Lawn Tips For Warm-Season Grasses In January-February

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It’s almost time for the pre-emergent herbicide to prevent summer weeds from germinating! Since December and January, everything else has stayed the same for bermuda, zoysia, and centipede lawns.

Fertilizing Tips For Warm-Season Lawns

  • Whatever you do, don’t apply nitrogen this time of year when your warm-season lawn is dormant. It’s still time to rest. Avoid “weed and feed” and “winterized” product marketing – these products usually contain nitrogen, and nitrogen will push growth during a time that can cause cold damage to your lawn. 
  • It is okay to apply a 0-0-7 pre-emergent herbicide (to prevent summer weeds) since it doesn’t have nitrogen in it. Nitrogen is the first number, in this case, zero.
  • Likewise, hold off aerating warm-season lawns until they fully green up in the spring

Mower Tips For Warm-Season Lawns

  • Mow this month only if you need to mow any thriving winter weeds. 
  • If you have not done so already, “winterize” your mower by cleaning off plant debris, draining gas so it doesn’t sit with stale gas all winter, and taking the time to sharpen or replace your mower blades. Now is an excellent time to go ahead and take care of the blades, so your mower is prepped for spring mowing.

Preventing Summer Weeds In Warm-Season Lawns

Forsythia is the signal!
Forsythia signals it’s time to apply pre-emergent herbicide because the soil is at the right temperature.
What’s a Forsythia? It’s that bush with yellow flowers that typically flowers in the middle of February.

The rule of thumb is to apply spring pre-emergent herbicide when Forsythia starts blooming. In a typical year, if you don’t have a Forsythia bush to signal you, use pre-emergent between February 15th and March 15th to kill weeds before seeing them. Any later than that window, and it’s too late to kill weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide (you’ll have to switch to a post-emergent to apply directly to the weeds).

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