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View Full Version : What's wrong with synthetic pre-emerges?


replenish&subdue
02-12-2009, 03:57 PM
What's wrong with synthetic pre-emerges? I am in the transition of switching from chemicals to organics and I'm not so confident in leaving the sure & instant for corn glutten. Corn glutten is expensive,takes several years to work and then it barely works. Is that not right? Help me now the old way is still kicking. Does pre-emerge mess up the soil food web and if not ,why not use it.

Smallaxe
02-12-2009, 04:14 PM
I only use pre-m on rotten granite walkways, driveways, and amongst shrubbery. Never on lawns. If there is room for crabgrass, there is room for fescue-kgb.

With the cool weather grasses it is pretty easy to beat the crab grass with overseeding in the spring. Plus, overseeding can be done any time of the year with irrigation.
Last year we reseeded ground stump areas in late July. By the time the weather cooled in late August you couldn`t even tell the difference any more. Always use some compost to protect the seed.

I agree with your apprehension in the use of corn gluten. I believe it will cause more problems, when you do want to overseed. 100% organic is easy with low to medium maintenance lawns and gardens, but with high maintence areas, the hybrid program is the best that can be done. That is - until you have achieved your goals. Then organics can maintain it for you. IMHO.

JWTurfguy
02-13-2009, 09:27 AM
Well said, Smallaxe.

One potential issue (not necessarily an insurmountable difficulty, but an issue, nonetheless) is that in order to properly use corn gluten for summer and winter annual weed-prevention, you need to make 2 applications per year (early spring and early fall, the fall app effectively killing your chances at reseeding in the fall). At the high, preemergent rate, 2 apps of corn gluten is about all the nitrogen you'd need for a season. So now the question: Do you make a seperate app for SOP? What about all your micros that you didn't include with the corn gluten apps? Remember, corn gluten is expensive to apply because of the amount of material you're using, so how much more money (especially in this economy) will your customer be willing to pay?

Set your customer's expectations realistically, be prepared for regular overseeding, do soil tests and provide them with premium organic ferts (without the corn gluten).

At least, that's my opinion.

NattyLawn
02-13-2009, 09:50 AM
I use synthetic pre-ems, more specifically the Nutrients Plus with Cavalcade line. The simple reason is because about 75% of our customers don't mow their own lawns. While there are some good mowing companies out there, there are also a lot of bad ones too. I see way too many scalped edges and lawns mowed at 2 inches that I care to mention, and that's the reality of this business. A man, a mower and a trailer = a new business, and the cheaper you are, the worse you mow.

The pre-ems will do some damage to the soil food web, but you have the rest of the season to bring the lost biology back. That's also one of the draws of the NP ferts. Adding organic matter while supplying the crab control at the same time. Come back with a mid-spring AACT application, then follow with a late spring organic fert.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-13-2009, 11:17 AM
YOU CAN CUT WAY BACK ON PRE-M if you take good care of your lawn
but the mowers bring in bad stuff all the time

treegal1
02-13-2009, 11:17 AM
the pre M thing, some times you got to do what you got to do,

that said in my area we do not seed at all, so a start up lawn, you may have to get under control from the start. then the there after....

if the lawn is clean and weed ee to start and the beds are all good where are all the weed seeds coming from?? yeah I know some fly in and all that. but really how many are made on site?? then the next part of that is keeping them from sprouting with a proper water budget. if its too dry then nothing will take hold and have a chance. the are also cultural methods and organic selective post emergent weed killers that are good tools. and there is always the bend and pull or get the weed hound out for 10 minutes or so....

but the reality of most lawns is that they are marginal at best, 30% and higher weed infestation and hard weeds like crab grass, nut sedge or spurge. and in our area weedilia, and now in some lawns mondo grass,and gly wont touch that stuff........

so at what point you try and salvage a POS lawn is the key, can you kill and re lay lawn easier and better than trying to control something that is a hard control anyways, and will a renovation or partial renovation give better less costly remedy to the bad lawns??? how many dog spots or tire marks or islands of medic can you fix before its just as easy to spray the lawn and start over. most of you guys re seed any ways, some slit seed and other aerate.... why not spray the lawn with some low dose gly, seed the next day and in 2 weeks when the weeds turn punk the grass is spot on!!!, then start doing the organic thing??

the CMG, it is almost a waste here, we have done some other things for a pre M but so far its hit and miss, works great for some things and not so good for others.

for the most part it all comes down to having more grass growing than weeds, so get the weeds out and the grass in thick and it mostly under control then there will be very little to control.

Kiril
02-13-2009, 11:20 AM
for the most part it all comes down to having more grass growing than weeds, so get the weeds out and the grass in thick and it mostly under control then there will be very little to control.

You tell em' TG. :clapping:

Pristine1
02-13-2009, 11:22 AM
I think I agree with smallaxe on this one. You have to keep your customers happy first and foremost, but as you further develop the soil and improve the growing conditions for the turf, the turf itself will out compete the crabgrass.

I also read somewhere here about just treating the most crabgrass prone areas....along walks/drives/roads. That way you are not affecting the entire property and you can work hard to bring those areas up to snuff with good fall overseeding/composting.

