Spring is in the air. While the season technically may not arrive for another few weeks (the official date this year is March 19) it’s important to take steps now to make sure your lawn is ready to go.
This is the right time to protect your lawn, landscape plants, and trees from harmful diseases and weeds later. By taking action now, you can get them looking their best and being their healthiest in time for spring and summer.
Applying a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn will prevent weeds such as annual grasses, clover, and dandelions from ruining its appearance, and threatening its overall health. It’s also a good time to apply pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides in flower beds, which will help eliminate current weeds, and will prevent more weeds from emerging later in the spring and summer. Your idea of summer fun doesn’t include pulling weeds, right?
As ground temperatures continue to warm, crabgrass, the number-one weed that threatens California lawns, will germinate and take hold. Crabgrass is an annual grass that goes dormant in the fall and winter, but comes back every year if left untreated.
With crabgrass, an ounce of prevention goes a long way. Making a preventive treatment is a lot less hassle and more cost-effective than trying to remove it from your yard once it becomes established.
Three things to know about crabgrass
- Unlike typical lawn grass, crabgrass has an unattractive and mangled appearance.
- Crabgrass grows fast and tall, sprouting large patches above your lawn.
- Since crabgrass is thicker and has a larger appearance, it is easily noticeable in a lawn.
The application of a pre-emergent herbicide in combination with an application of winter fertilizer will help your lawn’s root system get established before summer’s heat and dryness arrive.
In addition to applying the pre-emergent herbicide and correct fertilizer, we offer the following tips make sure your lawn and yard are at their best:
- Rake up leaves, matted grass, and sticks that have accumulated over the winter. Raking your yard can also help keep the thatch level in your lawn at a desirable half inch or less.
- You can start training your lawn in the spring by only watering two days a week (remember to always follow your municipality’s watering guidelines). Infrequent watering will promote the growth of a deep, healthy root system that will be more capable of surviving drought and heat stress.
- When you begin mowing, raise the cutting height of your mower to 2½ to 3 inches. Raising the cutting height will allow turf to grow longer and thicker, thus preventing invasive weeds and insects from taking root and ruining your lawn.
- Make sure that sprinkler heads on your irrigation system are working properly, that there are no leaks, or broken pipes or sprinkler heads, and that timers are set accordingly. A leaky sprinkler head can waste water, and too much moisture in the turf can lead to disease.
- When you do water, do it early in the morning. Water will evaporate if you water during midday or afternoon, and evening watering can promote disease.
- For trees and shrubs, we recommend that you perform a deep watering once or twice a week a week for 15 minutes. You can also apply mulch – two to four inches – around the base of trees and shrubs to retain water.
If you have questions on how to get your lawn ready to look great for spring and summer, call California’s trusted, friendly lawn care expert at (800) WE-NEED-YOU, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.