Can I Apply Pre-emergent In January?

Q: I’ve read your website advice about applying pre-emergent. You say apply in March when the soil temperature at 2″ deep is 55 degrees and rising. Where we live the soil at that depth is already above 55 degrees but I don’t know if we’re “rising”. I’m tempted to put pre-emergent on even though it’s late January! 

A Let’s change my advice to “apply pre-emergent when the soil temperature at 2″ deep is 55 degrees for five days and no cold weather is forecast.” So even though the soil temperature may be 55 degrees some days in January you should wait until your local weather person announces that the current warm weather will continue and it’s clear sailing, weather-wise, until spring.

The University of Georgia  maintains a network of weather stations around the state that monitor all sorts of weather data. To find your soil temperature, go to Georgia Weather Network and find the station nearest your house. Click on it, then click on Past Data, and then 31-Day Summary. You’ll get a page of data. The column close to the middle is 2″Soil Temp. Follow the dates and temperatures to easily figure out how soil temperatures are behaving in your area.


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