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Whether we like it or not, August is happening … next week! What does that mean for your yard? Actually, not a great deal, but there are some tips to get you through the last weeks of summer. Here are some of our favorites:

Maintenance

    • Water, water, water! Early morning is the best time to water – target plants directly, and water deeply. Avoid getting leaves wet in the hot sun, and avoid soaking containers during the hottest part of the day – both of these can burn plants.
    • Continue mowing.
    • If you have Bermuda grass, reseed areas that have thinned down from the heat. This is your last chance to overseed, as warm-season grasses require heat to grow.
    • Keep close watch on your birdbath, water features, and hummingbird feeder – take steps to correct or avoid mold, stagnation, and mosquito larvae.
    • Continue weeding, to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
    • Beware of powdery mildew, which is caused by moisture and humidity. Help prevent mildew by watering in the cool of the morning, when roots can absorb water but excess will evaporate as the day warms. Also avoid overhead sprinkling in mildew-prone areas. Do not compost leaves that are mildewed.
    • When the temperature is over 85 degrees, avoid chemical applications such as fertilizer, fungicide, or insecticide.
    • Add compost and mulch to keep your garden cool and to prepare for fall planting.
    • Deal with late-season pests – such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites – with a spray of water from the hose.
    • Treat diseased plants, and remove diseased foliage before leaves drop.
    • Prune back vigorous climbers such as wisteria, and train them around trellises while the growth is soft.

And should your yard, or you, need a hand, call the professionals at Stone Creek Landscaping! We are here to help you all year long.

The thermostat says 92, but with the humidity it feels more like 102. The heat is dangerous to us, but it can be just as harmful to your grass. To help maintain your grass during the brutal summer heat, we have some tips for you.

Do not cut your grass too short

One common mistake we can make is cutting a lawn too short. “If a lawn is cut too short, it reduces the plants’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the proper height, however, grass develops stronger roots that support more vigorous plants that are more tolerant of stress. Keep in mind that different varieties of grass have different growth habits that directly relate to mowing heights. For example, cool season grass and warm season grass types require somewhat different maintenance techniques. Research which cutting height is right for your lawn.”

What is the correct height to cut my grass?

“When deciding on the correct height to cut your grass, it is important to also remember the “one-third” rule: never remove more than one-third of the grass height at one time. By doing so, the lawn is kept cooler because less plant tissue is removed. In fact, cool season grass types actually benefit in the heat of the summer by setting the blade higher. If a lawn is normally cut at 2.5 inches, for example, increasing it to 3 inches in the heat of summer will come with many benefits.”

Water your grass in the morning hours

Always remember to set your sprinklers to water your lawn in the morning hours, never in the heat of the day. And although it is important to water your lawn during, do not over water. Lawns actually only need one-inch of water per week, including rainfall.

Don’t bag those grass clippings

“Return clippings to the lawn by using a mulching mower. Clippings are actually beneficial to the lawn, as they act as a slow-release fertilizer for the plant as they decompose. It is important to aim the clippings away from streets, storm drains, and bodies of water.”

“When near bodies of water, do bag the clippings within one or two mower widths of the water’s edge to reduce pollution of streams and lakes from the nutrients released from decomposing leaf tissue.”

For more information on lawn care, call the professionals at Stone Creek Landscaping to answer all of your questions.

Source: yardcare.com

Summer in the South means heat, and not all flowers can withstand the direct sun. If you are still looking for a few more summer flowers* in your yard, might we suggest:

Marigolds

“These gold-, copper-, and brass-colored flowers are popular, because they’re super easy to care for and will keep your garden looking bright and happy all summer long.”

Daylillies

Sometimes called the perfect perennial, this multi-flowered stems (called scapes) grows in all types of soil, with very little care required. Low maintenance is something we can all get behind!

Phlox

“Flowering fields of wild phlox inspired the so-called “Pink Moon,” so it’s no surprise the low-growing plant acts as a great ground-cover.”

Asters (pictured above)

“The star-like blooms add splashes of purple, pink, and violet toward the end of summer.”

Hydrangeas

“From late spring to early autumn, this stunning flower is bound to steal the show in your garden. Fun fact: Their color varies based on the aluminum ions in the soil.”

