It’s that time of year that we start thinking about Spring Green up and what pre-emergents are we considering using. Hopefully everyone has gotten their Lime out from my last newsletter. If not, its not to late to Lime and get that Ca & Mg out and incorporated into the soil with a good aerification.
If you got your potash out in the fall, this will certainly help with Spring Dead Spot. Adequate P & K have shown to help with suppressing Spring Dead Spot. If you are battling Spring Dead Spot, then you know the time to treat this is in the Fall with two applications of fungicides (Headway, Eagle) and 1 Spring fungicide (Velista) application will certainly help for severe cases.
In extreme cases, they have found that using a turf stripper in early Summer will give you the best results. This removes everything from the shoots to the layer of thatch above the soil/roots, where this fungus lives. If you have established turf, you should choose a pre-emerge that better fits your needs, with your soil and any weed infestation that you are battling. A Dimension or Prodiamine will help with some grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds. Some guys will use Specticle, which is really good and really expensive. I prefer to use this pre-emerge in the Fall.
If you have new sod, sometimes you are better off to allow the turf to get established and just treat the weeds that have emerged with a post emergent. Most pre-emergent are a root inhibitor and this will affect the roots on new sod. If you have the budget you can use Ronstar on new sod, without effecting root elongation. If you can do split applications with your pre-emergent’s, this will allow for longer window of residual, essentially making it last longer with a better control.
Lastly, the question is always “Do I scalp, or do I not scalp for an early Spring Green-up?” I have seen so many times that, when you do scalp it, it is actually slower to green up. If you scalp it to low, you are removing the crown where the shoots elongate from, essentially killing it. If we get a cold snap, the grass is more susceptible to those winter temperatures and it is so stunted that it doesn’t green up till mid to late Summer. Sometimes you are better off doing a good aerification. This is allowing for good gas exchange. When that hard-compacted soil is broken up after a cold winter, water can move freely to those roots creating a longer, stronger root enhancing a greener, healthier plant.
If you have any questions about pre-emerges, post emerges or cultural practices. Please feel free to call me, because here at SodMasters, we want you to enjoy that grass outside with family and friends creating memories. When your outside, barefooted feeling that cool grass under your feet, taking in that free vitamin D. Which is providing energy and many more roles for the body for optimal health.