As the weather becomes more seasonal, now is the time to start your spring lawn care preparation.
Did you know that grasses are divided into two groups? Cool season and warm season. Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass, and bentgrass are all examples of cool-season grasses that make up most of the lawns in eastern Colorado. Cool season grasses grow best when the soil temperatures are 60 to 70 degrees fahrenheit, meaning the turf will most readily respond to treatment in the spring and fall.
Spring Lawn Care Preparation
Aerating machines pull plugs of soil out of the ground and are much more effective than those that just punch a hole. Aerating opens the soil encouraging deeper rooting of the turfgrass plant. Water and fertilizers are also able to percolate deeper into the soil profile. A deeply rooted turfgrass plant is better able to withstand the riggers of our hot and dry summers.
Overseeding is the application of seed over an existing lawn. The best time to seed is when the temperatures are cool and just after core aeration. That way the grass seed will contact the bare soil in the aeration holes. Remember to purchase a good quality seed mix and do not apply pre-emergent herbicides until the seed has been established.
This time of year, use a fertilizer that also includes a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicides control spurge and crabgrass before they germinate. Most fertilizers include Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. Nitrogen being the first number of the analysis printed on the bag. Nitrogen provides the most visible response influencing shoot and root growth, color, density, and recuperative rate. However, too much Nitrogen results in succulent growth susceptible to heat and drought stress injury, and prone to insect and disease problems. Always follow the rates printed on the fertilizer bag. More is not better.
Cool season grasses become active in April, requiring moisture to perform their best. Prior to your sprinkler system being turned on it may be necessary to pull a hose around your landscape. Concentrate watering on south and west facing slopes and areas around pine and spruce trees. Depending on natural precipitation, aspect and tree cover, watering may be necessary every 7 – 14 days.