April is a great time of year to take care of lawn and garden tasks that will refresh your yard for spring. Here are two important items:
Everyone would like a fast “green -up” of their lawn. Fertilizer is a way to achieve that attractive green color and supply necessary nutrients. However, it must be done correctly. Most of the homes in our area have lawns of cool season grasses, like tall fescue. These grasses go through a significant period of root development in the spring. Some level of slow-release nitrogen is beneficial at this time. The problem is that some landscape companies or homeowners use too much nitrogen for this time of year. They put the emphasis on dark green color and fast leaf growth, instead of root growth. This will lead to problems with diseases, insects, weeds, and failing lawns during the hot summer months. The key is to find the correct balance of nutrients for both a green lawn and to encourage maximum root volume and depth to prepare for the summer. Give your lawn a lighter spring feeding with lesser amounts of nitrogen. Save the heavier applications for the Fall.
The grass has started to grow, but so have the weeds. The very best weed control is to grow a thick, healthy lawn that does not leave space for weeds to survive. Weeds are opportunistic and will pop up in every bare spot, even in healthy lawns. Weed control treatments can be either chemical or organic.
Herbicides are chemicals that kill plants. There are two types of herbicides:
A Pre-emergent herbicide is a chemical that works to keep weeds from growing by preventing the seeds from germinating. It has no effect on weeds that already exist.
A Post-emergent herbicide is a chemical that kills already existing weeds. It has no effect on the weed seeds in or on the soil that can still grow.
Both types of herbicides usually need to be applied more than once.
This is the time of year to apply a pre-emergent herbicide called a crabgrass preventer. It is usually applied in combination with your fertilizer treatment. The key to controlling these weeds is the timing of the application. We can take a cue from Mother Nature and apply when you see the forsythia bushes blooming. A second application should be applied to control late germinating seeds.
A post-emergent broadleaf herbicide can be used now to control winter weeds growing at this time such as Common Chickweed, Henbit, Clover, Dandelion, and Hairy Bittercress.
Grass Roots is back in full swing doing fertilization and weed control treatments, spring lawn clean-ups, mulching and mowing lawns. Please contact us if you would like to be put on the schedule or have any questions. Have you signed up for our highly rated Turf Care Program? If not, contact us for more information on how we can make a difference in your lawn with one of our beneficial treatments.
Wishing you a healthy and happy Spring.