Summer is finally here, and it’s time to return your lawn back to its former glory. Here are some tips for the warm season to keep your lawn looking lush and healthy.
Remove any moss, leaves, or other debris that may have accumulated on your lawn over the winter/early Spring. Raking these areas will encourage airflow throughout the turf and prevent any insect infestation and disease. This process will also allow new blades of grass to grow without struggle.
Aerating benefits your lawn in several ways: reduces soil compaction, controls thatch, stimulates new root growth and improves water, air, and nutrient filtration. The best time to aerate is during your grass’ peak growing season – for St. Augustine, Zoysia, and other warm-season grasses, this means early to mid-summer.
Spring is a great time to prevent those invasive weeds from sprouting. The best way to deal with weeds is to prevent weeds before they ever start germinating. Pre-emergent selective herbicides should be used if you don’t currently have an issue with weeds, but want to prevent them as well as not killing the surrounding grass. Pre-emergent herbicides work for about three months, so you may need to plan on doing another application during the summer months. Post-emergent herbicides should be used if there is already a visible weed problem.
Spring is also an excellent time to test your soil. If your soil seems to be more acidic (below the optimal 6.0-7.0 pH) then you may need to add lime to your soil. If your soil tested too alkaline, sulfur or aluminum sulfate is the remedy. Soil with a pH below 6.0 or above 8.0 will cause important growth nutrients to become “bound up” in the soil making them unavailable for plant use. Achieving a neutral pH is pertinent in allowing for optimum nutrient uptake.
Fertilizing with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer should occur in late spring or early summer right before your lawn enters its peak growing phase. Not sure which fertilizer to use? An example would be a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 water-soluble fertilizer that’s used with our St. Augustine varieties. For Empire Zoysia use a fertilizer with a 1-0-1 ratio, such as 15-0-15. Argentine Bahia also thrives with regular applications of nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
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