Order of application: pre-em, post-em, fert, aerate

edd13chenMarch 31, 2014

1. I guess my first question is, have I missed the window of opportunity to lay down pre-emergent on my bermuda lawn in the Houston area? My hesitation is twofold:

a. Temperature: I've read that I could take a meat thermometer down a couple inches into the soil and see if the temp is below 70 deg. Does anyone know whether now is simply too warm in Houston, or should I just measure the temp?

b. I already have actively growing weeds of all varieties: chickweed, thistle, crabgrass, you name it. They're sparse for now but the ones that have germinated are growing fast.

2. Now, onto my main question, my bermuda lawn needs pretty much everything at this point, since the previous homeowner didn't do much, and I want to start this year/season off on a solid foundation. If I want to apply all of pre-emergent, post-emergent (lots of tall growing weeds including nutsedge), fertilizer, and I'm also considering aeration (the poke-a-hole kind since I don't have the budget to rent a core aerator), what is the right sequence? Can post and pre emergent go down at the same time?

Here's what I'm thinking: Aerate first, then light watering to wet everything, finally put down pre-em, post-em, and fertilizer granules (back-to-back-to-back applications all at once)

Or do I need to put down pre-em first, then wait a few weeks before the post-em? Meanwhile, they make all these products that mix pre-em or post-em with feed, so should I just grab one of those to save time?

Lawn care for first-timers is awfully stressful and confusing during the start of the spring season, sigh....

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First off I would suggest you don't stress and take your time. Putting down both and wetting will render one potentially useless as pre-emergent needs to be watered in (about 1/2") and post needs to sit on the leaf to be effective.

I would get the pre-emergent down now. Even though it's a little late for your area, weeds will continue to sprout for weeks. I beleive Dimension has some ability to catch some germinating weeds in the beginning stages. You can follw shortly thereafter with the post killer.

Google the Bermuda Bible so you can develop a plan that will help strengthen your turf to also crowd out weeks.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:46PM
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Thanks TNJDM.

Makes sense that based on the watering needs, pre and post should be done separately. I'll keep that in mind.

I'll shop for pre-em this weekend then. As for which dimension product, I see ones from Lesco, Bonide, and DowAgro. The Lesco doesn't seem to be sold here at any local Home Depot for some odd reason. Would the Bonide DuraTurf with Dimension work? The DowAgro 2EW looks pretty intense and is way too expensive. (I also assumed I shouldn't even mention the Ferti-Lome Weed & Feed with Dimension, as it seems everyone in this forum hates Weed & Feed.)

Also, do you aerate before/after applying pre-em?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 1:59AM
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You know edd, most people would be against the "weed and feeds" with pre-emergents as I beleive the pre-emergent needs to go down normally when the grass is still dormant, hence why put fertilzer down while the grass it still asleep as it will wash out.

Since you are in Houston, I would have to beleive your Bermuda is is coming out of dormancy now, so maybe at this stage, and you running late, the weed and feed may be an okay option. Keep in mind, your late on the pre-emergent.

I use Andersons Granular Dimension which I can get at my local farm coop. I would beleive you would be able to find it somewhere in the Houston area considering I live in nowhere land in TN and can get it.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 7:34AM
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Do not aerate after pre-emergent. Pre-emergent creates a barrier on the soil and you do not want to disturb that barrier. Maybe aerate in the fall, if you do it at all.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 8:00AM
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Good point Becky.

Edd. Don't even aerate as you will pop up weed seeds. Google BL Soil Conditioner, a homemade remedy to soften the soil. Many people, including myself, use it religiously to avoid aerating. This, and another home made remedy called Kelp Help, will aid in you ever not having to aerate.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 10:02AM
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I used baby shampoo and that really softened up the soil in an area that had been so hard for years that I couldn't dig at all. Google David Hall and baby shampoo and get the details on application.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 3:10PM
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