Lawn Care Calendar
Millions of Americans get great satisfaction from having a lush, green lawn stretching out around their homes. How you schedule your lawn maintenance has an impact on the effectiveness of all your efforts. It is important to determine if you have a high- or low-maintenance lawn. Shady grass varieties are low-maintenance, requiring less fertilizing and water. Sunny grass varieties can be high-or low-maintenance. Kentucky Bluegrass is the most common variety of grass grown in sunny areas. It is also the variety used for sod in our area. If your lawn has been sodded or seeded with Kentucky bluegrass, it is considered a high- maintenance lawn that will require extra fertilizer and water.
April and May
• When the grass and soil are fairly dry, rake the lawn to remove dead grass, leaves and other debris using a lawn rake with flexible tines. Areas that are affected by snow mold will need to be thoroughly raked to raise the matted grass.
• High-maintenance lawns will need an early application of fertilizer in spring. It can be applied as soon as the grass has grown enough to need mowing. Use either Bachman’s combination Crabgrass Preventer with Turf Food 18-0-12, an organic product such as Restore or Sustane fertilizer. Low maintenance, shady lawns should not be fertilized in spring or early summer.
• If your lawn is healthy and properly maintained you shouldn’t have a weed problem that requires chemical treatment. If you have a persistent problem with crabgrass that you cannot control through cultural methods or spot treatment during the growing season you can apply a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide. This will need to be applied before the soil temperatures are consistently 55-60 degrees. Generally, this will fall between May 1-15. If broadleaf weeds are a problem, apply a selective, post-emergent herbicide such as Weed-B-Gone, following the directions on the label.
• If you are having a problem with patches of unhealthy looking lawn, you can get more information from the extension bulletin provided by the University of Minnesota on Turf Patch Diseases.
• Most varieties can be seeded in very late April through May. Wait until early to mid-May for Bluegrass.
• When mowing, remove only one-third of the leaf area at one cutting. Try to avoid mowing any lower than 2 inches in the spring and adjust the height upwards during hot weather.
June and July
• High-maintenance (Bluegrass) lawns need an early June feeding of a balanced fertilizer at the rate of one-half pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, then avoid fertilizing in July. Do not fertilize shady, low-maintenance lawns until fall.
• Low-maintenance lawns can generally rely on the water nature provides. High maintenance lawns will need more. If nature doesn’t provide adequate rainfall - at least an inch per week - you will need to water. The grass will make best use of the water you provide if you give it soaking, encouraging strong, deep roots that will be better able to gather food and water. During a drought, a healthy low-maintenance lawn will go dormant and as long as there isn’t any traffic on it while dormant, it will survive until moisture returns. High maintenance lawns (and low-maintenance lawns with heavy traffic) will be damaged by inadequate water.
• During June and July, several patch diseases can cause lawn problems. Keeping your lawn healthy and mowed at the proper height will help avoid these problems.
August and September
• The last application of fertilizer is the most important one for both high and low-maintenance lawns. If your lawn tests show your soil is lacking in nitrogen, apply a winterizing fertilizer such Bachman’s Lawn Winterizer. For an organic alternative, use Sustane or Ringer’s Restore.
• Rake your leaves and remove as much debris as possible before the snow falls to prevent damage to your grass. Mowing your grass shorter and raking excess clippings as the lawn is going dormant will help reduce the risk of snow mold in the spring.
• August and September are good months to resume your fight against the more stubborn weeds. Plants are actively moving food down to the roots to store for winter, making applications of herbicides more effective.
• When the temperatures begin to cool down, you can resume fertilizing. Low- and high maintenance lawns should be fertilized between August 15 and September 10 using a balanced fertilizer at the rate of one pound per 1000 square feet.
• If you plan to reseed your grass, the best time is between August 15 and September 15. This gives the grass seeds plenty of time to germinate and establish them selves before freezing weather sets in.
• When thatch is more than one-half inch deep, power raking is recommended. Thatch buildup is a major contributor to lawn diseases. If your soil is highly compacted or a heavy clay, use a plug-type aerator that will loosen the soil, help reduce thatch buildup and allow better penetration of air, nutrients and water.
Additional Bachman’s Information on Lawns
Renovating a Lawn
Detatching and Aerating Lawns
Seeding Your Lawn
Bachman’s Lawn Starter and Winterizer
Bachman’s Weed and Feed
Bachman’s Crabgrass Preventer
Gro-well fertilizer 15-0-4
Ringer’s Lawn Restore Rotary and Drop Spreaders
Ortho Weed-B-Gone Herbicide
Bachman’s Brand Grass Seed
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