Use A Variety Of Ways To Deal With Problems
Pest problems that keep coming back are often a sign that your lawn care practices need to change. These changes can include:
- correcting drainage or fertility problems
- adding lime
- increasing mowing height
- removing thatch
For help in dealing with common problems like weeds, pests, and diseases, see Dealing with lawn problems.
Timing Spring Grub Treatments
Spring can make homeowners antsy to get started on outdoor tasks, but performing some of them too early can impede their effectiveness. Grub treatments, for instance, should be held off until grubs have returned to the top inch or so of soil. Before that time, you may have trouble reaching the problem effectively. At the same time, you dont want to wait so long to do your spring grub treatment that massive damage has been done.
Test For Soil Acidity
Most home improvement stores and garden centers like ACE& True Value sell do it yourself soil pH tests. These tests are a valuable tool as you prepare your lawn for the summer. Harsh, long winters can cause the pH levels in your soil to become very acidic, which makes it difficult for most grasses to thrive.
If you find that your soil has a high acid level, you can spread a thin layer of lime over your lawn. The lime neutralizes the acid and makes the soil better able to support new grass growth.
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Dont Wait Too Long To Mow The Lawn
Finally, it may seem early, but in most parts of Pennsylvania, grass will be ready for its first trim sometime in April. We recommend that grass be mowed once it reaches about 3 inches in height. By mowing the new green blades when they get to this point, you will prevent the grass from getting overgrown and stimulate continual growth.
Remove Winter Debris From Your Grass
No matter how carefully you raked and cleaned your yard in the fall as you were preparing your lawn for winter, chances are new leaves, sticks, weeds, and other debris have made their way onto your grass. Wind, rain, and snow can leave debris on your lawn. In addition, the snow can hide some of the debris until spring. Thats why its important to remove winter debris each spring. Taking some time to clean off your lawn before beginning other spring lawn care will make it easier to treat and maintain your grass.
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Top Tips For A Healthy Lawn
A green and healthy lawn is easy to achieve with a bit of work. A little effort now will save you a lot of effort later, because healthy lawns are less vulnerable to pests, weeds, drought, and other problems.
Follow these seven tips:
When Should You Start Doing Spring Yardwork
Just because we have a few warm days in March, or even February, doesnt mean you should pull on your gardening boots and grab your lawn tools. Make sure you wait until your lawn is mostly green before you go outside and start raking, aerating or mowing. On the other hand, dont wait until its too late in spring to apply a weed control product or plant grass seed. With spring lawn care, its all about timing.
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Core Aeration Will Help Your Lawn Breathe
The roots of your lawn need air.
Over time, your soil can become compacted. Compacted soil makes it difficult for air, water and nutrients to reach the grass roots. This can stop your grass from growing.
Core aeration cures compacted soil by creating little holes in the soil. The cores are pulled from the ground and deposited on top where they break down into the soil.
You can aerate your lawn annually. I find that it is best to use the core aeration machine in late spring for warm season grasses and in late summer or early fall for cool season grasses. It is a good time to overseed your lawn after using the core aeration machine.
This particular step can be a part of your spring lawn maintenance schedule or your fall lawn care schedule depending on where you live and your grass type.
Identifying Weedseliminate Those Pesky Lawn Weeds
The advantage to any homeowner is that most lawn weeds stick out like a soar thumb.
A well maintained lawn is the best defense against lawn weeds.
Identifying lawn weeds is important. Lawn weeds are characterized by life span, physical trait and growing season.
Successful weed removal requires that you know the enemy. You need to understand how and when it grows. Knowledge is powerful.
If you already have lawn weeds apply a post-emergence herbicide. There are two types.
- Contact herbicides – This will kill the surface of of any plant upon contact. You want to make sure you are using a systemic herbicide so the entire plant is killed.
- Selective formulas – These types are created for one type of lawn weed category . Be sure not to purchase non-selective formulas or you will kill your grass as well.
If you practice organic lawn care, another good option is a natural weed killer.
Eliminating lawn weeds is a must part of any spring lawn maintenance schedule.
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Fertilizing In The Spring
If you properly fertilized your lawn in the fall, there is probably no need to apply another layer of fertilizer in the spring. Cool season grasses in particular are good at holding on to fertilizer from the fall and using it all winter.
There is a good chance that your cool season grass is still utilizing the fertilizer from the fall throughout the spring and into the summer. Warm season grasses may need a fresh layer of fertilizer during the spring because they begin to soak up the nutrients as soon as the weather gets warmer.
