When it the best time to fertilize my lawn? - Knowledgebase Question

Freehold, Ne
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Question by markbreslaue
March 11, 2010
Hi, I'm in central NJ with a two-year old seeded lawn which has never really taken hold. Last year, there were bare patches and lots of crabgrass. I bought Vigoro phos-free fertilizer with weed stop (30-0-4), mainly for the pre-emergent crabgrass prevention. I read that you should wait until it reaches 60 degrees or the grass starts to grow, but this seems too late to me. What is your advice? Than

Answer from NGA
March 11, 2010
Timing is everything when it comes to crabgrass control. Crabgrass starts germinating when soil temperatures are 50 to 55 degrees F for ten or more days and germination can take place over a 6 week period. Pre-emergence herbicides provide excellent weed control for crabgrass but they last only about 30 days. The compound prevents the weed seed from germinating, but it will not kill the newly sprouted seedling. Depending upon the weather, late April to early May is a good time to apply pre-emergence control. A second application might have keep your lawn a little more crabgrass free. You can use Vigoro Ultra Turf Weed and Feed or Concern Weed Prevention Plus. Both contain corn gluten meal to stop weed seeds from germinating.

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