Lawn Time No See

SPRING LAWN CARE 101

Tackling spring lawn care provides a just-right dose of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise — and sets your lawn on it's way to season-long glory. Spring lawn chores aren’t difficult, but they do play a vital role in getting your grass on track for a healthy, productive growing season.  April brings a sense of rejuvenation to both us and our plants, and getting out in your yard these days is a great way to enjoy the improving weather. Harper's Garden Centre has all of the lawn care products you need, with helpful advice and suggestions available by visiting us or simply giving us a call!

Weed Prevention

This natural, pre-emergent weed seed inhibitor contains 100% corn gluten meal to help keep annoying weeds from taking root. For best results, apply before weeds appear, usually in early Spring and again in late Summer or early fall. As a bonus, it also adds nutrients to the lawn for an early-season boost. If you’re planning to overseed this Spring, be sure to apply weed prevention early… it works by covering the soil surface, preventing seeds from germinating for about 5 weeks.
Image of a bag of Scotts Turf Builder Weed Prevent Corn Gluten Meal on a Landscaped Lawn

 

Repair Winter Damage

First, you want to see whether those brown sections are dead or just dormant. Carefully dig out a few of the individual grass plants, bring them inside and see if they green up. If so, it’s just been hibernating and your lawn’s natural regenerative cycle will take care of things. But substantial winterkill calls for a round of remedies.
We think of soil compaction as something that happens in warm weather, but your lawn can suffer from compaction during winter, as well. Aerate your lawn, preferably with a core aerator, to loosen the soil if compaction is an issue.
 
When the snow and ice let up, get out there and have a look. A close look. You probably think of a lawn as a single entity, but remember that a lawn is composed of thousands of individual blades of grass. At the bottom of each grass plant, just above the ground, is the crown of the plant. All blades of grass emerge from a crown. You are likely to see brown patches, but that’s OK. Get down and inspect closely to see if the crown is still whitish in color. If it is, that grass plant will recover.
 
“The homeowner is really going to have to determine: Is it brown because it’s dormant? Or is it brown because it’s dead?” said University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel. “If the crown’s alive, the recovery is going to happen like it does every spring,”
 
He suggests rubbing a small area of the lawn vigorously. If grass plant crowns remain with at least a bit of green growth present after you have buffed away the brown bits, you are good. If you end up with bare ground “chances are it’s dead,” Hentschel said. “For those grass plants, there’s no recovery.” But if the crown has also turned brown and dried out, that grass plant likely has died. You’ve got “winterkill.”
 
What is winterkill? According to a paper by Dr. Kevin Frank, a Michigan State University turfgrass expert with a specialty in winter grass injuries, “Winterkill is a general term that is used to define turf loss during the winter.  Winterkill can be caused by a combination of factors including crown hydration, desiccation, low temperatures, ice sheets and snow mold.”
 
Small patches can be quickly and easily fixed with a patch repair product, like Scotts® EZ Seed® Patch & Repair. For larger problem areas, tend to your lawn with combination products like Scotts® Lawn Response 9-1-1™ Lawn Repair which has a topdressing mulch, starter food, and quality seed mixed together for a single, simple application.


Get Ahead of the Grubs

Introducing Scotts® Grub B Gon® MAX Grub Killer – a successful, proven solution to effectively kill grubs to prevent their damage to lawns. Its active ingredient is a live organism that is effective against a variety of beetle grubs, including June beetles and Chafers.

This product, available at Harper's, takes care of a number of beetle grubs, preventing damage to turf.

Specific grub pests include: Asiatic garden beetle, Black turfgrass ataenius, European chafer, Green June beetle, Japanese beetle, May or June beetles, Northern masked chafer, Oriental beetle, Southern masked chafer, Annual bluegrass weevil larvae.

This product is most safely and best applied to your lawn with a Scotts® spreader. It is shelf stable, and no refrigeration is required.

When applied as directed, the active ingredient – a live, soil-borne organism – is released down into the soil and root zone where grubs live. As grubs eat plant roots, they also ingest the active ingredient, effectively putting a stop to them and their destruction.

Beetle Grub Life Cycle Chart. January through December.

Get New Seeds Started

Is your lawn looking thin and brown? Well, Scotts can help you get back to the thick, lush, green lawn you've always wanted and all you need to do is overseed. If you put down a layer of seed over your lawn in the spring or fall, the thin areas will thicken up, and your lawn will start to look terrific again. (This is different from reseeding, which is when you start over and plant a completely new lawn.)

In the North, the best time to overseed your lawn is in the fall, when the soil is still warm but the air is cooler, and there are fewer weeds for new grass to compete against. Since your trees are starting to shed their leaves, there's plenty of sunlight. Also, diseases that attack seedlings are less active. If you live in the North and are unable to overseed in the fall, your next best time is the spring. 

Mow low. Before overseeding, you'll want to cut your grass shorter than normal and bag the clippings. After mowing, rake the lawn to help loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass and debris. This will give the grass seed easy access to the soil so it can root more easily after germinating.

Choose the right seeding product. Which type of grass seed you choose depends on your existing grass type. If your lawn consists of Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or perennial ryegrass, choose a product specially designed for overseeding thin lawns, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Quick + Thick™ Grass Seed Sun - Shade 12-0-0, which combines grass seed, fertilizer, and a soil improver into an easy-to-use product you apply with a spreader. If you have a different grass type or are unsure of the best grass for your area, the people at your neighborhood garden center can help you choose the right Scotts® Turf Builder® Grass Seed All Purpose Mix for your lawn.

Amend the soil. If you're using grass seed to overseed your lawn instead of an overseeding product like Scotts® Turf Builder® Quick + Thick™ Grass Seed Sun - Shade 12-0-0, it's a good idea to rake in a thin layer of enriched soil over your lawn to help the seed settle in. Don't put so much down that you kill your existing grass; less than a quarter of an inch is plenty. Scotts® Enriched LawnSoilTM 0.08 - 0.03 - 0.02 works well for this purpose.

Spread the seed. You've cut the lawn short, raked it, and removed any debris. Now comes the easy part. Just fill up your spreader, adjust the setting according to the label directions, and apply.

Feed and water. To give your new grass seedlings the essential nutrients they need for fast growth, apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Lawn Food For New Grass 24-25-4 after you've spread the grass seed. (No need to do this with Scotts® Turf Builder® Quick + Thick™ Grass Seed Sun - Shade 12-0-0, as it already contains a fertilizer.)

Afterwards, no matter which product you used to overseed, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist by lightly watering once or twice a day until the seedlings have reached the height of the rest of your lawn. 

Don't Forget To Feed Your Lawn!

Lawns wake up from winter dormancy with an appetite. This famous product from Scotts, found at Harper's Garden Centre, has a range of options to provide your lawn with special nutrients your lawn will thank you for later. Feeding the lawn is as simple as mowing it. First, make a header strip around the perimeter areas of the lawn. When using a broadcast spreader, engage the side-shield, which takes the swath (the area where the application is broadcast) from 180° down to 90°, to make sure lawn food granules stay on the lawn and not in gardening beds, driveways and sidewalks.

Once you reach the end of the lawn, turn the spreader off and return any remaining product to the bag.  

Scotts® Turf Builder™ Lawn Food helps you to build a thick, green lawn. It's formulated with exclusive Scotts® All-In-One Particles® technology for even greening and feeding. Using Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food thickens your grass to crowd out new weeds and strengthens your lawn to help protect it against future problems.

Apply Scotts® Turf Builder™ Lawn Food any time, during any season to unlock your best lawn.

Scotts Turf Builder - Lawn Food - Scotts

Tags: Lawn, Spring Time