Round 1 fertilizing and weed control applications should consist of slow release fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed control product. Pre-emergent weed control products will reduce or stop the emergence of yellow foxtail, crabgrass, and goosegrass. Pre-emergent weed control and fertilizer products used in a round 1 application are granular. Apply pre-emergent products on the high-end of the manufactures recommended rate. The more product in the soil, the better the results.
When to apply a round 1 application.
Round 1 applications begin when the soil temperature reaches a consistent 55 degrees F. Since this is a time-sensitive application, all pre-emergent products must be put down before seed germination. Crabgrass seed starts germinating when the soil temperature reaches around 70 degrees F. If you apply your product too early, it can wear off prematurely. If you use your product too late, it will not effectively prevent crabgrass germination.
During a round 1 application, your lawn company should spot treat your lawn for broadleaf weeds. Since the application is being spot treated, only the weeds actively growing will be controlled. Most products containing pre-emergent herbicides are not labeled for broadleaf weed control. You may have broadleaf weeds emerge within a few days of your application. It is normal to see broadleaf weeds in the lawn at the same time as a round 1 application. Broadleaf weeds will be unaffected by the application because the treatment is only designed to create a barrier for crabgrass. Round 2 applications are designed to control broadleaf weeds.
All round 1 applications should be made before the middle or end of May in the midwest. Since temperatures play a vital role in this application, the treatment will only be successful if applied as directed.
Sometimes other grassy weeds can be mistaken for yellow foxtail, crabgrass, and goosegrass. If you have any questions about a weed in your lawn, you should give your lawn provider a call. Depending on the type of weed present in your yard, your yard may require a separate application for its control.
If you are unsure about the identification of a weed in your lawn, check out our weed identification page for photos and information about midwest weeds.