Need more ideas for summer flowers? Visit Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

 

*Source GoodHousekeeping.com

 

Summer is here and the Georgia temperatures have begun to feel a lot more like Florida. This heat is having an impact on yards across the state, especially the grass we grow in our lawns. There are so many choices to make when deciding on which grass to seed our yard with in such a warm climate. How can one decide?
According to Pennington.com, in our area and even the Gulf Coast, Bahiagrass and Centipede grass are common. These grasses are extremely drought and heat tolerant, and they stand up to the region’s climate and water restrictions.

“Bahiagrass provides homeowners in the Deep South and Coastal regions with low-maintenance, all-purpose lawns. More coarse than any cool-season grass, Bahiagrass has good disease- and pest-resistant qualities, establishes easily and offers outstanding drought and heat tolerance. Sun-loving Pennington Pensacola Bahiagrass is perfect for the Southern Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast. Lower growing and low-maintenance Pennington Argentine Bahiagrasswins favor from Florida through the Texas coast, as it teams finer texture, improved density and deeper color with durability and drought resistance.”

Another popular grass is the centipede grass which earns praise for its low and slow growth, medium texture and its medium- to light-green color. This low-maintenance, warm-season grass “out competes weeds and tolerates nutrient-poor soil, so less mowing and less fertilizer are needed.”

Pennington also explains that centipede grasses, prefer full sun but tolerate more shade than Bermudagrass. “Centipede grasses also lack a true dormant period, so they stay green nearly year-round except in extremely cold conditions. Centipede’s low growth helps it tolerate drought well, and its denseness helps it endure foot traffic.”

For more great grass tips, visit our site, Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

Creative Planter Ideas

Looking for a fresh idea for your front door, porch or deck? How about a colorful planter? Beautiful planters can bring life to an area, and this is how simple the project can be for you and your family to complete.

Step One

Grab some of your empty water bottles. We enjoy refreshing Fontis Water, so we are filling our planter with those bottles. Make sure the caps are on empty bottlesand place them in the bottom of the planter. A container this large does not need that much dirt. The used bottles make the perfect filler.

 

Step 2

Add your soil. According to finegardening.com, the soil in your containers should be a good mix. “One of the most important things a potting soil needs to do is provide roots access to air by letting water drain away from them. In the ground, the soil is usually deep enough to let excess water drain beyond root zones. In pots, however, water tends to accumulate at the bottom, despite drainage holes.

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Step Three

Select the best plants for your container and plant. Remember to take into account the amount of sun your flowers will receive. Is it a shady spot? Full sun? This will determine which flowers you should select. We chose yellow Zinnia, pink Hibiscus and Blood Leaf Purple Lady.

flowers

 

 

 

 

 

Step Four

Enjoy your beautiful planter all summer long! For more great landscape tips, visit our site, Stone Creek Landscaping. We are your complete landscape solution. Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

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Are you thinking it’s time for a change in your yard? Tired of the same flower beds and shrubs? Perhaps it’s time for a new landscape plan; a plan that can be created by you or a professional service.

If you select the route of doing it yourself there are some important tips you should follow. HGTV.com has a great list of recommendations and here are a few of our favorites:

Plan for equipment access: “At some point in the life of your home, you will be faced with a project or repair that requires some loud, monstrous machine to get into your backyard. Plan for it in advance, or be faced with having to tear out some of your precious plantings.”

Add movement: “A landscape without movement is like a painting. Paintings are fine for hanging on a wall, but a garden needs movement to add life and interest. No garden is complete without some ornamental grasses to sway in the breeze. Add flowers to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and several berry producers for the birds.”

Taking Nothing for Granted: “When you live in a place for a while, you tend to accept existing features as obstacles, sometimes without completely noticing them. Rather than designing around the overgrown shrubbery, established trees, or worn-out deck, consider removing them. You may discover new possibilities, such as a sunny spot for a vegetable garden or rose bed.”

And if these ideas all seem overwhelming to you, call us and we will help create the yard that best fits your needs. Stone Creek Landscaping is here for all or your landscaping jobs. No yard is too small or too large!

Mulch can be a beautiful addition to your flower beds, but what kind should you use and should you use any at all? There are so many types to choose from that one’s head begins to spin when walking the aisles of the local Home Depot. There is shredded bark, pine bark chips and even compost. How are we supposed to know which one is the best for our landscaping plan?

Advantages

According to Better Homes & Gardens,there are many advantages to adding mulch to your gardens. “In the summer, mulch helps the soil hold moisture so you don’t have to water your garden as often. In the hot sun, soil also tends to dry out faster and harden. Mulch will help with this by protecting the soil from direct sunlight.”

