CAN THERE EVER BE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?
Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, and since that's also when Randy Lemmon's GardenLine e-mail tips go out, we thought you might enjoy getting this week's tip a day early!
If you've been a subscriber to this newsletter for long, you probably already know my oft-used GardenLine maxim: "It's never too late to do the right thing!" Now it is possible to miss the window before the first frost/freeze making it too late to "do the right thing" when it come to the winterizers and pre-emergent herbicide used this time of the year, but for those of you who have yet to winterize or put down a pre-emergent herbicide, as of now, you're still in the "it's never too late" zone.
Someone posed a rather interesting follow-up to that maxim, as it relates to the use of pre-emergent herbicides. The question: "Can you ever use too much?" It was specific to pre-emergent herbicides, and it's a good question after the wacky weather this past September and October. After those torrential rains, many people had to re-apply the pre-emergent herbicides they were using, when following my fertilization schedule. That not only meant a second application of pre-emergent herbicide, but in some cases three applications were made.
So, can that be too much? Well, let me answer that in two ways. Yes, there is always a possibility of putting out too much pre-emergent herbicide, and the damage it can cause relates to stunting the root system of the stolons of grass, but when all is normal with the weather it would take a great deal more than three applications of pre-emergent herbicide to cause that stunting effect. So in the case of the wacky 2006 weather, with much of it washing away, the answer would be "No, you did not put down too much, if you made two or three applications."
The rule of thumb on what qualifies as "too much" all comes down to pounds per thousand square feet. Too much is more than a pound and a half active. If you use a typical Barricade pre-emergent herbicide, the active ingredient is only .58 (point five eight) lbs. per 10 lb. bag. You would literally have to apply 20 bags to even come close to using too much.
So, does that mean you should go out and apply twice in the same season, despite the weather? Not really! That's because products like Barricade are considered a "stable" product. To you and me that means it stays put. Barricade won't move through the soil, it stays where you put it to do a better job of blocking weeds from germinating. Now the question is, if you do re-apply prior to the first frost/freeze, are you getting added protection? Yes, of course you are, but for the record, this is in no way a "rally cry" for everyone to re-apply and spend more money needlessly. If you did apply once then got some heavy rains immediately thereafter, go ahead and get your second application down because in this instance "IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO THE RIGHT THING!"
By the way, if you are unfamiliar with the Fertilization Schedule, of which I refer to, look for the Lawns: Fertilization Schedule tip sheet, and while you're there, you can also find the name of other pre-emergent herbicides besides Barricade.
Until our next issue, here's to great gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively weekend mornings 8 a.m.-noon on TALKRADIO 950 KPRC.
GardenLine listeners and e-mail tip subscribers can purchase a copy of my new book at a discounted price - just $15.95 for the rest of the holiday season! This is the best on-line deal for this book ever! So take advantage of the holiday spirit and check it out!
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