Fertilizing with DIMENSION Pre-emergent Crabgrass Control – Crabgrass is an annual, grassy weed; seeds begin to germinate in early May, when soil temperatures reach 55-57 degrees F. Pre-emergent controls prevent this seed germination for up to 16 weeks (in the case of DIMENSION, less time with some other control products). Crabgrass seeds will continue to germinate in the soil until soil temperatures reach the mid-80s (usually mid-July). The key for season-long crabgrass control is to apply the pre-emergent product at the proper time (neither too early, nor too late) so that the germination preventer spans the germination period (May through July). Thus, we recommend that your DIMENSION (along with a slow-release, long-lasting fertilizer) be applied in mid to late April for best results. Apply at any time this month and you’ll have the dreaded crabgrass controlled for the whole season. By the way, if you applied your pre-emergent control in March and used a product that doesn’t last as long as DIMENSION, you may want to consider re-applying the product in late May to get season-long control.
Broadleaf Perennial Weed Control with Liquid TRIMEC Herbicide – Crabgrass is an annual grassy weed; it dies each late fall. Dandelions, clover, plantains, ground ivy, and many more lawn weeds are perennial; they go dormant in the cold months, and resume growth as the earth warms next spring. Perennial weeds can only be killed while they are actively growing. In the spring, most of the more bothersome lawn weeds (dandelions, clover) resume active growth in mid-April, and continue growing actively well into June, when the hot weather slows their growth down considerably. All this being said, the period of mid-April through late May is the ideal time in the spring to get rid of virtually all perennial broadleaf weeds. Earlier than mid-April, clover isn’t active yet and dandelions are still just starting to bloom; your control won’t be complete. Since perennial weeds are killed by herbicide absorption through actively growing leaves and roots, liquid herbicides are much more effective than their granular counterparts. And liquid TRIMEC is the best broad-spectrum broadleaf weed control we’ve found. We’ve used it for years and it’s still the best. Always apply liquid TRIMEC at a time when there is no rain in the forecast for 12-24 hours, and the lawn should not be mowed for 24 hours, before or after. And for best results, repeat TRIMEC application in September, at the end of the plants’ active growth season. You’ll take out all immature, recently germinated weeds BEFORE they even bloom, and leave a weed-free lawn going into winter dormancy. Next spring …. no weeds. Voila!
Spring Seeding – Any of you who know The Lawn Depot know that we advise against spring seeding to improve the lawn. Cool spring soils slow germination until well into May for even ryegrasses, the earliest to germinate, and late May for bluegrasses, fescues and other types of cool-weather grasses. And as soon as soil temperatures reach the mid-80s (usually early July) ALL grass root production ceases. Thus, spring seeding is slow and all root production is shallow and minimal. Even if regular irrigation of newly seeded areas is practical and practiced, you’re left with weak, shallow-rooted grass plants that will thin in the heat and have to be reseeded in the fall anyway. So, seed in the spring ONLY if you have to (lawn damage, new lawn) and Only use 100% perennial ryegrass (Lawn Depot EVERGREEN Blend).
Core Aerating and Liming Lawns in April, May and early June – Both of these activities are considered soil amending activities. In Southeastern PA (and many other sections of the country too), we’ve been naturally blessed with heavy (clayey) acidic (low pH) soils which serve to reduce deep root development and diminish fertilization effectiveness. The best way to combat these natural conditions is to regularly amend (modify) the soils by core aerating and liming the lawns. Aerating opens the soil up to allow moisture and fertilizer (and thus, roots) to go deeper into the earth. Liming raises soil pH, sweetening the acid soil and allowing the nutrients in fertilizers to work better. Aeration can be done whenever the soil is soft enough to pull 2”-3” plugs (usually April through mid-June and mid-September through early November). Liming can be done (with less dusty pelletized lime) anytime when the ground is not snow-covered and there is regular rainfall. Both amendment activities should be done annually (or twice annually). Lawn Depot Turf Management offers both services as special applications; call for an estimate.