Did you know mulch can also prevent weeds from creeping up in your beautiful flower beds? The addition of mulch blocks light from openings in the soil, therefore thwarting weed germination.

Types of Mulch

Now comes the hard part, deciding which type of mulch you need! There is shredded bark, straw, pine or cedar bark chips, compost and even stones and river rock.

Here are the differences as described in Better Homes & Gardens:

Shredded bark is one of the most common and least expensive types of mulch. It comes from a variety of sources, including cedar trees. Shredded bark is one of the best mulch types to use on slopes and it breaks down relatively slowly.

Straw mulch has a beautiful golden color that looks great in the garden. It’s also a bit slower to break down than leaves or grass clippings.

Compost looks like soil, except it’s darker, so it really sets off plants well. This mulch material breaks down quickly but adds to your soil structure the fastest. Plus, it’s inexpensive; you can create your own rich compost for free.

These bark nuggets are slower to break down than shredded bark, but they don’t stay in place as well. They’re not a good mulch choice for slopes or other areas where they may be washed away by heavy rain.

Stone and river rock don’t break down in the landscape because they’re inorganic materials, however they don’t need to be reapplied every year. It is important to remember they don’t improve your soil over time. Take caution when using stone as a mulch—stones tend to get really hot. Stones are often used as mulch in cactus and rock gardens.

Of course if you are unsure about the best mulch for your yard, call Edward at Stone Creek Landscaping and let him help you design a dream yard. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

 

Spring is in the air, well okay it’s getting there! Just forget the cool temps and think warmth and planting! Yes, it’s time to think about waking that winter yard up and getting your spring plants in the ground.

If you were able to catch the Atlanta Home Show a few weeks ago, you probably saw incredible landscape designs, filled with lush greenery and beautiful flowers. You might think that is not possible in your yard, but it is! There are tips everywhere in regards to preparing your yard for spring planting, but here are five of our favorites*.

Five Tips

  1. Time to clean the garden – Now is the time to remove all the debris like leaves, and even possibly leftover snow. Get rid of weeds, all the way to the roots to make sure they won’t grow back.
  2. Revitalize the soil – Most likely your soul is dry after winter, this means it’s time to add moisture. Recommendations include adding organic material like compost or manure. It might also be a good idea to add more fertilizer to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.
  3. Trim up the existing plants – Any plants left over from the winter will need to be pruned so they’ll grow anew in the spring. Make sure to wait until mid-April or May in case there’s an unexpected freeze. Blooming plants should be pruned after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers. Summer plants should be pruned in early spring.
  4. Add the mulch – Yes spring means it’s time to add mulch to your flower beds and garden. One to three inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases. It also keeps the moisture in the garden and maintains the temperature. The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting.
  5. Then it’s time to plant shrubs and flowers – The garden is in good shape, so now it’s time to plant. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:
    • Pansies
    • Snapdragons
    • Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula
    • Redbuds
    • Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside
    • Lilacs
    • Tulips

    It is a good idea to lean towards planting more perennials rather than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year. This means you’re making an investment in plants that will die every year and require replacement. Perennials, on the other hand, last for two to three years and usually survive winter frosts.

Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help. Call us today at 404-647-4297, and let us help you create the yard of your dreams.

*source huffingtonpost.com

 

15 Easy Ways to Get Your Outdoor Living Space Ready For Summer

Written by Diana Trotter on 03/24/15

In Georgia, we love spending time outdoors. Update your outdoor space with these 15 great ideas, just in time for spring and summer.

Lowes - DIY Garden Fountain

Is your outdoor living space in need of a makeover? Do you look at your patio and cringe every time you dream of inviting your friends over for a backyard barbecue?

Whether you live in the city and have a small outdoor living space, or you live in the countryside and have a wide open meadow to work with, there are simple solutions for turning that drab outdoor area into a fabulous spot for your family and friends to enjoy. With these fifteen simple ways to dress up your outdoor living space, you’ll be able to call your girls over for cocktails on the deck by next weekend!

1. Lighting

The easiest way to dress up your outdoor living space and still make a big impact is with lighting. There are many options to choose from depending on your space and your style. String lights work really well for small patios, but look great in any outdoor space.

