The effects of this past winter’s weather on lawns will be felt well into the 2014 season. It will not be business as usual this year. Crabgrass applications, soil compaction and salt damage will be changing the way you will need to treat your lawns this spring. Later than normal cold weather and a much later start in our northern markets is pushing things forward by almost one month. If you listen to the national advertising campaigns you will really have crabgrass problems. Remember pre-emergent works best the closer it is applied to the actual emergence of the invasive species you are trying to control. That means hold your horses and be smart about what you are applying on your lawns and when you apply.
First and foremost as you work on cleaning up lawns be sure to evaluate which lawns have some of the classic winter problems. These include common problems like snow mold and salt damage. Be sure to address these issues first. Now is the time to take your soil samples and see what is really missing in your customer’s soil. Incorrect soil pH means poor results all year long. Does the lawn need the pH adjusted and if so, what are you going to use to do it? You do not have the time to use the standard pelletized lime and should be using our 35% calcium product, Mag-I-Cal. Unlike pelletized lime it is available to the turf in three weeks verse the normal six months lime takes. It is also a 1-10 ratio to standard lime, so where you would use 10 bags on a ten thousand square foot lawn, you can now use just one bag. That is half the cost and a lot less labor dollars you have to spend per application. Mag-I-Cal will also help in the salt damaged areas and in your customer’s vegetable gardens.
May is the month you will see the best results from a spring seeding. The soil temperatures typically reach a consistent 55 degrees which is when grass seed germinates. This year small seeding repairs are everywhere. Our Black Beauty grass seed varieties are perfect to grow a deep root system and make your lawns stand out against your competitors. Many states now have laws regarding the use of phosphorus fertilizer in the lawn. Many of the laws do not allow you to use a starter fertilizer with phosphorus unless the seeding is bare dirt or you have done a soil test showing low phosphorus levels. Jonathan Green has the perfect solution to that, with our new and exclusive Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil. A complex mixture of iron humates, amino acids and probiotics, this product will increase soil porosity while enhancing microbial activity in the soil. Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil is an ideal product to use when seeding to increase germination while increasing root mass density. May is also the month when summer heat can turn a healthy lawn into a stressed out one. If you apply Love Your Lawn prior to summer it will help your lawns and gardens handle the stress of summer heat.
Many of the turf problems we diagnose through the summer months are all related to compacted soil. The stress is expressed by the plant when summer heat and humidity becomes the trigger for plants that cannot get enough oxygen. At Jonathan Green we have come up with new and creative ways to fix your soil, decrease the amount of pesticides you have to use and create a beautiful lawn in a more natural way. We call it The New American Lawn. The old standard way of feeding a lawn to death are coming to an end and we are all for that. Have a great season and do not hesitate to call on our professional turf managers to help you grow your business. We appreciate your business and wish you and your families all the best.