Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Lawn Care Tips

April is time for a minor lawn renovation. All lawn chores should be completed before April 18th, here in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6a – 7a). If you are planning a major lawn renovation, hold off until September.

Following a rough winter, fertilizing is a positive first step for rapid green recovery and filling in dead spots. Steps for over-seeding small dead areas: 1) light soil tilling with a rake, 2) fertilizing, and 3) seeding.

Over the lawn, apply a crabgrass preventative and again 3 months later (early July). Timing is crucial. When yellow flowering forsythia is passed blooming, crabgrass seedlings have germinated and most preventatives don’t work. Do not apply a crabgrass preventative to recently seeded areas.

Dandelion, henbit, chickweed, wild garlic and other broadleaf weeds are sprayed on non-windy days. Choose a day when air temperatures remain above 60°F for 6 hours or more.

Chart your annual mowing height through the year: first mowing at 1 ½ inches high; after first cut at 2 ½ inches until Memorial Day; during summer at 3 inches; and after Labor Day, back to 2 ½ inches.

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