Question: Spring Is Almost Here When Should I Start Watering My Lawn
Answer: The short answer? Wait until your lawn really needs it. Many homeowners struggle with when to start their spring lawn care watering regimens. As the days become longer and outside temperatures increase, your lawn will begin waking up from its winter dormancy. Monitor your grass carefully as soon as night frost subsides , your lawn will likely begin drying out. While you may be tempted to dust off your garden hose and give your lawn its first soak of the season, dont be too quick to the punch. Assess rainfall levels in your area, keeping in mind that your grass only needs about 1-1.5 inches of water per week to remain in peak health. If your lawn has seen adequate precipitation, then you will not need to start watering until spring rains subside.
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Products That Kill Grubs
If its already fall and grubs are taking over your lawn, its too late for preventative products. Instead, opt for an insecticide that contains either carbaryl or trichlorfon. Products with either of these chemicals will kill grubs on the spot, but neither last long.
This means that if you dont get the grubs the first time, the product will dissipate, and the grubs will keep on living their lives.
These products likely wont kill all the grubs in your lawn, but they will significantly reduce their numbers. Expect that grub-killing products will kill anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the grubs in your lawn.
If its already winter then theres no reason to apply any of these insecticides. The grubs can already be eight to twelve inches below the surface at this point, and the insecticides will never get far enough down to kill them.
Also, while grub prevention products are generally safe around kids and pets, thats not the case with grub-killing products.
These chemicals are much harsher, and they can have adverse effects on kids and pets. Because of this, try to have them avoid treated areas for at least 24 to 48 hours to be safe.
Finally, youll still need to water the area right after application to get the insecticide down to where the grubs live. The grubs are still underground, so if the insecticide stays on the surface, it wont do you any good!
Thoroughly water the area right after you apply the insecticide for best results.
What Should I Put On My Lawn In April
Apply late spring lawn fertilizer once between April and June, 6 to 8 weeks after the early spring feeding. If you have purchased the Scottsxae Turf Builderxae Annual Program, apply the Spring product now. It will help your lawn grow strong roots while killing dandelion, clover, and other listed weeds.
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Feed Your Lawn With Grass Fertilizer
Your lawn is no different than your children. In order for the grass to grow it needs to be fed.
Your schedule for lawn fertilizing should be determined based on grass type and composition of the soil. Typically it should be done twice in the spring. The first time in early spring and the second time in late spring.
To supplement the grass fertilizer, consider leaving the lawn clippings on the lawn after you mow. Unless of course, you have lawn problems in which case you will want to bag the lawn clippings. The grass clippings are rich in nitrogen which is an important nutrient for your lawn.
There are many types of grass fertilizer. Look at the lawn fertilizer numbers to determine the best grass fertilizer for your lawn.
You can also consider using organic lawn fertilizer.
Tips For End Of Winter And Early Spring Lawn Care
Updated on February 22, 2019 by Keith Critchley
With the crazy weather weve been getting this winter, lawn care may be the furthest thing from your mind. But beautiful, healthy grass requires special attention in all seasons. There are ways that you can prepare your lawn for the cold weather and help it bounce back from the long, harsh winter. The good news is that grass is resilient with a little assistance it can be back to its lush, green self in no time.
So, what do homeowners need to do in the winter to ensure a great looking lawn in the spring? Here are seven key tips for keeping your grass strong through the cold months and helping it to perk up as soon as the snow melts.
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Can I Use A Pre
No. You need to decide between weeding and seeding for the season. Why? If you plant grass seed you cant apply a pre-emergent because, along with preventing weeds, it will also stop any new grass from growing. You can, however, fill in bare spots after applying pre-emergent, but you must wait 12 weeks for the weed treatment to run its course.
Encourage New Growth In The Spring With Over
Many homeowners dont know that grass likes company. Cool-season grasses look best when it is AERATED in the Fall. The next step is to spread grass seed over the existing turf to counteract the natural thinning process through the winter. It will also introduce fresh growth to keep it looking lush all year.
Aerating and Over-Seeding in the spring is OK but Fall is the ideal time, so you dont have to compete with weather, weeds, and crabgrass problems. If you do seed in the spring, you need to do have to monitor it more frequently and water it when needed to speed up growth before any heat waves. The 1st week of April is an ideal time.