Just my $.02

Pristine1
02-13-2009, 11:24 AM
TG must have posted 2 seconds before me.....so ditto TG!

replenish&subdue
02-13-2009, 12:18 PM
I should of directed my question to those down south because some do not understand that the south is not kind to fescue. Memphis is about as far as fescue will grow and it only grows (maintains) in the shade. Most all of our turf is bermuda or zoysia here. Therfore Nattylawn and Treegal apply. Natty,what is AACT?
I heard following up with a compost tea treatment would restore any damage a pre-m might do? I am trying to keep this as simple as I can,there are a flood of products out there. So far I'm leaning to pre-emerges in spring followed by compost tea then a late spring organic fertilizer (any suggestions of what type & brand) then I guess another fertilizer or two? latter in the year then a fall pre-emerge.All new customers get a compost treatment in spring and fall and if they will go for it ,every year.Am I missing anything? I would start out with a soil test that shows also the microbe content.
There are two organic companies nearby,others have come and gone.The one uses as fertilizer sustane.Can anyone give me their take on sustane(I think that is the spelling) or any they suggest?

Kiril
02-13-2009, 12:26 PM
I should of directed my question to those down south because some do not understand that the south is not kind to fescue. Memphis is about as far as fescue will grow and it only grows (maintains) in the shade.

I grow fescue out here in full sun, no rain, summer temps average in high 90's, with temps over 100 not unusual.

As far as the other stuff .... compost does a soil good! IMHO, every program should start there if at all possible. From there make adjustments as needed to build your soil and community of critters.

replenish&subdue
02-13-2009, 02:16 PM
I lived in Maryland for 29 yrs. and know fescue can grow in sunny areas with high temps. The difference is the summers down here last longer and fescue can not endure the extra month or so.

treegal1
02-13-2009, 02:23 PM
we have some rebel 4 TTTF in north Ga that does fine with the long summers and its just for cover in a tree farm, no water!!!

Kiril
02-13-2009, 02:29 PM
I lived in Maryland for 29 yrs. and know fescue can grow in sunny areas with high temps. The difference is the summers down here last longer and fescue can not endure the extra month or so.

I still don't understand. My growing season here is 10 months long with summer like temps (eg. 90+) for at least half that time. Perhaps it is more of a regional thing than a plant thing?

NattyLawn
02-13-2009, 02:44 PM
Therfore Nattylawn and Treegal apply. Natty,what is AACT?
I heard following up with a compost tea treatment would restore any damage a pre-m might do? I am trying to keep this as simple as I can,there are a flood of products out there. So far I'm leaning to pre-emerges in spring followed by compost tea then a late spring organic fertilizer (any suggestions of what type & brand) then I guess another fertilizer or two? latter in the year then a fall pre-emerge.All new customers get a compost treatment in spring and fall and if they will go for it ,every year.Am I missing anything? I would start out with a soil test that shows also the microbe content.
There are two organic companies nearby,others have come and gone.The one uses as fertilizer sustane.Can anyone give me their take on sustane(I think that is the spelling) or any they suggest?

AACT is Actively Aerated Compost Tea.

Also, I don't apply as I'm up North in Zone 7.

Sustane is the JDL/Lesco organic/bridge fertilizer. I haven't used it, but the primary ingredient is turkey litter.

treegal1
02-13-2009, 03:22 PM
you got to put the horse in front of the cart, get the soil tests and then you can apply the real needed inputs,,

replenish&subdue
02-13-2009, 03:27 PM
Fescue in full sun,no water in Georgia! I can understand that since we have fescue growing year round here in cow pastures and along side roads. The difference is tall fescue likes to be tall, like a foot tall.When mowers cut it too short it makes it that much harder to maintain.I have a number of beautiful fescue yard that stand out year after year because someone pays attention to the instructions. Deep but infrequent watering and keep 3 1/2" year round. I do about 100 fescue yards because I live in a area with lots of trees. But these are all in the shade. It does not happen in Memphis in the sun unless it is taller than most all mowers can cut it. You won't see fescue lawns in full sun in my area maintain more than a year.

treegal1
02-13-2009, 03:38 PM
sadly so, maybe try some empire turf, on the low grass yards.......... close color any ways.....

Smallaxe
02-13-2009, 04:10 PM
So Memphis is a cutoff between North and South. Hmmm. Never knew that.
So are Southern grasses more common than KBG in Tennessee?

bicmudpuppy
02-13-2009, 04:32 PM
I've seen some very nice improved fescue yards in Texas too. That there is a difference between "cool season" seeded grasses and "warm season" grasses that mainly propagate from rhizomes and stolons is a given. Just how "perfect" does it have to be makes a difference. Manage for the species you wish to grow and you will find that most "weeds" will not compete. If bermuda or zoysia is your target turf, aerification and vertical mowing are going to do you more good than anything else you can do. A good fertility program after that with good water management, but I think all of that has already been said here.

phasthound
02-13-2009, 05:05 PM
Sustane is the JDL/Lesco organic/bridge fertilizer. I haven't used it, but the primary ingredient is turkey litter.

It's OK, but it's pasture's & costs more than NP Dynamic Duo which is composted poultry manure (no litter) and biosolids. Sustane adds some OM & nutrients to the soil. Dynamic Duo adds OM, nutrients and diverse microbes to the soil. I've used them both and it's one of the reasons I decided to rep for Nutrients PLUS.

replenish&subdue
02-13-2009, 08:07 PM
yea,small axe.Memphis is in a place called the mid-south.