Jeff’s Perfect Lawn Care Secrets – Week 15 of 2010
This is a good time to fertilize with a slow-release type of lawn fertilizer if you do not plan to do major renovations or over-seeding. If such projects are planned, hold off fertilizer till mid-June. Options include Ringer’s Restore, Espoma Organic Lawn Fertilizer, or Milorganite. For complete fertilizing tips go to www.yardener.com – Fertilize Lawns
Optional – Late April and all of May are the times to over-seed the lawn or to take care of any repairs that are needed. If you can, use a grass seed mixture that is predominantly perennial ryegrass. In the fall you can use a mixture that is predominantly tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass withstands the heat of summer in seedling stage better than the other two common species. Overseeding advice is at www.yardener.com – Overseed Lawns.
Optional – If areas of your lawn are uneven from frost heaving or rodents tunneling, add a thin layer of topsoil to bring the low spots up level with the high spots. Rolling the lawn, trying to flatten the high spots, just compacts our already compacted soils. Adding topsoil, raking it smooth, and over-seeding will level the yard surface.
Set the mower height to 2 to 2½ or even 3 inches in anticipation of a new mowing season. Having the blade sharpened is a very good idea. If the blade is over three years old, buy a new one. Mowing advice at Mowing the Lawn.
New Herbicide On The Scene
The first step in overseeding is killing all the broad-leaved weeds in your lawn about two weeks prior to laying out the seed. PBI Gordon (www.pbigordon.com) has introduced a new herbicide called SpeedZoneÒ Lawn Weed Killer which you may wish to consider. Like many competing products, SpeedZone kills just broad-leaved weeds and does no harm to the turf grass. What makes this new product attractive is that it works about twice as fast as the other lawn weed herbicides. It will work in cooler temperatures down to 40 degrees, which means you can use it now. In addition, it uses less active ingredient per thousand square feet which means it introduces less toxicity into the environment. A 20 ounce bottle of concentrate will cover 16,000 to 18,000 square feet while the same amount of most competitors will cover 5000 to 8000 square feet.
SpeedZone is labeled to handle virtually all the weeds found in a lawn including the tough-to-kill creeping Charlie (ground ivy) and clover. It will not kill any grassy weeds such as creeping bentgrass.