Wednesday, April 6, 2011
We all look forward to Mother Nature’s early spring green-up of plants and my favorite, the grass. If your lawn is slow to green-up this spring, perhaps you forgot to apply your Jonathan Green fall/winter fertilizer last year?
In early spring your lawn comes out of its winter dormancy, like a hibernating bear. The constant freezing and thawing of the ground helps to aerate the soil and break up some compaction. Ice melt applications may have caused damage to grass areas along the street, driveways and walkways. An application of gypsum to these areas can be helpful to recondition the soil before you apply new Jonathan Green grass seed. The brown-yellow color of grass starts to show signs of green life. You have some jobs to do to help make your lawn lush and green, something that you love to walk through with bare feet.
First, get your leaf rake out and rake up any twigs, rocks, leaves and debris that have gathered on your lawn over the winter months. This helps to invigorate the roots and allows more sunlight to reach the grass plants helping the grass grow. Another reason to clear the lawn of debris is to avoid any damage or injury, to your lawn mower, yourself, or anyone nearby. If there are some compacted areas or areas you want to plant grass seed, use a heavy metal rake on these areas to loosen the soil a few inches deep if possible. Renting an aerator may help if you have larger areas to prepare for seeding.
Be sure to do any raking before you apply any pre-emergent crabgrass preventer like Jonathan Green’s Crabgrass Preventer plus Green-Up or Jonathan Green’s Organic Weed Control with Corn Gluten. These preventers form a barrier in the top inch of soil to stop crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. If this barrier is broken by raking, you may suffer from poor weed control. Do not apply your pre-emergent control too early; the crabgrass does not start to germinate until soil temperatures reach around 50 to 55 degrees. A good time to apply your crabgrass preventer is when the forsythia start to bloom.
If you need to apply grass seed, apply it to loosened soil. Remember, grass seed will germinate much slower during cool spring months so be patient. The seed will not germinate until it wants to, again when soil temperatures reach around 50 to 55 degrees. It is best to try to establish your spring grass seed earlier than later in the spring. Weeds are very active in the spring and may crowd out some of your newly planted seed. When you apply your grass seed you can use Jonathan Green’s New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer or Jonathan Green’s Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer on the same day. It also is best to establish grass seed with cooler spring rains before the hot, dry summer months come along.
In early spring broadleaf weeds, such as wild onion, creeping charlie, veronica and violets appear. Many times we do not get around to treating these weeds, we notice them, and then a few weeks later once the lawn starts to grow and is mowed a few times, they seem to go away. However, they will return next year! You can control these weeds with granular products or spot spray them with the proper broadleaf weed control products like Jonathan Green’s Weed and Feed or Lawn Weed Control.
Early spring is a good time to test your soil. If your prior year’s lawn applications have not responded as you would like, perhaps your soil needs a check up. Jonathan Green has an easy to use Soil pH Test Kit that measures pH value, for only $.99! Or, bring your soil sample to your local extension service for a complete soil analysis. Bring your sample in early before the rush of samples arrives at the testing sight. This soil test is equivalent to a blood test and it can show where you may have some deficiencies in the soil that need to be corrected in order to help you grow a thick, green lawn.
Many municipalities are considering changes in their fertilizer laws. Be sure to check in your area if there are some restrictions to when you can apply lawn fertilizers. Jonathan Green has a complete line of no-phos fertilizers available in the 2010 season. Happy Spring!Back