Early Spring Lawn Preparation

4 Step Fertilizer Program – Save time and money with our specially priced 4 Step Annual Fertilizer Program.  This program offers up to a nice savings over purchasing the products individually through the year.  It is available in either 5,000 sq. ft. or 10,000 sq. ft. coverages, and includes instructions for when to apply.  It includes, with the first (Early Spring) application pre-emergent crabgrass control with DIMENSION.  This program does not include broadleaf weed control because we recommend this be done with liquid broadleaf herbicide.  We’ll advise the timing of the application of liquid broadleaf weed control in Newsletters and in the store.

Japanese Stiltgrass Control (JSG) – Japanese stiltgrass continues to be a challenge in many lawns in our area.  It is an annual grassy weed (like crabgrass) that germinates earlier than crabgrass, is shallow-rooted, grows best in woodlands or along wooded sections of lawns in heavily shaded and/or damp areas.  Stiltgrass forms dense mats and its pale green leaves have a silver stripe running down the center of the leaves. Control of JSG can be effective, but timing is key!  Control products must be applied and watered-in ahead of germination of the weed seeds.  In our area, this means March (or earlier in mild winters).  We have granular DIMENSION crabgrass control available without nitrogen fertilizer to help address problem areas without affecting the timing of your normal fertilization schedule.  If you have questions, come in to the store and discuss them with us.

Broadleaf Weed Control (Cool Season Weeds) in March – Perennial weeds (live from year to next year) can only be killed when they are actively growing.  Included in the group that is actively growing in March and early April is ground ivy, wild violets, chickweed, veronica, wild onions/garlic, and more.  Not included in this group are dandelions and clover.  They (and others) will be actively growing in late April, May and beyond.  Perennial weeds are removed by herbicide absorption through actively growing leaves and shallow roots.  Liquid lawn herbicide is the preferred application method for the most effective results.  In lawns with the weeds under control, spot treat individual areas to stay on top of newly sprouted weeds. Apply to the whole lawn if there are lots of weeds until they are under control, then spot treat thereafter.  We do NOT recommend that granular herbicides, such as weed & feed products be used.  It is much more difficult to get the proper coverage to the weeds when applied in granular form.

Seeding in March – Overseeding lawns in the spring is not recommended as it is NOT the correct season to improve the lawn. That season is fall.  In the spring, keep seeding to a minimum to fix areas damaged over the winter or to thicken up shady areas that have thinned.  Most grass established from seed in the spring will not persist due to slow establishment in colder soils and summer stresses on plants with insufficient root systems.  We have several different mixes/blends to meet your needs in the spring, but again, keep it to a minimum!

Fertilizing Lawns in March – We hope most of you fertilized your lawns last October, November, or early December.  If so, you won’t need to feed your lawns again until mid-late April/early May (hopefully in combination with DIMENSION pre-emergent crabgrass control).  If you did NOT feed the lawn after September and would like to get it as green as your neighbors who DID a late-fall feeding, we have our organic-based, slow-release granular 16-2-3 fertilizer available to help subtly green up the lawn now.

Mowing Lawns in March – This may be the year more lawns need to be mowed in March due to the early start of spring.  If you mowed late into the fall last year (around/after Thanksgiving) the lawn should look pretty tight and even and shouldn’t need mowing until growth resumes.  If you ceased mowing in early November or before, last fall, and the lawn looks long and tan, and uneven now, a dormant mowing will help improve the appearance of the lawn and help improve spring green-up.

Liming Lawns in March – Regular application of granular limestone (once or twice a year) of lawns grown in acidic soils (here), helps neutralize the acidic soil, which, in turn allows fertilizers to work better by releasing the macro-nutrients (N, P, K) and allowing grass roots to absorb them more readily.  Liming can be done at any time of the year (other than when snow’s flying) with PRO-CAL fast acting lime.  It’s applied in an easy to handle, pelletized form, which will raise soil pH in weeks instead of months!   If you don’t have the time or the inclination to apply lime yourselves, call us for an estimate on having our Turf Management group do it for you.

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