Wednesday, April 6, 2011
March can be full of surprises weather-wise. March can be warm and balmy or cold, rainy, snowy and just plain nasty. It can drive you mad! I have not checked the Farmers Almanac, but it seems over the last 50 years that March has brought more turmoil than sunny, warm weather. However, let’s explore both scenarios to see what we can do with our lawn.
First, let’s hope that March brings warmer weather, the end of winter, and some green growth to our yard. Most likely your lawn will need the twigs and larger branches picked up and removed. If your property has some leftover leaves or other debris, rake the lawn to remove them. If your lawn shows sign of growth or it needs to be mowed, go ahead. Be sure to first check your mower to see if it needs the housing cleaned, the oil changed, blades sharpened or a tune-up for the coming season.
If you have some bare spots that you are considering applying grass seed to, it is important to know what to expect. The air may become warmer in March but soil temperatures may still be in the 40-degree range. Grass seed will not start to germinate until soil temperatures reach 50-55 degrees. Otherwise, sowed seed will lie on the soil until the conditions are correct to grow. Too many homeowners have unrealistic expectations when seeding in the spring thinking that the seed should germinate in 5 days! Remember, germinate means, ‘start to grow’, not fill in to a complete lawn. This can take 8-10 weeks depending on spring weather. Usually spring brings enough moisture for grass seed to grow. There is no need to over water new grass or turn on the sprinklers yet. Applying Jonathan Green Green-Mulch Seed Establishment Mulch over the grass seed helps prevent erosion and soil and temperature fluctuations. Seeding mulch also helps keep the birds from eating all of your seed.
Grassy and broadleaf weeds start appearing in the spring once soil temperatures rise. Do not apply the wrong weed controls while seeding in the spring. Do not apply any Weed & Feed products when seeding. Do not apply any Crabgrass controls when seeding unless it is labeled for use when seeding. The appropriate product to apply is Jonathan Green’s Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer that contains Tupersan (siduron). This product allows you to seed at the same time a well as feed your lawn. Do not apply grass seed when applying corn gluten materials either.
Waking our lawn up from its long winters nap with Jonathan Green Natural Beauty Lawn Fertilizer is a good idea. Warm soil, rising temperatures, and fertilizer can green up the lawn to a dense, lush turf. Jonathan Green fertilizers can start this greening process in less than one week if conditions are right. If you use Jonathan Green organic materials on your lawn expect to wait a bit longer before you see green growth, perhaps 3-4 weeks. Applications of MAG-I-CAL lime or other calcium products are also popular in the spring. The soil is still settling and soil amendments work their way into the soil during the spring months as temperatures rise and rainfall increases.
In early spring, weeds such as onion grass and chickweed, with the little white flower, can be flourishing. Sometime these weeds are ignored and seem to fade away as the lawn starts to grow and regular mowing takes place. Spring can be an effective time to consider applying Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer. Do not put this application down too early if it is cold and rainy for most of March. The crabgrass and grassy weeds do not start to germinate until soil temperatures reach 50-55 degrees. Buy a soil thermometer or stick an old meat thermometer in the ground away from your house to determine the best time to apply this crabgrass preventer. Weed & Feed products control broadleaf weeds and usually you will not get good control of many broadleaf weeds in early spring unless it is warm enough and these weeds are actively growing.
I almost forget, what if March bring us cold, rain, and snow? I don’t want to think about it. If this happens you can clean up your yard of debris, but you should consider delaying mowing or lawn treatments until later in March or April. You can still get the mower in good shape for the season. For now, let’s just thing spring!Back