Wow! I am not sure what weather we will be facing when you read this article because this spring has been a real roller coaster. The seasons seem to run together after 30+ years in the lawn business but this year stands out as a doozy!
A neighbor of mine mowed his lawn in late April over the weekend and I drove to work on that chilly Monday morning. I had to stop back to my house around 2:00 PM that day and dandelions where flourishing on his lawn! I went back to work, returning home around 6:00 PM and the dandelions had disappeared, where did they go? This past spring we have experienced cold, rainy and hot weather all jumbled up in a few weeks or days at a time. This has created real havoc with our lawn program plans.
First of all, this spring there was no definite time to apply crabgrass preventers. Some feel that it is proper to apply crabgrass preventer when the forsythia blooms, others waited for a non-rainy weekend and got delayed even cleaning up their yard from winter debris. Then we had a warm spell and dandelions and other broadleaf weeds started to pop out of the ground; Mother Nature, you threw a real curve ball at us!
Enough complaining, what can we do with our lawns now? I’ll assume you have fed your lawn at least once this spring. Now it is time to apply a traditional lawn fertilizer as a follow up to your spring feeding. You might want to consider an organic lawn fertilizer to take your lawn through the summer months such as Natural Beauty or Black Beauty Organic Lawn Fertilizer. As summer weather warms up, monitor your lawn for insect pests. Ants, fleas, chinch bugs and ticks start to become very active in warmer weather. If insects are a problem, apply Grub and Insect Control as a preventative grub treatment around the first official day of summer in order to help reduce new baby grubs from emerging in August.
If hot, dry weather comes along, look for signs of stress in your lawn. Water when necessary to apply about 1 inch of water weekly from rainfall or irrigation, do not water every day for 15 minutes! Raise your mowing height to keep more leaf tissue and moisture in your grass blades to help your lawn survive summer stress. If fungus has been a problem in prior years, consider a preventative fungicide treatment such as Lawn Fungus Control if hot, dry weather is in the forecast.
I can understand that this was not the spring that allowed you to follow a step-application process easily. Therefore, remember at this point it is more important to go with the flow of each growing season and the weather patterns to establish what applications are best for your lawn. Just like a doctor who diagnoses each person differently, each lawn has its own personality. A great lawn is not as simple as 1-2-3-4!
Have you addressed your soil this year? I’m not talking about your vegetable garden I mean your lawn soil! Have you tested your soil? What…., no? How many times have I asked you to do this, shame on you! One of the first basic tests a doctor performs is a blood test to see what’s wrong with your health, the same goes for your lawn’s soil health. Soil pH and overall soil quality is critical for vigorous lawn growth. Lawns like a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Even a soil pH of 6.0 wastes up to 20% of all lawn fertilizer applications. Remember, we are not growing blueberries that like acidic soil. Remember to apply Mag-I-Cal to raise soil pH to desirable levels to grow grass.
I’m sorry that Mother Nature took a bad rap in this article but she is not always kind to us; remember last winter’s snow storms? The good news is summer is upon us… so enjoy!