23 May Second Lawncare Application
It seems like it has taken awhile to warm up, but spring in finally here! The spring seeding window (the time of spring with moderate temperatures that allows seed to germinate) is coming to an end and it is time to put down the second application of fertilizer. This application will be a Pre-emergent fertilizer for all properties. This allows us to maintain season-long grassy weed control by preventing grassy weeds from germinating.
This is also a great time to spray for broadleaf and grassy weeds. The ideal time is in the fall when weeds are beginning to store nutrients as they go dormant for winter. The second best time is right now—it’s warm enough to encourage growth so the weeds will take-in the spray, but it’s not too hot to do any damage to the grass.
Remember the lessons learned from last year. Late last spring and early summer brought record amounts of rainfall. This discouraged deep root growth as the plants didn’t need to drive their roots down to store nutrients. Ideally, you want your lawn to establish a deep root structure as it allows your lawn to store more nutrients and stay alive during adverse weather. A deep root structure also helps prevent against pests and disease. Last season’s weather simply didn’t cooperate as we had heavy precipitation followed by a few weeks of extreme heat. The grass did not have an established root structure to withstand the heat and, as a result, many lawns in the Metro area were incredibly stressed last year.
What can we learn from this? If possible, try to limit your irrigation during weeks where we get rain. Ideally, with no rain, you should water about 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes each station—less frequent, longer watering encourages deep root growth. Deeper root growth will allow the lawn to better handle whatever weather this summer brings.
Lastly, it’s important to understand the affect mowing has on your lawn. It is best to mow your lawn weekly, with sharp blades, following the 1/3 rule—never remove more than 1/3 of the grass during one mowing. Mowing with dull blades causes the tips of the grass to fray, making your lawn more susceptible to pests and disease. We recommend mowing weekly as it’s a good way to make sure you are following the 1/3 rule. Mowing every 2 weeks can shock the grass as it grows a little taller and: 1) is harder to mow following the 1/3 rule, and 2) makes your mowing blade go dull sooner. If you do mow every 2 weeks, raise the height on your mower to ensure that you are not removing too much grass.