We had a lot of rain over the past fall and winter, and that can take a toll on a lawn, especially if you have drainage problems and standing water. However, we are on the cusp of lawn care season so staying on a schedule means you can revive your lawn by summer!
Step One: Get Your Soil Tested
First things first…you need a soil test. We get that you’re excited and want to buy every lawn care product under the sun! And as much as we’d love to sell all of that to you, we don’t want you buying products that you don’t need. So go outside and take three small scoops of soil from three separate areas of your yard and place them in three separate plastic baggies. K&B True Value will test them for free and let you know what your soil actually needs to improve its health.
Step Two: Prevent Weeds in the First Place
Once you know what which lawn care solutions that you need, you can get started. Traditionally, the time to start the process is when the forsythia blooms, which is from mid to late-March in central Maryland. This timeframe, which lasts about two weeks, is CRITICAL.
You don’t want to miss your opportunity, so stay alert! This is when you put down your crabgrass and weed pre-emergent. We recommend two products for this: Preen® One not only prevents the germination of crabgrass and kills the active seedlings, but it also tackles 250 different varieties of broadleaf weeds. Jonathan Green® Crabgrass Preventer stops crabgrass in its tracks, and feeds your lawn for three months. If needed, you can put down a second crabgrass preventer application in May.
Step Three: To Seed or Not to Seed
Seeding your lawn can be a tricky business. The best time to seed your lawn is in September, when the soil is still warm and the summer heat is over. That gives grass seedlings plenty of time to develop solid root systems before winter.
Although you can seed in spring, using a crabgrass or weed pre-emergent will also suppress grass seedlings. Waiting at least eight weeks to put down seed doesn’t give it much time to establish before the heat of summer. In that case, we recommend Jonathan Green Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer. This product feeds the lawn for two full months and hastens seed germination, while preventing crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. The one caveat is that it does not suppress broadleaf weeds. But, pick your battles, right?
Step Four: Feed Your Soil
When it comes to general soil health in your yard, we absolutely love Mag-I-Cal® by Jonathan Green. This is a natural soil food that can be applied any time of the year, including the heat of summer. Notice we said “soil food” and not “lawn food.” That’s because Mag-I-Cal treats the soil, quickly and efficiently raising the pH and stimulating microbial life. This encourages effective nutrient absorption by grass roots which dramatically stimulates growth. The best part is that just one bag of Mag-I-Cal is equivalent to fifteen bags of limestone! How’s THAT for being cost-effective?
So here’s the prescription:
• February-March: Get your free soil test from K&B True Value
• Mid- to Late March: Put down pre-emergent while the forsythia is blooming
• Late March: Overseed, unless you are using a pre-emergent, in which case use Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Lawn Fertilizer
• Put your Mag-I-Cal down whenever you feel like it!
Come May, your lawn will look like new just in time for summer fun!