The key to using pre-emergent herbicide and fertilizer on home lawns is timing. The common pitfall is to apply either or both of these products too early.
Early application of fertilizer can lead to early green-up, which means the lawn may look prettier sooner, but it also will be more likely to be damaged by late, cold weather.
Fertilizing too early also can lead to turf disease problems.
For the best weed control, pre-emergent herbicide should be applied before weeds emerge. The best time for pre-emergent herbicides to be used on annual grasses are when soil temperatures begin to reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature at which crabgrass will germinate.
Contrary to many advertisements put out in the springtime for herbicide and fertilizer combination products, the two should not be applied at the same time.
The best way to apply pre-emergent herbicides and fertilizers is to apply the pre-emergent herbicide alone, then apply fertilizer several weeks later.
More information on timing lawn maintenance tasks can be found at www.georgiaturf.com.