Spring fertilizer products usually include a pre-emergent crabgrass control additive.  If you are doing any spring seeding, make sure to avoid using products containing a pre-emergent.  Pre-emergent products will stop the seed from germinating properly.  Pre-emergent products can be applied when the seed has germinated and the plant is rooted in and actively growing.  Some studies have shown that pre-emergent products can stunt the root growth of turf grass.  This would include new seed as well as new sod.  Keep this in mind when applying pre-emergent products to your lawn and determine if the benefit of the pre-emergent is worth the risk of potential root problems.

Spring fertilizer and pre-emergent products.

Spring Fertilizer

If you are applying spring fertilizer and pre-emergent products to an established lawn, it is important to know what you are feeding your turf.  Since spring provides the optimal growing conditions for turf grass, it is not necessary to promote additional top growth of the grass plant.  Warming temperatures coupled with frequent moisture will create more than enough top growth on your grass.  Spring fertilizer products that contain lower nitrogen tend to work best because nitrogen promotes blade growth.  Spring fertilizer that contains iron can promote darker green grass.  Pre-emergent products will help prevent crabgrass, goose grass and foxtail.  Any time you have the opportunity to reduce the population of invasive weeds in the turf, the better.  Less competition for nutrients and moisture will promote a healthier environment for your turf grass to thrive.  Reducing and eliminating weeds in your turf grass will produce better results than just fertilizing alone.  In order for pre-emergent products to be the most effective, it is important to apply them at the proper rate and time.  As a general rule of thumb, each pound of mixed product applied per 1,000 square feet of turf will give you one month residual.  Most applications call for around 4-5 pounds of products per 1,000 square feet of turf to be effective.  Don’t cheat your lawn as this will cause you weed out break problems down the road.