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Soil temperatures

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by FERT-TEK, Mar 27, 2005.


    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    Quick question for the fert experts. When you time your pre-em applications where do you check the soil temps? I know you wait until the soil temps need to be 50 degrees for three consecutive days for crabgrass germination to begin. My question is when you check the temp of the soil, do you check the soil next to driveways or in the middle of the yard? Today I checked and the soil along driveways and sidewalks are right at 50 degrees but the soil in the middle of the yards are still around 40 degrees. Until this year it never dawned on me that the concrete and asphalt acts as a heat sink and warms the soil along its edges sooner than the middle of the yards. Where do you guys check the soil for its temp.

    Regardless I am going to pick up my crabgrass preventer tomorrow and start putting it down ASAP. I fell behind this year because of the birth of my baby a couple days ago.
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Dave, just out of curiosity, what do you use to check soil temps? My first thought is a meat thermometer. Would that work?
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i use a rectal thermometer
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I should have known better than to pose this kinda question when you're online. ;)
  5. kmclawn

    kmclawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    If your using a granual for crabgrass, put it down now. I don't wait until the soil temp gets to 50. It needs water to start to break down and give you good coverage. If the soil is already warm and germination has already started you still need a good rain to get the chemical to start working taking more time for the crabgrass to get started and making your chemical less effective. I have put granular down on grass that still has a little snow piles scattered around. The spring moisture will break down the granular and put a nice cover before the crabgrass gets started. I have never had a problem.
  6. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    I try an shoot for spring fert apps to start the week of valentines day .

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    I have been using somthing similar that heating and cooling guys check AC units with but it looks like a small meat thermometer with a 6 inch probe. I think it goes from 0 degrees to around 150 or 180. Works well
  8. fazzy815-66

    fazzy815-66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    I don't know about your area but around here crabgrass doesn't germinate until mid to late June so I dont understand why so many fert co.put it down
    so early unless its just easier before the season gets crazy. ;)
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    are you really far up north?
  10. fazzy815-66

    fazzy815-66 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    no probably south of you Deroit area

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