At this time we have fresh snow on the ground and unseasonably cold temperatures, but spring weather is quickly approaching, and our customers have been preparing for it with much anticipation! We have had many questions about lawn fertilization. We recommend a four-step program that will consistently nourish the lawn with nitrogen and other essential nutrients that become depleted during the growing season, maintaining a healthy lawn with a full, lush appearance. This approach also incorporates treatments that will prevent and combat common weed and insect problems and applies them at the appropriate times. The first step provides a crabgrass preventer that keeps crabgrass and other weed seeds from germinating, as well as a high nitrogen fertilizer to invigorate the lawn so it greens up quickly. This should be applied early in the spring after temperatures are in the mid 50’s for two or three days in a row, typically late March to early April.
The second step should be applied in mid to late May and replenishes the lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer to keep it well nourished and looking great. This is essential as the lawn is growing quickly and depleting nutrients rapidly. It also contains a broadleaf weed killer that works very well in controlling dandelions as well as other persistent broadleaf weeds without harming the grass.
The third step should be applied in July. It usually contains little or no fertilizer as the lawn is normally growing much slower this time of year; however, it has insecticides to combat a number of insect problems prevelant at this time, such as cinch bugs, sod webworms, etc. that can cause serious damage to the lawn very rapidly in the summer.
The fourth step is usually applied in early to mid September. At this time the lawn is again growing rapidly and beginning to develop more roots as it begins to prepare for the impending colder months. The fertilizer in this step is formulated to help fortify this process.
4-step lawn programs are available at our garden centers. We carry various brands, including our Oakland brand quality fertilizers.
In addition to the lawn, this is also a great time to start cleaning-up landscape beds, removing leaves and other debris left behind by the winter weather. “Edge” the beds by creating a border along the bed lines with a spade, defining the border and removing encroaching sod. As the soil warms, begin to gradually remove mulch mounded around roses, tender perennials, bulbs, etc. from autumn. This is also a perfect time for pruning to thin and shape summer flowering shrubs such as Potentilla, Spirea, Knock-out roses, Hydrangeas, and Weigelas, before new growth develops. When the soil has warmed significantly (usually in early to mid April), fresh mulch can be applied.
Provided by Oakland New Albany