicides occur when applied in January and February.”
Winter annual weeds can be prolific this time of year. These weeds germinate in the fall, grow through the winter months, and reproduce in the spring. The most appropriate time to treat these weeds is when they are young and actively growing. They become difficult to control once they start to flower.
Broadleaf weed control could be difficult this spring due to many Fescue lawns being thin and not completely tillered. Tiller simply means the fescue plant adds additional leaf blades thickening the plant and increasing the ability to compete against broadleaf weeds.
Research has proven that maintaining a mowing height of 3½” – 4” on fescue drastically reduces the amount of crabgrass in the lawn. Mowing at this height will also help promote healthy turf and help control broadleaf weeds.
This is the time of year that Fairway Green starts deep root fertilization on ornamental trees and shrubs. This specialty fertilizer is applied at a rate to feed the plant for the entire growing season. Typically, this product will not create flush heavy growth. This product is more of a vitamin for the plant adding in plant health. This can be helpful during times of stress or poor soil conditions.
Mole and Vole signs tend to increase this time of year because the soil has better moisture and is easier for the moles and voles to move around. Think about how difficult it is to dig a hole on your property in July and August. Mole control can be frustrating and time-consuming. Many people believe that a grub treatment will rid their lawn of moles. However, trying to control moles by controlling grubs is usually ineffective because moles feed heavily on earthworms and other insects. There are chemical options to control Moles in North Carolina now. Several products are now registered for use in our state. The two products that people have had success with are Tomcat Mole Killer and Motomoco Mole Killer. These products are available in home & garden centers like Home Depot and Lowes (don’t forget to patron local hardware or nursery stores). A very good website for additional information on Moles and Voles is The Mole Man
We do not offer a mole control service at this time.
Is your Fescue looking a little tan or yellow?
Fescue turf may have received desiccation of the leaf tissue during the winter months (a yellow or brownish color on the leaf blade). Frost damage causes the tips of the blade to turn yellow, giving the lawn an overall yellow color. This is caused when the moisture in the grass blades freezes and ruptures the cells at the tip of the blades. This will grow out as spring arrives and temperatures become more favorable for Fescue growth. An increase in temperatures along with the early spring application will help the plant recover and flourish.
Keep an eye on your emails starting in January to save 7% on your annual Programs
Starting in early January, Fairway Green will email our special prepay offer. This is an excellent opportunity to save 7% on your annual programs.
In our continued effort to improve and deliver the best possible turf and ornamental management service, we will be moving to a more efficient method of communication. Fairway Green will be implementing an email/text notification system in the coming months. The notification will be used for invoicing after service and important alerts/notifications pertaining to your services. This new notification system will help us service your lawn in the most efficient and effective way possible. This method will also help reduce our environmental impact on landfills and recycle centers by eliminating paper and clear plastic bag waste.
We plan on moving to the new system by mid-2020 or sooner. Please help make this transition as smooth as possible and update/correct your cell numbers and email addresses in our system.