 2. Seating

The right seating for your outdoor living space can make all the difference. Big spaces can handle the bulk look of a farmhouse table, a custom built bench or an outdoor sectional. In smaller spaces, try brightly colored wicker chairs, or a small bench with bright throw pillows to help make the space feel more open.

3. Pergola

Adding a pergola to your outdoor living space can help define your patio and “hangout zone” from the rest of your backyard. It can lend your space more privacy, shade, and shelter.

4. Curtains

Speaking of more privacy and shade, adding curtains to your outdoor living space can do more than just dress it up. No need to invite the neighbors to every cookout. Just draw the curtains, and they’ll get the hint!

5. Bar/Kitchen

Turn your patio into the ultimate hot spot with a customized bar that is stocked with all the necessary items to make every weekend the perfect summer party. Plus, outdoor bars and kitchens can make hosting duties so much easier!

6. Beverage Area

If you’d love an outdoor kitchen, but don’t have the space, get the best of both worlds with a cute beverage station. Make over an old bar cart, repurpose an unused dresser, or use an few old crates or pallets. The possibilities are endless!

7. Area Rug

If your budget won’t allow you to buy much more than seating and a table for your patio, you can still dress up your outdoor living space with an area rug. To help stretch your budget even further, purchase an inexpensive rug, and transform it with a stencil.

8. Stenciled Deck

An area rug isn’t the only way to dress up your patio floor. For a fun, textured look, stencil a design directly on your deck planks or concrete patio.

9. Pretty Storage

Outdoor storage doesn’t have to be boring. Dress it up and make it multifunctional with a storage box that can function as extra seating for your guests, or as a table for your food and drinks.

 

10. Mosaic Patterns

Do you have a hidden artistic flair that hasn’t yet had the chance to shine in your outdoor space? Use a mosaic tile pattern and some recycled glass pieces to turn simple backyard objects into works of art.

11. Unique Planters

Don’t settle for just any planter for your beautiful hanging plants. Grab a can of spray paint in your favorite accent color and repurpose unique items like an old tire, a broken wheelbarrow, or bird bath for a fun and rustic look.

12. Decorative Planters

No old tires lying around? No problem! You can still make a statement with your backyard planters. If you already have tons of plain or mismatched pots in your outdoor space, transform their look with fun pops of color. These DIYs will even work on those plastic pots that come with the plants!

13. Shutters and Flower Boxes

Enhance the look of your house by adding shutters and flower boxes. These pops of color that will not only help dress up your outdoor living space, but will also give your home great curb appeal.

14. Garden Fountain

A water feature looks great in both large and small outdoor living spaces. Make a DIY project out of it, and create a garden fountain out of a gorgeous container and some commonplace irrigation tools.

15. Fire Pit Cover

Fire pits are a nice addition to any outdoor space. Make your fire pit great do double-duty by creating this game board fire pit tabletop for daylight gatherings.

Top Image Credit: Lowe’s 
Do you have plans to dress up your outdoor living space for the spring and summer? Which of these ideas will you get started on first?

Spring Landscape Tips

Spring is here and for everyone in Marietta, Georgia or any surrounding Atlanta neighborhood, it is time to dig out your sunscreen and work gloves and starting thinking about getting your yard and surrounding landscape in shape.  Stone Creek Landscaping is always here to help with as much or as little of your lawn maintenance needs.  If you’re a DIY person take a look at the following tips from The National Association of Landscape Professionals.  If you feel overwhelmed or just need a little help call Stone Creek Landscaping, located in Marietta Georgia, for a little assistance.

If you live in a colder climate, spring can bring the excitement of getting outdoors, enjoying warmer weather, and seeing the yard and landscape come to life. Below is a checklist to help you get your yard in shape for spring.