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The Summer Season Is Just Around The Corner
The weather outside may be cold and wet, but its not too early to start preparing for the warm summer months in Washington. Grass care is year-round. Start preparing for a healthy yard by making sure youve got everything you need for the season, including a well-working mower with a sharp blade.
The time is now to sharpen your blades, service your mower, and prepare for a lush summer lawn. Power Your Outdoors at Carls, a leading source of service, equipment, and parts for Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Over Seeding Your Lawn And Lawn Repair
Bare spots in your lawn attract lawn diseases, lawn pests and lawn weeds. Keeping your lawn thick and dense make these lawn problems feel unwelcome.
After using the core aeration machine, consider over seeding your lawn. This will make a thin and sparse lawn denser.
If your lawn is already dense and only has a few bare spots, lawn repair will mend this lawn problem.
Lawn seeding is the least expensive method and will work for both over seeding and lawn repair.
It is best to make this part of your spring lawn maintenance calendar or your fall lawn care calendar.
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Here’s How To Take Care Of Your Lawn This Spring
What should you do for your lawn in the spring?
I received the following question last week through the Cooperative Extension Ask the Expert system. It illustrates how confusing the lawn care industry is to homeowners trying to do the right thing on their lawns:
I have a turf-based lawn. I intend to weed and feed in early March. I know that my lawn needs a pre-emergent to control Bermuda/crabgrass. However, there are also other weeds, e.g., clover and other varieties. What weed control do you recommend and when should it be applied?
First, forget about weed and feed products. They do not make sense for your lawn.
Apply most of the fertilizer your lawn needs in the fall and if anything, only apply ½ lb of nitrogen/1,000 square feet in the spring.
Apply that small amount of fertilizer in March and no later than April 15. Apply weed control later in the spring so bundling those two products will not work.
This person wants to use a preemergent to control unwanted grasses. That is great for crabgrass. As an annual grass, it must germinate each year, so if you can prevent its emergence with an herbicide you can reduce the crabgrass in your lawn later in the season.
We recommend applying crabgrass preemergent products when forsythia is blooming, usually April, after you have applied spring fertilizer. The other grass mentioned is bermudagrassa perennial grass that cannot be controlled with a preemergent herbicide.
Mowing And Lawn Care Tips
Before mowing in spring, inspect your lawn mower and perform any necessary maintenance, such as changing the oil or spark plugs. Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp to guarantee a clean cut. Be safe, and always remove the spark plugs before doing any work on your lawn mower.
- Start mowing when the ground is dry enough and grass is long enough to require cutting. Avoid mowing too low: Grass cut too short allows sunlight to reach the soil and encourages weed seeds to germinate.
- Consider setting the mowing height high enough to remove only the top one-third of the grass blades. Longer grass blades encourage deeper, healthier roots, but may require mowing more frequently.
- Check your mowers manual to see if it has a recommended setting for your specific type of grass.
- Consider lawn mowing early in the evening, when the temperatures are usually cooler and any fog or dew has dried. Dont mow when its raining or just after a rain, as the mower will not cut your lawn evenly and may become clogged with clumps of wet grass.
- Vary the pattern each time you mow. This helps prevent ruts from forming and keeps the grass from always bending in the same direction.
- Mowing should be done when your grass needs it, not on a set schedule. Grass usually needs to be mowed more often in the spring and early summer than at the end of the growing season.
Tip: Make sure your lawnmower’s tank is empty of gas at the end of mowing season so you can start the next cutting season with a fresh tank.
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Adjust Wateringeven In The Spring
Should you start watering in May? Or can you water in March? How much water should you apply and for how long? Should you ever water at night?
The answers to these questions can help you protect your lawn from damage, prevent unnecessary weed growth, and help it grow into a beautiful, lush green carpet.
- What time of year to water: Obviously were not going to water in the winter. So lets fast forward to the spring. Watch the weather. If weve had a dry winter and early spring, theres no harm in turning on your sprinkler system. Lawns can quickly dry out, especially if New England is hit a by a drought early in the year. Once the top few inches of soil dry out, its difficult to impossible to apply enough water for your turf to spring back and green up.
- How much water to apply: This will largely depend on your lawn and the setup of your sprinkler system.
- What time of day to water: The best time to start watering your lawn is early morning. You should almost never water at night because it can promote disease. This, in turn, can stress and kill turf. The one caveat is if your lawn is truly struggling because of the heat, humidity, and high UVs. Cooling off your turf by watering a bit later in the afternoon/evening may be OK if its done sporadically and correctly.