Lawns in April 2022

Fertilizing with DIMENSION Crabgrass Control – Most of you know crabgrass, I’m sure.  It’s an annual, grassy weed that grows aggressively in the sunny areas of your lawn.  Seeds begin germinating in May and continue germinating through mid-July.  In the cool spring, crabgrass grows slowly, and is frequently not noticed in lawns.  But in June, when air temperatures regularly reach the 80s and above, cool weather grasses’ growth rate slows and the young crabgrass plants explode in lawns where pre-emergent crabgrass control products haven’t been applied.  Pre-emergent crabgrass controls should be applied EVERY YEAR.  If you skip a year, you’ll have crabgrass in July and August.  Apply your spring Fertilizer with DIMENSION Crabgrass Control in April or early May and you’ll have a crabgrass-free lawn for the entire crabgrass germinating season.  DIMENSION is the longest-lasting pre-emergent control product available on the market (pound for pound) AND it’s the only product on the market that kills newly germinate plants, allowing for later season application.  It lasts for up to 16 weeks, or through the entire germination period for crabgrass.  (Be aware that if you use a pre-emergent crabgrass control product, you CANNOT SEED your lawn while the herbicide is active.)

Broadleaf Perennial Weed Control with Liquid TRIMEC Herbicide – Broadleaf perennial weeds (dandelions, clover, plantain, ground ivy, etc.) live from year.  They go dormant in the colder parts of the year, but they remain viable.  They can only be killed/removed by herbicide absorption through actively-growing leaves and shallow roots.  Flowers DO NOT absorb herbicide; only actively growing leaves and shallow roots will.  Although there is some leaf growth during a dandelion’s bloom, the best time to kill the plants is after the bloom, when only the leaves and roots are growing.  So, when the dandelion reaches the seedhead (puffball) stage it is eminently controllable, and will continue to be so until the heat of summer slows growth down.  Then again in the fall there is good leaf growth, particularly with young plants that have grown since the spring flush.  Apply Liquid TRIMEC Herbicide when leaves are actively growing and when rain is not expected.  Also, do not mow lawn for 24 hours after application. 

Spring Seeding – As we continue to preach: spring seeding for improving turf density is to be avoided whenever possible.  Only in emergencies (construction, lawn damage, shady areas) should spring seeding even be considered, and whenever you do have to do some spring seeding, be prepared to reseed the areas in the fall.  In the spring, seed germination is slow due to cool soil temperatures. And after the seed has germinated, no roots will be generated after late June when soil temperatures warm into the 80s and cool season grasses go semi-dormant.  So, you’ll end up with sparse germination and minimal root development and be facing the most difficult time of the growing year, the summer.  It can’t work; it doesn’t work.  Do your general seeding in the late summer/early fall, and keep spring seeding to a minimal.

Core Aerating and Liming Lawns in Early and Mid-Spring – Because this region of the US has naturally occurring heavy/clay and acidic topsoil, we need to condition this soil regularly to promote healthy, deep-rooted turf.  This conditioning is done by regularly (once or twice a year) core aerating our lawns (pulling of plugs), and liming lawns every year to reduce soil acidity.  Core aerating is done anytime when the lawn is growing actively and there is enough soil moisture to pull 2-3” long plugs (or more under ideal conditions).  This will open up the heavy soil and enable moisture (rainfall or irrigation) to enter deeper into the root zones of the turf.  This promotes deeper and denser root systems and also reduces drought and disease damage.  Lime is a soil neutralizer, so it helps keep the pH of the soil in an optimal range so nutrients are more available to the grass plants.  Lawn Depot sells both pelletized lime and quick acting lime, both of which can be done anytime the ground is not frozen.  Lawn Depot Turf Management offers both core aeration and liming services to all of you, whether or not you are full-program Turf Management customers.  Contact our Turf Management group for a quote.

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