  • Inspect your trees and shrubs. Start your spring spruce-up with a thorough inspection of your yard. Look for any branches that might be broken or damaged and prune them or have them removed by a professional.
  • Test your soil. Test your soil once every few years to make sure it has the proper pH balance and mix of nutrients. You can usually get your soil tested at your state’s local agricultural extension office, or ask your lawn care or landscape professional. You can also buy soil test kits at garden centers.
  • Fertilize. The decision about whether or not to fertilize should be based on the nutrition requirements of your plant as well as soil conditions. Below are a few tips on fertilizing your lawn:
    • Determine your soil nutrient needs through testing.
    • If your soil does need nutrients, make sure you choose a fertilizer that matches those needs.
    • Make sure you fertilize at the optimum time of the year for your variety of grass. Contrary to popular belief, not all grasses should be fertilized in spring. A few cool-season grass varieties do better when fertilized in fall. June is also a good time to fertilize many cool-season grasses. It’s best to use your state university or cooperative extension’s recommendations or consult a lawn care professional.
    • In general, it is best to choose a “slow-release or controlled-release” fertilizer to reduce possible losses to the environment and increase nutrient absorption. In certain situations, it may help to use organic materials which can improve the health of your soil.
    • It’s important to read the label on the fertilizer bag and to know the exact size of your lawn. Using too much fertilizer can harm your lawn and cost you more than you planned. Conversely, using too little fertilizer won’t yield the results anticipated. Several university studies show that under-fertilized turf can lead to a thin turf stand resulting in soil erosion and unwanted soil runoff.
    • Always follow the label instructions.
    • Before fertilizing your lawn or plants, always check with the local agricultural extension office. Some state and local governments place limits on when, what kind, and what amount of fertilizer you can apply. Professional, licensed lawn care companies must follow state, local, and federal regulations.
  • Weed Control. Spring is a good time to apply pre-emergent weed control for weeds such as crabgrass. One indicator is when forsythia is in full bloom, which tells you it is usually the perfect time to apply crabgrass weed preventer.
  • Make planting beds neat and tidy. Rake the old leaves and debris, from plant beds, prune any dead branches and create neat edges around the beds using an edging tool.
  • Fertilize trees and Shrubs. Most plants, trees, and shrubs will benefit from proper fertilization with a slow-release product just before mulch is applied.
  • Mulch. Add an inch thick layer of fresh mulch in plant beds and around trees. Don’t let the mulch touch the tree trunk and never let the mulch accumulate to more than a 3″ depth. Mulch not only makes planting areas look neat, but also helps to retain moisture in the soil, and it keeps the roots cool in the summer and insulates them in the winter. As mulch decomposes, it adds organic matter to the soil.
  • Inspect your irrigation system. Once the weather has warmed up for the year, turn on your irrigation system and inspect it to see if it is in working condition. If you have a landscape company, they can do this for you.
  • Check outdoor lighting. Check your outdoor lights for broken fixtures and have them repaired if there is damage. Reset timers when Daylight Savings time begins.

Fescue Planting – 1-2-3

-Walter Reeves: The Georgia Gardender

It is not as important as you think it is, but I know your first thought is what fescue seed to buy.

Read this:
Choosing a Fescue Variety and then come back.

Seeding a New Lawn

Optimum air temperatures for tall fescue germination are 68 to 77°F and soil temperatures greater than 60°F.

· Kill all weeds by spraying the area with glyphosate (click for sources) two weeks before planting.

· Mix in a layer of soil conditioner one inch thick. Till the soil thoroughly to a depth of six inches.

· Rake the area smooth, removing rocks, clumps and grassy debris.

· Roll the area with a water-filled roller to reveal low spots.

· Fill low spots with soil.

· Scatter 5 – 8 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet.

· Cover very thinly with wheat straw (1 bale per 1000 square feet).

Overseeding an Existing Lawn

· If the lawn is covered 50% or less with healthy fescue, use a verticutter (sometimes called a dethatcher). Adjust the verticutter blades to just touch the top of the soil.

· If the lawn is covered 50% or more with healthy fescue, use a core aerator. Stop when you have 10 or more aerator holes per square foot.

· Just before seeding, lower your mower one notch below your normal mowing height and mow the lawn. This removes the grass canopy and helps seed fall directly onto the soil.

· Spread 3 – 5 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet. Drag the area with a carpet or section of chain link fence to crumble aerator plugs and cover the seed with soil.

Planting Sod

· Prepare the soil as if you are planting seed (see above)

· Starting along the longest straight edge of the area, lay sod pieces end-to-end.

· Make sure each piece is tightly placed next to its neighbor.

· Stagger sod pieces in adjacent rows so seams do not line up.

· Use a small hatchet or sharp shovel to trim pieces to fit around obstructions.

· Roll the entire area once more, to insure good sod-to-soil contact.

· Water sod lightly and daily for five days, then within three weeks wean it to oneinch of water per week.

Watering Schedule after Seeding

· Set out several paper cups while you irrigate to help determine how long it takes to apply an inch of water.

