Tuesday, April 19, 2011
During the month of February you probably are not thinking much about your lawn since it is generally covered with snow and brown colored from the cold weather. It’s not too early to think of what you might need to do to your lawn when the weather breaks in early spring. If your lawn could speak to you, what would it be thinking (saying?) about now?
The answer to this question may be different if there is snow on the ground. If the unusually warm weather we experienced in the months of December and January continues into February the lawn may think there will be no winter season and start growing when the temperatures increase.
If it has snowed, the lawn may be suffering from ice melter damage. The salts in many ice melters can ‘burn’ the lawn if they are applied too heavily. This would require some spring seeding to repair damage. There are winter turfgrass diseases that are more prevalent under certain conditions. Snow mold can occur from November to April based on snow coverage, excessive leaf coverage or too much fertilizer applied to the lawn during winter months. This type of damage happens more frequently on high maintenance golf courses but can occur on home lawns too. Snow mold damage can be severe enough to also require new grass seeding to repair the dead areas. Jonathan Green recommends using their Black Beauty Ultra Mixture to repair these areas.
The cold winter months tend to reduce insect activity. The only insect to be thinking of might be grubs. If you had some grub damage last year your lawn could be set to have them appear again the following year. Grubs burrow down into the soil during cold months to avoid freezing; they can go down to one foot deep. When the soil starts to warm up they make their way slowly to the soil surface by May. Late spring is a good time to control grubs with Jonathan Green Grub Control since they are hungry and are feeding and more vulnerable to control products. If you think you have grubs, rake the lawn vigorously to see if they are near the soil surface. The turfgrass tends to peel back easily if grubs have severed the roots. Make sure there are signs of grubs near the surface before you consider any controls so they will be effective. Some grubs damage may require new grass seed like Jonathan Green’s Black Beauty Mixture to repair damage.
What else might we see in February on your lawn? You may find some burrowing trails on the surface of your lawn. This is from mice damage. They tend to be active, even under a lot of snow cover, looking for food. Mice can also dig through your landscape beds and the trails will be easy to locate if you look closely. There is not much you can do to control them at this time of year since they will certainly be hiding from you as you walk around your yard. Controls for mice would be more successful during their high activity months of April through November. Mice damage may require seeding with Jonathan Green Black Beauty Ultra Mixture to repair the lawn also.
Early lawn weeds may appear in February if mild temperatures continue in the 40 to 50 degree range. These early weeds include chickweed, onion grass and clovers. These weeds will be better controlled during the more actively growing months of April and May in your area with Jonathan Green Lawn Weed Control.
Traffic damage can be caused on the lawn in the winter from family members, your dogs and perhaps the mailman, if there is no snow cover. Walking on the frozen turf causes this damage. The damage will be ‘foot prints’ in the spring. The weight of the person caused the crown of the plant to be injured and the grass may die. If the damage is severe you will need to do some reseeding with one of my quality grass seed mixtures.
I mentioned repairing the lawn in the paragraphs above. You can be successful using ‘frost’ or winter seeding methods. You can apply Jonathan Green Black Beauty grass seed directly over the snow with a hand crank spreader or broadcast seed over the ground. The seed will work its way into the soil and germinate when the temperatures begin to rise. It can provide a good cover if you where not able to apply grass seed late last year. The Black Beauty grass seed can germinate and get established, hopefully, before the weeds, drought and insects during the year ahead. Most stores have Jonathan Green grass seed on the shelves all year round, if you want to try this method.Back