Did You Know?
Young seedling grass can often be affected by chemicals so it is critical that there be sufficient time for your grass seedlings to establish them- selves. I will cover more on other chemical effects and seeding issues later on.
Planning for a lawn project requires something to be done in most months of the year. This includes months in which lawn care is the last thing on some people’s minds. Many of the common mistakes made in lawn care have to do with the timing of fertilizer and weed control treatments. Here are just a couple of examples of the overall thought process it takes to keep a beautiful looking lawn throughout the year. It is a strategy program for starting over with a new lawn in cool season turf:
- August—Spray all of your existing turf with Roundup® to kill all vegetation, which includes all of your existing grass and any possible evasive weeds.
- September—This is the time to do your seeding or sodding Make sure you do not take shortcuts because this will just cause more problems later on.
- October/November—Make sure you have adequate fertilizer to keep your grass growing strong through the winter.
- February/March—Start a good weed control program that you will be prepared to stick with throughout the The first round will be a pre-emergent herbicide that will prevent weeds, later on, in the growing season.
- April/May—Now is when you need to reflect on all of the “junk” that took over your yard and that you got rid of by starting over with a lawn. Keep things going with a broadleaf application to get rid of those pesky weeds before they take hold again.
- May/June—Do not forget about grub worms. Now is the time to get a treatment down to keep grubs under control from year to year.
- June/August—It will not hurt to use small doses of fertilizer in a liquid form, but really your yard has no major needs for fertilizer until fall if you have cool season grasses.
- September–November—You should be enjoying a lavish lawn that has been weed free and cared for all summer. Make sure you give it that last good blast of fertilizer to carry it through the winter.
Here is a strategy program for one year working with your existing lawn and trying to improve the grass you have in cool season turf:
- January/February—Get a weed control program laid out for the Figure out which chemicals you are going to use if you are doing it yourself, or start talking to lawn care companies if you are looking to hire someone.
- February/March—Be prepared to start putting chemicals on the yard to control weeds early. Many weeds that do not show up until June or July need to be controlled now. Crabgrass is an example of one of those weeds that once you have seen it, it might be too late.
- March/April—Now is when broadleaf weeds are really getting started well. You will want to try to get these under control if you are thinking about doing any seeding in the Make sure that you have eliminated as many weeds as possible so that the new grass will have a better chance for survival.
- May/June—It’s time to think about grubs if you have Also it is probably time for a second round of a pre-emergent. This is your last your chance to get those broadleaf weeds before summer also.
- June/August—Time to coast a little. Mid summer fertilizer is never a good idea in high amounts unless you are using small amounts of a liquid
- August/September—Now is the best time to seed for the whole Plan for a seeding program that will use aeration, slit seeding, or power raking to incorporate the seed into the soil.
- September/November—Now that your seed is growing, do not forget that a winter fertilizer will be needed to keep things going.
Lawns that follow a year around program are much more resilient and hold up better against drought conditions. Nothing is set in stone and your particular target date can vary slightly by geographic location. People in Southern states need to start much earlier than the people in the Northern states when looking at previous examples.
Lawns are composed of plants, and are living things with complex cell structures. Plants respond to environmental conditions and we all learn new things about lawn care every day. You need to think about hiring a professional when it comes to wanting that really meticulous lawn.
Here is a checklist of questions you should ask when hiring a lawn care professional:
- How many lawns have you installed and where are they located?
- What are the names of those people and can I call them for a reference?
- Do you do lawn applications, and can you continue to take care of my lawn throughout the year should I choose to hire you?
- Do you have the licenses necessary to legally and safely apply chemicals to my yard?
- Do you charge to give estimates about my lawn, and what I need to do?
- How many years experience do you have in the lawn care business or turf industry?
- The answers to these questions will quickly help you decide if the person you are talking to is really the right person for the job.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO CORRECT YOUR LAWN PROBLEMS
- I can safely say that once an evaluation of the lawn is made, you are faced with the decision of what to do with your lawn problems. Let’s start with the basics and work our way up. I will get into very detailed sections about each one of these topics later on, but is important to be thinking about the possible solutions as you evaluate the problem.
- Too many times I have seen my own customers rely on a short period of weed control thinking that the yard will just kind of start to take care of itself at some point. For instance, I have dealt with customers that will spend thousands of dollars to renovate a yard, only to let weeds come in and take over only one year after the yard has been renovated. Weed control is simply the easiest thing to do on a year to year basis to eliminate long term problems later on.
- Aeration is a process that creates air exchange with the atmosphere, reduces compaction, and creates a good seed bed for new If weeds have “choked” out the good grass in the lawn then this process may help to rejuvenate the lawn you already have. Weed control will still need to be done at some point to allow the “good grasses” to compete, but aeration can help to eliminate many problems. Weeds may have been the source of the problem to begin with, but as weeds tend to take over the lawn the desirable grass becomes in worse condition. It is a combination of good lawn care practices such as aeration along with a yearly weed control program that help to make the difference.
- Power raking a yard can improve turf quality. A power rake is a device the shreds thatch while creating a seed bed for new turfgrass as you go. This process costs about the same and takes about the same amount of time as the aeration process. Again the goal is to help the new grass to compete by creating a seed bed and providing an environment conducive to growing grass. There will need to be time taken to remove the thatch that is pulled up by this process.
- You have a couple of options for establishing cool season grasses. One option is a seeding project that literally would be completely starting over from bare soil. Now seeding in this manner allows you to correct drainage issues, bury old weeds and debris, incorporate fertilizers, while creating a new seed bed at the same time. There are many benefits to being able to directly improve the soil. Also seeding is much cheaper than sodding.
- Another option is to use a sodding process which can be done in a couple of different fashions. In most cases, the soil is turned over and rolled out with a roller and new sod is installedover the soil like a carpet. The other way is to cover the existing soil with sod without turning over the soil. In any instance, sod usage must be done correctly to have long term success with this type of process. Although your grass may look really good when it is first rolled out, sod is not as easy of a fix as most think it is.