It almost seems that overnight spring is here. Days are getting longer, and with the precipitation earlier this week I’ve seen broadleaf weeds starting to appear. On recent drives in the county, the wheat appears that it’ll make a crop with the fields greening up. I've had a couple of messages from friends about the timing of their first application of their ferti-lome Lawn Care Program. I assured them that the window to apply the ferti-lome For All Seasons is just opening.
What if there was a turf option for an annual grass that each plant produced up to 150,000 seeds in its 8 month life, each living just one season? The newly germinated seedling from each plant would fill in voids in your lawn where there was no grass. The grass would grow to about 6” tall, and when cut, or mowed to even very short heights would set even more seeds. Each plant could clump, but in mass they would cover an area perfectly. This grass, Digitaria sanguinalis or ischaemum sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I can almost see ads in the Sunday paper for its seed! Well, its common name is...Crabgrass. It's a mess, and you know it if you’ve ever had it.
Crabgrass sucks the water from desirable turf, grows faster and is tough to mow when established. The good thing is, it's really easy to keep it out of your lawn. Here are a few tips for a crabgrass-free, or even a weed-free lawn.
- Maintain a thick turf to not allow undesirable weeds to have a place for establishment.
- Let your grass grow taller, especially in the summer months to compete for space with crabgrass and other undesirable weeds.
- Water less often, and deeper, depending on weather and soil conditions. Reseed your lawn in the fall to fill in voids.
- Apply ferti-lome For All Seasons Crabgrass Preventer Plus Lawn Food before crabgrass germinates - this month is the perfect time!
- Keep an eye on hot spots in the lawn, especially along curb lines where crabgrass preventers tend to not persist as long.
- Re-apply crabgrass preventer such as Hi-Yield Turf and Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper 8-10 weeks after initial application for season long control. With no fertilizer, it’s a perfect product for a summer application. It’s labeled for ornamental areas as well (not vegetables).
If you have broadleaf weeds (dandelions, henbit and chickweed), I like an all- in-one product from ferti-lome. The ferti-lome Weed-Out Pro Turf is a professional product that feeds, kills broadleaf weeds and prevents crabgrass in 1 step.
Whatever your lawn situation is, we are here to help you either maintain what you have or problem solve and find solutions!
Your friend in the garden,
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center
P.S. Johnson’s Garden Time will start up again March 25/26 at 7:55 am. I’ll also be starting up midday news on KAKE TV on Thursdays. Tune for the 11:00 am news to catch Meteorologist Frank Waugh and I chat about what’s going on in the garden center.