This article is by Jonathan Green Lawncare
April is the key to success with your lawn. While many of us could not get out on our lawns in March because it was too wet or cold, you have to start and active lawn care program in April to be successful throughout the year. Think of your lawn program as a New Year’s resolution. I’m going to start living a healthy lifestyle by eating well, getting enough sleep and taking a walk to enjoy the sunshine and get out and conquer my lawn. However, do not give up on this New Year’s resolution!
We recently heard from a homeowner who is an avid gardener and has a beautiful lawn. They are wondering what they need to do this year to continue having a great looking lawn. Let’s just address April now that the snow is gone and warm spring weather is starting to make our yards come to life. Before we fertilize the lawn we need to clear the area of debris and give a vigorous raking to the lawn to remove dead grass, leaves, twigs, thatch or perhaps snow mold damage. You know how good it feels to have a massage and back rub, your lawn will respond well when you massage it with your rake. New life and grass blades will begin to emerge.
When your lawn starts to come out of its winter dormancy it is hungry and wants to be fed just like a hibernating bear. Traditional lawn fertilizers are best applied at this time since it still is usually cool and you will not get a quick response from organic lawn fertilizers. Most lawns will have some areas with bare spots and need re-seeding. Get these areas seeded as soon as possible so weeds do not fill in these spots, use lawn fertilizer in these areas. The earlier you seed in spring the better established your lawn will be to survive summer’s usual heat and drought stress. Remember what we have preached before; buy the best quality grass seed you can, not junk. Do you go out and buy the cheapest coffee, roses or car? Of course not.
Many of us think we need to apply crabgrass preventer in early spring. Did you have a bad case of the “crabgrass blues” last year? If so, why? Was your lawn not healthy and growing thick to crowd out crabgrass? Did you forget to fertilize all year and crabgrass showed up last summer? Crabgrass starts to germinate when soil temperatures reach 50-55 degrees. Remember, crabgrass germinates from early spring through mid-summer so crabgrass preventers applied too early may not work all season long. Crabgrass preventers that contain Dimension can control crabgrass before and after it germinates, up to the three leaf stage. This means you can apply grass seed and fertilizer to your lawn in early spring and once the new grass seed has been mowed 3 times you can apply this type of crabgrass preventer successfully. Mid-to-late April would be a good time to apply crabgrass controls. Remember, crabgrass does not grow in the shade so save the environment and use a traditional lawn fertilizer in these areas. If you had a healthy crop of crabgrass last year, consider applying a second application of Crabgrass Preventer in late spring for better control into summer months.
What about watering? Many folks get their irrigation systems turned on in April and start watering their lawn like crazy. Extra water does not necessarily help your lawn grow better or faster! Consider not watering until the lawn starts to suffer some stress from the lack of rainfall. April showers bring May flowers and a great looking lawn too! April usually does not require us to water our lawns since there is plenty of moisture available, wait until May or June to apply supplemental water. About one inch per week is all that the lawn needs in the absence of rainfall. So save some money and be good to the environment and hold off of on excessive watering.