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Fertilizing in michigan now?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by premierlawncaremi, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. premierlawncaremi

    premierlawncaremi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Are any Michigan guys putting down pre-m yet with these HIGH spring temps? Im already seeing some dandelions pop up..
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,573

    Better hurry, most experts recommend you treat before the soil temps hits 65. ( Soil was 50 here yesterday). Others say when forsythia blooms.

    Myself, I suggest, be sure you get it down before the air temp hits 80.
    Tony at Earth Service can give you expert local conditions advice and historical data. And if you show up on March 21st--free lunch and open house.

    Scotts says you must get crabgrass control down before the fifth mowing (in the north). (Southern grasses don't need mowing until later).

    most experts say you should get all lawns treated before the date of the last frost.
    Take a look at Michigan State University GDD data.
    If it takes three weeks to complete your crabgrass control--you have to start 3 weeks in advance of the final date.
  3. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Crabgrass germinates when soil has reached 63-65 degrees for several days in a row. That will be very soon.

    Broad leaf weeds generally pop when soil hits 75 degrees for 3 days.

    Soil temps in the southern Michigan area are anywhere from 56 to 63 degrees depending on the time of day.

    and rising fast. I expect crab to germinate next week at the latest and weeds probably next week as well.

    I am starting round 1 tomorrow. 2 weeks early and I feel like I am 2 weeks behind.

    I am running weed control right out of the gate with round 1.
  4. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    I'm starting at the end of the week with dimension in NE ohio. I got a great buy on it this year but I normally use prodiamine so I'm not in panic mode. Should be able to spray some broadleaves too. Mid to high 70's all week.
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,229

    Better hurry? You guys are getting WAY too nervous. Crabgrass isn't going to pop now, esp with temps heading back down into the lower 60's for a while. Our lawns here are still semi dormant - when I see more response from them I will start fert/pre. If you are really worried about missing some crab (very unlikely), then use Dimension.
  6. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,645

    I would like to start by next week but it all depends if the grass is still dormant here. Last year I was late on laying pre-mergent, and I not gonna make that mistake this year.
  7. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    We are completely greened up here now. Lawns look amazing from the mild winter and great nutrient fixation last year. According to the growth charts I am at the end of my optimal preemerge date already. I'm starting the same day as last year. The target temps for germination doesn't mean it all starts to germinate but a few might get going before I get it down. Glad I got a good buy on dimension this year.

    TKLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    With gound temps approaching 55 degrees in southern MN woudn't it be a good time to get the pre-m on now as opposed to later. What are the negatives of getting it on too soon, as they advertise 4 month protection on crabgrass. PLEASE HELP???
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,573

    Its a guessing game. If it takes 3 weeks to complete your crabgrass control...start at least 3 weeks before expected germination. since the season is so early this year you should plan to finish 3 weeks earlier than last year. Sure it might fade out and allow late season germination, but that is relatively uncommon, i think.

    And...you could always use a bit higher rate so the crab protection would last longer--or use a split ap. Or if you have a good appreciation of what lawns had problems last year, and if you understand what areas are crabgrass prone...you can walk slower when covering those areas, open up two notches...or just go over them twice. Front yards near the road. Along curbs. Thin areas. You don't need as much crabgrass control in shady yards, areas with only half day sun, east of house, north of house. Hold the lever partially closed.
  10. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Definitely a split app season if I ever saw one.

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