Clean Up Your Messy Lawn! We all know someone in our neighborhood that never seems to get to certain lawn-yard projects. Studies indicate that a well landscaped home can increase your property value, up to 15% or more. So, why not fix the obvious problems at your home? A whole host of things start to happen in late spring now that your lawn is into full stride from feeding, mowing, rain and warm temperatures. Some folks have erosion problems causing soil-mud to wash onto the sidewalk or street. The reason is improper grading and poor soil quality. This can be fixed even if you do not change the grade. Some quality soil should be introduced along with Love Your Soil. Testing the soil is important to know if there are deficiencies in soil pH value or other problems with the existing soil which may prevent a lawn from thriving. Some of these problem areas need some pavers or stone in landscape beds, or if in severe shade, plant pachysandra. In New Jersey, many soils have too low a pH value to properly grow grass. Your soil pH should be between 6.2-7.0 for your lawn to thrive and thicken. I bet most of you have never tested your soil. How can you grow a good lawn without knowing your soil pH? Rutgers University has a soil testing laboratory which can provide a complete soil test analysis, go to this website link for more information. There are also various soil testing kits available at your local garden center or hardware store. Be sure to buy a quality Black Beauty grass seed mixture designed for use in the area you are seeding. “My neighbor’s dandelions grew like crazy and then they came into my yard!” I’ve heard this many times over the years. This is Mother Nature spreading good cheer throughout the land. You have to suggest to your neighbor that they use Green-Up Weed & Feed or Lawn Weed Control to keep the dandelions out of your yard, but this may not happen. Otherwise, you need to monitor these weeds in your yard and treat them as needed with proper timing and the above products that control dandelions, always follow label directions for best control. I also hear complaints about moles coming from the neighbor’s yard. Like my advice above, monitor the situation and see if you have grubs in your lawn while the moles gladly visit your yard to enjoy them. Grubs will begin to come up to the soil surface in late spring getting ready to deposit their eggs. Applying Grub and Insect Control in late spring is best if you have had a problem with grubs in the past. The same goes for fungus, “My lawn mower guy must have brought fungus from another lawn.” Maybe so, but they cannot clean the mower between each yard they mow. Monitor your lawn for fungus problems, particularly if you have had fungus in the past. Be sure to over-seed your yard with quality grass seed to reduce disease pressure. Sometimes early spring broadleaf weeds such as onion grass and bittercress (the small white flower that stand 3-4” tall) appear and are unsightly in lawns and landscape beds. These can be controlled effectively with broadleaf weed controls either with a ready-to-use spray or granular formulations. Be sure to apply per label directions, particularly during an early morning dew or damped lawn from rain or your sprinkler. In late spring, we’ll see the flush of dandelions once the weather warms up, sometimes they appear overnight. Remember, April showers bring May flowers and weeds! Many other broadleaf weeds will start to appear in late spring, this is Green-Up Weed and Feed time. The good grass likes to be fed in late spring to help lawn growth continue and to crowd out unwanted weeds. The broadleaf weed controls are selective and, when used as directed on the label, will not hurt the good grass in your lawn. The process of feeding along with proper mowing will reduce weed competition greatly.
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