While driving around town I have noticed the results of last year’s drought on lawns in Indianapolis. The most notable affect is brown patches in lawns that are matted down and dead. These areas will not recover and grow grass this year. If left alone they will be a great place for weeds to take root and grow this season. The best course of action this year is to hold off on your preemergent crabgrass application in these areas and reseed.
So why hold off on preemergent herbicide applications? Preemergent herbicides are applied in granular form prior to soil temperatures reaching 50F (which is typically around April 15th here in Indianapolis) to prevent crabgrass from germinating. The problem is that it will also prevent grass seeds from germinating and you will still have dead areas in your lawn.
Changes in Approach for 2011
Because last year’s drought was so damaging to many lawns in Indianapolis, we are recommending holding off on the preemergent application in order to reseed these dead areas in your lawn. If your lawn only has patches of dead, then treat all green healthy grass areas with preemergent, but be careful to keep it out of areas where you need to seed. The bottom line is that you’re going to have to decide if you want either green grass or weeds.
If you questions that were not addressed here, please contact Brian Jones with Scenic Green and he will gladly answer your questions.