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K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

More than you ever want to know about preemergent herbicides

(by Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Ever year I write a blog, a newsletter article, send out a tweet and post on Facebook about applying preemergent herbicides for summer annual grass control. We are typically most concerned with crabgrass so I went back and searched through the blog posts and articles and believe it or not it is all still relevant information! Not much has changed, so for this article I am going to spotlight information across these articles and compare from when I originally wrote it.

Crabgrass emerging in bare ground earlier than turf




















Up first, Methods of Predicting Crabgrass Emergence! In this article I go over the different methods to predict when crabgrass emerges; calendar date, soil temperatures, forsythia blooms, growing degree days. Like last year we have had a fluctuating Spring. In the article from March 14, 2017 I stated that it was 80 deg F on the 12th and was snowing just a couple days before. Sound familiar? Refresh yourself on the different methods and know its not too late to get preemergence herbicides out.




















Next article is for all you golf course turfgrass managers. Preemergence Weed Control in Bentgrass Putting Greens. This article was also from March 2017 and I went through what preemergent herbicides are available to use on bentgrass putting greens. The list of herbicides was from the Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2017 Manual (https://mdc.itap.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=TURF-100). Going through the 2018 edition…. Guess what again? Not much has changed for use on putting greens but I would encourage you to check out the manual and read the “Tips for Herbicide Use on Golf Course Putting Greens” section on page 108.


And now one of my favorite quotes from Benjamin Franklin “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This was the lead in for talking about why preemergent herbicides are worth it! This article talks about what weeds preemergent herbicides work on, how they work, and the growth stages of crabgrass. To “round-up” the article I put a list of options out there, the weeds these preemergent herbicides control and some concerns/comments. One thing that I did not list is the combination products. I only listed the single active ingredients.   There are many combination products as well. (Maybe that will be the next blog post – Combination Preemergent Herbicides.)


Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***