Lawns in May
Crabgrass Control With DIMENSION
Early May is when crabgrass seeds typically begin to germinate in Southeastern PA. Pre-emergent control must be in place (applied AND water-activated) before crabgrass seed germination starts to be effective. DIMENSION is the only product on the market that can both prevent germination AND kill seedlings up to 2 weeks AFTER germination. If you have not yet applied DIMENSION and want a crabgrass-free lawn this summer, DO SO IMMEDIATELY and water in thoroughly to activate. We have DIMENSION crabgrass control either with organic-based, slow-release nitrogen fertilizer or without nitrogen fertilizer. For future reference, mid-late April is prime time for pre-emergent crabgrass control application.
Fertilizing Lawns in May
If you’ve already fertilized the lawn this spring (either alone or in combination with DIMENSION do not feed the lawn again until June. If you have not yet fed the lawn this spring, feed it now with Lawn Depot organic-based, slow-release 16-2-3 fertilizer.
Controlling Broadleaf Perennial Weeds with Liquid TRIMEC Herbicide
Between late April and Mid-June, virtually all warm weather-active perennial weeds are actively growing; it is prime time to remove them from your lawns completely. Dandelions, clover, plantain, ground ivy, wild strawberry all have actively growing leaves and roots during this time. Therefore, they are easy to kill without damaging desirable grasses. One application of TRIMEC liquid herbicide (no rain in the forecast; no mowing for 24 hours after) will remove all weeds. And for best results and a weed-free lawn next spring, re-apply TRIMEC in September.
Preventive Grub Control with MALLET/MERIT
Grubs, the larval stage of many insects, live in the ground until they emerge as adults and become flying insects. Most grubs you find in gardens and beds are not at all harmful and should be left alone. However, Japanese beetle grubs do not occur in landscaped areas. You can find them in grassy areas of properties, and they feed on shallow grass roots. Adult beetles lay their egg clusters in sunny grass areas of lawns near where they feed (tree and shrub foliage). Because the eggs are concentrated, they hatch (4-6 weeks) when lawns are dormant, and the young grubs are hungry, they can do incredible damage to lawns if allowed.
In addition, this damage can go undetected because it happens underground. Even a moderate number of adult Japanese beetles in July can cause a good bit of lawn damage from August-October. This leaves lawn areas dead at the end of the growing season when repairs cannot be accomplished before winter dormancy. Any of us who have suffered grub devastation on lovely lawns will put preventive grub control on the annual to-do calendar right next to preventive crabgrass control.
Soil Conditioning Lawns in May
Every lawn in Southeastern PA benefits from lime and core aeration every year. There, I’ve said it again. Heavy clay soils resist deep moisture, root, and fertilizer penetration. This leaves grass with shallow roots that are vulnerable to drought, disease, and other natural stresses. Acidic soils react chemically with the macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) in fertilizers, thus making them less effective as plant fertilizers. We are blessed with both heavy and acidic soils here in Southeastern PA . Lucky us!
However, we grow great grass in Southeastern PA. Why? Because turf professionals (golf courses, professional turf managers, conscientious homeowners) lime and aerate their turf EVERY YEAR. Either do it yourselves or ask for a quote for our Turf Management group to do it right. Core aeration can be done any time when the grass is actively growing and the ground is soft enough that 3”-4” plugs can be pulled from the lawn. In other words, spring or fall. You can lime your soil anytime the ground is not covered in snow. Do it yourselves or call The Lawn Depot for a quote.