From Our Friends at Heritage Seed Company

Spring 2014

 

Crabgrass Control In Your Lawn

  Crabgrass is a summer annual plant that germinates in the spring and produces a large amount of seeds in the summer.  In October the plants drop their seeds which will lay dormant in the soil and germinate the following spring.  Crabgrass likes full sun, warm temperatures and weak or open areas of a lawn. Crabgrass has a very course texture, is light green in color and weakens the health of your lawn.  Crabgrass turns purple in fall and dies with the first frost leaving unsightly skeletons throughout the lawn.

 

The key to controlling crabgrass in your lawn is preventing it from germinating.  Applying crabgrass preventer will provide you with good control if applied at the correct time.  Once crabgrass has established, pre-emergence herbicides will not be effective. Crabgrass will begin to germinate when the soil temperatures reach the mid-50s, with the majority of the germination occurring when the soil temperatures reach 60-70 degrees.  Another indicator of crabgrass germination is as the Forsythia starts to drop their blooms.  So when the Forsythia is in full bloom, the pre-emergent herbicide should be applied.  Depending on the several factors, the pre-emergent herbicide could last 2 to 3 months, so if applied too early, a second application can be done.

 

Cultural control of crabgrass can be done by providing proper nutrients to your lawn with regular fertilization and keeping your mowing heights at 2 ½ to 3 inches high.  The best defense against weed invasion is a thick, healthy lawn.  A thick turf canopy will shade the soil and reduce the number of weeds seedlings able to germinate.  Thin or bare areas of the lawn should be reseeded in the fall once any herbicide residuals are no longer present in the soil.

 

Lawn seed should not be planted less than 4 months before or after pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide is applied.  Please carefully read the herbicide label before application.

 

From Our Friends at Heritage Seed Company

                       

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Renovating and Overseeding Your Lawn

–          Spring is the time to repair damaged lawns.

–          Get your grass thick and healthy to prevent weeds from invading your lawn.

–          With the abundant spring rains, now is the time to reseed the bare and thin spots in your lawn.

–          Shady areas seeded in early spring can establish before the trees have full leaf canopies.

 

 

Renovatingif your lawn is more than 50% weeds and dead grass.

It is best to eliminate all living matter by using a non-selective herbicide such as Round Up.

 

Overseeding– if your lawn is less than 50% dead grass and weeds and your existing lawn is thin.

 

  1. Remove all excess debris and assess your lawn identifying spots that need reseeding.

 

  1. If soil is compacted or has a half inch or more of thatch buildup, core aerate area to break up the thatch layer and to loosen the soil so the roots can better absorb moisture and nutrients.  The cores should be 2-3 inches deep and 3 inches apart.  Aerators are available at many hardware, garden centers and rental stores.

 

  1. For overseeding, plant grass seed with a slit seeder 1/8 inch deep. Seed to soil contact is very important for success. Do not plant seed more than 1/4 inch deep.

 

  1. When seeding bare spots, loosen soil to 1/2 inch with a rake, spread seed and gently rake seed into the soil.  Cover with straw or pelletized mulch on sloped areas.  The earlier in spring you reseed the area, the better jump you will get on weed growth.

 

  1. New seeding of large areas, will have best results by planting your lawnseed at half the rate each in a north/south then an east/west direction.  This will give you a uniform blanket of grass.

 

  1. Apply a starter fertilizer at the rate of 3-4 lbs/1000 Sq. Ft.

 

  1. Apply irrigation daily so the top ½ inch of soil stays moist until the area is mowed one time. Minimum of 4 weeks of daily irrigation to allow Kentucky Bluegrass to germinate. When the area is mowed once, irrigation should be applied less frequently at higher rates to get the root system to grow deeper.

 

  1. Begin mowing once the first seedlings reach a height of 2 to 2 ½ inches to allow light to reach the slower germinating species.  When overseeding, continue to mow the existing lawn at 2 to 2 ½ inches.  After 6 weeks, raise mowing height to 2 ½ to 3 inches. Never mow more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a mowing.

 

*Mower blades should be freshly sharpened every spring to prevent tearing and ripping out of the ground of new seedlings by dull mower blades.

 

  1. 9.  Never apply crabgrass or broadleaf weed control products to newly seeded or reseeded areas until they have been mowed at least three times.