SPRING TURF TIPS
This is a good time of year to consider renovating your lawn. Dethatching, aeration and reseeding can add many years of life to your lawn.
- Apply a pre-emergent with weed control in early February. This will control almost all seed germination of weeds for a period of ninety days.
- If you are reseeding the lawn do not apply a pre-emergent as it will inhibit grass seed from germinating.
- Many pre-emergent products are combined with fertilizer. When used, this will serve as the first fertilizer application of the year for your lawn.
By mid March the grass should be actively growing!
- Apply a fertilizer with a small percentage of nitrates in the nitrogen formula.
- Most winterized or water soluble fertilizers containing either ammoniacal or nitrate-type Nitrogen on their label will release faster and produce more top growth (clippings) during mowing.
- Newer fertilizers that contain coated or slow release nitrogen will control its release over a longer period.
- Any fertilizer used after this application should be a "balanced formulation" lawn fertilizer.
- The type of fertilizer one chooses should meet the needs of the specific turf.
- Check your sprinklers for proper coverage.
- Cleaning nozzles, flushing line, adjusting heads, and replacing the clock batteries will all help "tune up" your system.
- Try a less frequent, deeper soak to encourage deeper roots.
- Early morning watering helps prevent turf disease as the lawn dries out during the day.
Aeration opens up the soil and stimulates root growth, especially when followed by a balanced fertilization. Core aeration also relieves soil compaction in older lawns and high traffic areas. Multiple aerations (2 to 3 or more per year) can greatly benefit high use lawns and help ease compaction.
Rising spring soil temperatures can generate other growth in your lawn as well.
- Look for grubs that have been over wintered in the soil. They can start to move into the root zone and feed until their life cycle moves onto the adult stage.
- At this point, wait until you see damage from the larvae again before you treat your lawn. This often occurs in late May-early June.
Spring is also the right time to increase the mowing height of your lawn. Delta Bluegrass Company suggests the following:
- Dwarf Fescues: 1 ½ inches to 3 inches
- Fine Fescues: 1 ½ inches to 2 ½ inches
- Tall Fescues: 2 inches to 3 inches
- Blue-Rye: 1 ½ inches to 2 ½ inches
SUMMER TURF TIPS
Additional watering is necessary when temperatures exceed 90 degrees!
- Slow release nitrogen fertilizers should be the preferred choice during the summer season. These fertilizers release nutrients over a longer period of time and maintain a steady growth rate. They are usually non-burning and cause less stress to your summer turf.
- These fertilizers do not produce "growth flushes" like the traditional fertilizers that contain quick release forms of nitrogen.
- Deep irrigations are recommended during the heat of the summer. Remember, the deeper the soak, the deeper the roots.
- For best results irrigate between 12 am (midnight) and 5 am in the morning.
Mowing height in the summer should be raised to reduce added stress to the turf. With a deep root system, your drought tolerance will increase.
- Blue/Rye High of 2 inches and Low of 1 inch
- Tall Fescue High of 3inches and Low of 2 inches
- Dwarf Fescue High of 3 inches and Low of 1 ½ inches
- Mow regularly and never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade length for best results.
- Keep mower blades well sharpened for the best cut and great looking turf.
- Use a product designed specifically for the Fall season (winterizing fertilizer). Consult your local nursery for recommendations.
- Reset your irrigation clock according to the weather in your area. Decreasing your watering schedule is necessary as the temperatures cool and the rain begins to fall.
Dethatching & Aeration
- Thatch is an accumulation of grass roots, leaves and other debris that form just below the surface of the sod. If your lawn has about ½ inch or more of a thatch layer, sunlight and water will be blocked from providing nutrients.
- Aeration opens up the soil and stimulates root growth, especially when followed by a balanced fertilization. Core aeration also relieves soil compaction in older lawns and high traffic areas. Multiple aerations (2 to 3 or more per year) can greatly benefit high use lawns and help ease compaction.
- Overseed with a variety that matches your existing lawn to maintain a lush and healthy appearance.
- If you have a warm season grass that will go dormant in the winter, overseed with a cool season grass (such as ryegrass) to maintain a green lawn during the winter months.
- Small and large package seed is available for most Delta Bluegrass varieties. Contact your local distributor for availability.
Additional Seasonal Tips
- Be sure to rake any leaves and debris that are covering your lawn on a regular basis. The additional debris may cause mold and disease if left unmaintained.
WINTER TURF TIPS
The winter season does not require much maintenance.
- Consult your local nursery for a winterizing fertilizer. Your fall application of fertilizer should maintain your lawn through the winter months.
- Adjust your irrigation according to weather conditions; you can turn off your irrigation when the rainy season begins.
- For new installations in the winter, roots will take approximately 14 days to establish due to the cooler weather.
- Adjust your mowing height to approximately 3 inches; this will maximize blade exposure to any available sunlight.