· Apply one inch of water immediately after planting.

· Apply only enough water daily (or as regulations allow) to prevent the top one-half inch of soil from drying until seedlings are 1.5 inches tall.

· After that, apply one-fourth inch of water every third day for nine days.

· Next, apply one-half inch of water every fifth day for ten days.

· After this establishment period, apply one inch of water per week for the rest of the growing season.

· There is no need to water if rainfall supplies the correct amount.

Weed Killers

· Glyphosate (click for sources) can be used to kill existing weeds one week before seeding.

· Do not use a pre-emergent herbicide, a broadleaf weed killer or a “weed and feed” product before seeding or within six weeks after seeding.

Fertilizing

· Use a starter fertilizer at planting using the label rates.

· Fertilize again in mid-November, using any brand turf fertilizer.

· Fertilize again February, using any brand turf fertilizer.

· Fertilize again mid-April, using any brand turf fertilizer.

Liming

· Most Georgia soils benefit from garden lime. A UGA soil test will tell you exactly what your soil needs. In the absence of a soil test report, apply 50 pounds per 1000 square feet, preferably a week before or after planting.

fescue lawn

One of the sourest phrases that can be directed at a child or adult is “I told you so!” Whether you touch a hot match, leave tools out in the rain or lift cinder blocks all afternoon, someone is usually ready to exclaim “I told you so!” when you complain about the experience.

In my line of work, I’m forced to reluctantly deliver “I told you so!” when gardeners ask me about their problems with annualweeds. The theory of controlling them is simple: maintain a vigorous turf so they can’t get established … and use a pre-emergent herbicide if they get ahead of you.

Bob K. wrote me recently to ask about controlling crabgrass. “We’re having pretty good success with our bermudagrass lawn but the crabgrass is overtaking it.” he related. “We put down pre-emergent (click for sources) herbicide twice this spring but now we have about fifty percent crabgrass in our lawn. Will the crabgrass die over the winter and not be a problem next spring?”

I didn’t use the “I.T.Y.S.” phrase when I replied…. because he probably followed my timing instructions last spring. For several years I have repeated the mantra “Summer weeds: March 15. Winter weeds: September 15.”

If you battle weeds in your lawn you know what I mean: Put out your crabgrass preventer in mid-March and your winter weed preventer in mid-September.

March 15, September 15.” It rhymes, it’s easy to remember and that’s what I’ve always recommended.

Bob’s question, though, made me do a little research. He put down a pre-emergent (click for sources) twice this spring andstill didn’t get good control. Why?

I realize now that my rhyme will have to be discarded.

Crabgrass seed, you see, germinate when spring soil temperatures tend upwards from 50 degrees F. Weed scientists use 52 degrees F. at one-half inch deep as the trigger point for their application of pre-emergence herbicide.

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences oversees a network of 50 weather stations across Georgia . I was able to get the soil temperature data from Cherokee Town and Country Club in Dunwoody. What I found shocked me!

The data show that soil temperatures reached 52 degrees F. on Feb. 24 in 2000, Feb. 25 in 2001, Mar. 14 in 2002 and Mar. 4 in 2003.

My timing advice has been wrong! To get good crabgrass control in Atlanta you should apply the pre-emergent on March 1, not March 15. Otherwise the seed will sprout beforehand….and most pre-emergent chemicals do not control crabgrass seedlings.

In Bob’s situation, the crabgrass will die this winter – but the seed it has already dropped will sprout next April and he could have even more of the weed next year.

So what should he do?

All of the following products give excellent control of crabgrass in summer and annual bluegrass in winter:

benefin (Amaze, Balan, Crabgrass Preventer)
bensulide (Betasan)
oryzalin (Surflan)
pendimethalin (Halts)
dithiopyr (Crab-Ex)
prodiamine (Barricade)

The key is the timing. Pre-emergent herbicides MUST be applied BEFORE crabgrass seed germinate. If Bob and other lawn owners choose one of the products above and put it out on March 1, 2004. I think summer crabgrass control will be much better.

My second (September 15) date still stands. Put out a pre-emergence control for annual bluegrass, henbit or chickweed on that date and you’ll avoid my winter weed “I told you so!” next spring.

REMEMBER: Read all herbicide labels thoroughly to be sure the product can be used on your particular turfgrass and that it controls the weed(s) you are trying to manage.