by Don J
Here just north of Atlanta, pre-emergents are being put down now, especially crabgrass preventer. You can always check with your county Master Gardeners at the extension office.
The general rule for applying pre-emergents is to do so when the forsythia blooms (unless it has been forced into bloom very early by warm weather). I would not fertilize now because it will push new growth when there is a very good chance there will be at least some winter.
February is the latest time to LIGHTLY fertilize Fescue before the heat of summer in our area and this year pre-emergent weed killers are also a good idea. Weeds that usually germinate in March are already appearing in some yards and some home-owners are resorting to post -emergent weedkillers to keep them under control.
Here's a good guide from NCSU
Apply when soil temp is over 50 degrees. So not to miss the window of opportunity. Many people (I do), apply it twice (double application). First, apply Halts (just Halts, no fertilizer), then 6 weeks later, Halts plus fertilizer (all in 1 bag), then your sure to be covered. YOu do not want fertilizer in first application as it's a waste, grass not growing yet, and you do not want to over feritizer. Several websites you can google for soil temps, I apply first time as soon as it reaches 50 degrees. I like this soil temperature site as it has todays temp, plus a forecast. http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/SoilTempMaps.aspx
Note: you can use the drop down menu to choose "East" map. Over the weeks, you will see the green band getting closer to you (green is 50 degrees), click on your location to zoom in. When green is very close, or forcast, put down first application. This method has worked well.
Thank you everyone