Posted in: Fertilizers, Lawns On: Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
What should you be focusing on this time of year?
Yellow Nutsedge Control:
Yellow nutsedge is popping up in lawns and garden beds. You can identify this grass-like weed by its light yellow-green blades which have a triangular stem. You should start scouting for the blades of this weed jutting out from your dark green lawn beginning late May to June. This is the best time of year to control nutsedge, either by hand-pulling in your garden beds or by chemical methods in your lawn. Your typical lawn weed killers are not effective, you must use a product specific to nutsedge (Primex carries Sedge Ender and Sedge Hammer). Nutsedge can be a difficult weed to eradicate due to its extensive root system and underground nutlets which release during the summer/fall. Late season applications of herbicide are often ineffective, because the nutlets have already been released to produce next season’s outcrop. Unsure if you have nutsedge? Bring in your weed sample for identification.
Crabgrass and Weed Control:
Due to our early spring this year, Penn State Extension is recommending a second application of pre-emergent crabgrass control at this time. Weeds and crabgrass will soon be going to seed. This means even if you applied a pre-emergent this spring, seeds will be blowing in from neighboring yards or hitching a ride on roving mowers. Primex offers several options, including Organic Corn Gluten which is safe for people, pets and lawns.
There is still time to apply granular broad leaf weed controls for clover, dandelions, ground ivy, etc. Be sure to avoid weed and feed formulations with high nitrogen, which can burn your lawn in the summer heat. You can also spot treat your lawn with liquid spray applications of broadleaf weed control. Do not spray when air temperatures are above 85 degrees or you may burn your lawn.
Cool-season grasses will be slowing growth and going into dormancy with the summer heat, which means you can cut back on mowing (yes!). Set your mower high to 3” in order to reduce stress on the lawn. Make sure you continue to water grass that was newly planted this spring to ensure survival until fall, its young root structure is less drought tolerant than established lawn. Your grass should receive the equivalent of 1” of rain per week to keep it green during the dog days of summer. Deep watering in the early morning is preferred, avoid irrigation in the afternoon (most of the water will just evaporate and not reach the roots). Areas of lawn not irrigated may begin to turn brown, don’t worry it has gone dormant and will reawaken during the cooler fall months.
Summer is not a good time to reseed or fertilize the lawn. Grass seed germinates best in cool weather, so hold off on seeding and feeding until early fall.
Here is a handy graphic from Purdue University showing the growth cycle of cool season grasses. Notice the reduced growth during the summer months.