Wow time is flying by! It is time once again, at least in the south, to start looking to your lawn. Spring is just around the corner so getting a jump start on it can help give you a greener healthier lawn!
Weeds! The bane of all lawn owners’ existence! This year get a jump on them by applying either an organic or synthetic herbicide. Remember, herbicides work by preventing weeds from germinating but doesn’t destroy weeds already up and growing. Even if you can’t see weeds right now, seed and young sprouts are just waiting for the perfect time to break through the soil. So your application timing is critical!
If you miss the window before weeds sprout you will have to wait until mid-summer to apply a post-emergent herbicide or until fall to apply herbicide to destroy seeds from this years weed “crop”.
Prepping your lawns soil is important as well. If the soil is compacted it is hard for plants to thrive, especially shallow-rooted turfgrasses. Nutrients can’t penetrate deep enough into the root area. To test for any compacting issues stab a garden fork into the ground. If it can’t go in to the ground at least 2 inches, then the soil is compacted.
Another problem, more common in southern lawns is “thatching”. This is a buildup of both the roots above and just below the surface. This forms a dense mat and makes it very difficult for nutrients and water to get into the soil. Sods that can have this issue are dense, spreading turf like Bermuda and Zoysia also St. Augustine grasses. If you notice a mild issue of thatching it can usually be controlled with aeration. If you have a severe problem there are tools designed specifically for this called a dethatching rake. You drag the rake through the grass in your yard and it rips the thatch fairly easily. If you have a large yard, you can also get gas-powered ones. To help prevent this from happening again make sure you soak the lawn each time you water to help the roots reach deeper into the soil.