Lawn Care Dilemma
Are we ahead of schedule or not there just yet? If magnolia trees and forsythia are in bloom, it’s time to begin working in the yard. Temperature plays an important measure of timing. This year, the average temperatures have been 8 degrees warmer than normal in many regions. There are some products that are perfect to use for preventing crabgrass when making a late application to prevent. Dimension is a trademarked chemical that works to prevent and kill crabgrass that germinates up to the second set of leaves. Usually any pre-emergent crabgrass application is applied within two weeks of the forsythia flower drop off. You can bet that post emergent solutions will have more demand due to the late start by many consumers.
Newer technology offers some unique combination weed control products. These are granular applications that treat for crabgrass AND broadleaf weeds. Lebanon Spring Fertilizer with Weed Control & Crabgrass Preventer 24-0-6 is a complete food that lasts up to 12 weeks without excessive growth. Without the early fertilizer application in the lawn, all types of weeds begin to grow where soil is exposed in your lawn. Jonathan Green and Bonide also offer fantastic premium fertilizers that prevent crabgrass (with Dimension).
If your lawn has been consistently healthy without major weed issues, you may be able to ward off weeds naturally with a slow and steady diet of organic nutrients. There are a few noteworthy products to mention: Milorgonite, Ringer Lawn Restore, and Espoma All Season Lawn Food. Maintaining a healthy lawn is possible with scheduled feedings and spot treating visible weeds. The thicker the grass in your lawn, the less likely weed seeds will have access to sunlight to germinate. Cutting your grass at the correct height is also a must for success. Lowering the mower blade level and scalping grass tops will encourage disease, produce more weeds, heat buildup, and likely excessive watering.
Natural Broadleaf Weed Control
Corn gluten meal has been a proven broadleaf weed preventer that was successfully field tested as far back as 1974 at Iowa State University. One of the most unique products over the past decade, you may offer Espoma Weed Preventer 9-0-0 or Sustane Spring Weed & Feed 9-0-0 as an organic alternative for weed control that is safe for children and pets, too!
A basic knowledge of lawn care can go a long way towards success or failure. If you feel you need to start over, it all starts with a good grass seed that lasts years, not months. There are many perennial types to choose from: perennial, bluegrass, tall fescue, hard fescue, and special use types like poa trivialis, zoysia, and bentgrass. Avoid grass seed that is predominately annual grass seed unless you want quick coverage for a short duration. When you read a package label, it is either a blend (a combination of the same type of grass variety) a mixture (a combination of different type grass varieties) or one specific variety. To make it easier to sell consumers, grass seed packages are generally labelled for what consumers need for their home. Sunny, shady, sun & shade, bluegrass, drought tolerant, quick grow, sod quality, dense shade, might need a place on the shelf for these reasons. Some grass seeds are versatile enough to be used for both sun & shade (the most commonly sold grass seed in stores). The selection process can be difficult without asking your customer some questions about their grass conditions.
The Final Word
Having the correct pH in your yard is important to ensuring that the fertilizer you put down will perform correctly. If the soil is too acidic, you will need to recommend lime to your customer, preferably a quick acting lime. Once applied at the correct rate, grass seed needs to germinate by contacting seed to the soil along with needed moisture. Your fertilizer choice for starting a new lawn or renovating existing grass, should be a quality starter fertilizer formulated for lawns. These specific fertilizers include needed phosphorous for enhancing root growth when seeding. This is the second number of the fertilizer formula. Espoma, Greenview, and Jonathan Green offer high quality lawn starters. Do not use a crabgrass preventer fertilizer UNLESS it is labeled for new lawn seeding. This specific type of pre-emergent chemical (Tupersan) is safe for seeding while preventing crabgrass. Greenview and Jonathan Green make a terrific crabgrass preventer and starter product for retail sales. It may cost a few dollars more out of pocket in the beginning, but it saves you time and more money in controlling future weeds.