APRIL 26, 2006
MY DUMMIEíS GUIDE FOR A BEAUTIFUL LAWN
With todayís smaller lots and huge homes itís a wonder that anyone bothers to even have a lawn anymore. It used to be that I could figure that the average lawn was about 4000 square feet. Over the years that has shrunk to under 1000 square feet. Itís hardly worth owning a lawn mower, much less an edger or weed eater. Nevertheless, people can be quite passionate about their little turf areas. So here is my handy dandy monthly guide that you can laminate and staple to the garage wall so that you can have the best looking lawn on the block.
FEB/MARóLate this month feed with Whitney Farms Lawn Food This is a 100% natural product that will not only feed your lawn but it will help build up the biological life of your soil. It might seem a little pricey but remember that you are only going to apply it twice a year. Control moss with Lilly Moss Out or Worry Free Moss and Algae Control. Moss Out is simply iron sulfate and it will turn moss black and slimy very quickly. It will also turn your cement orange just as quickly so be careful not to get it on the sidewalk or driveway. Worry Free is a natural product that wonít stain at all and so can be used on lawns, patios or roofs.
Donít mow your lawn too close. Two inches high is best for most grass varieties.
APR/MAYóThese are the best months to either plant a new lawn or resurrect an old one. Dethatch, aerate, apply lime and overseed if needed. This can be a monumental project but giving your turf a good scalp massage every year will do wonders towards keeping it vigorous and healthy. Apply Whitney Farms Lawn Food if you havenít yet. Trap for moles now or try to repel them with a product containing castor oil. Control red thread by improving drainage and good fertility or apply a fungicide such as Fung-away. Red thread is a fungus that is mostly active in the cooler months and goes away in the summer. One application of Fung-away will usually last 30 days which is sufficient to get you into the warm season.
JUNE/JULYóFeed again only if you are not happy with the color. Spot treat for broad leaf weeds such as clover, dandelions, etc. with something like Ortho Weed-B-Gone. Do not use a weed and feed. Weed and Feed products do a half-assed job of weeding and feeding and have been grossly over applied everywhere. Feed if want to feed and weed if you want to weed, but donít try and do both at the same time. Water an inch per week, letting the ground dry slightly between waterings.
AUG/SEPóLate August thru September is another great time to aerate, dethatch, lime and overseed. If you got lazy back in April and May then here is your second chance to overhaul the lawn. As the night temperatures cool off in September the lawn will naturally start to grow again.
OCT/NOVóApply Whitney Farms Lawn Food. This is an important feeding. Donít worry, your lawn wonít start growing leaps and bounds like it did back in the spring. Watch for new mole activity and trap them if necessary. October is the last chance to overseed or plant a new lawn. Control red thread with Fung-away.
DEC/JANóBe sure you have raked all the leaves off your lawn and avoid walking on frozen turf. Get ready to repeat this whole process starting next month.
Following this guide will only cost you about $4.00 per month in materials, thatís less than $50 a year. Rental equipment, compost and seed will be extra and you might want to throw in a tube of Ben-Gay if you are over 50.
Remember, gardening is relaxing and therapeutic. A well-maintained lawn can serve as a bio-filter for pollutants, a receptor for rainfall, and a great place to recreate. It will add resale value to your home as well. Donít hesitate to call or come in for more detailed information on anything relating to your turf areas. We can walk you through the steps of planting a new lawn or help relieve the anxiety the wife is experiencing after she sees what her man did to the lawn with the dethatcher. Weíre here to help. Give us a call.
Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville and can be reached at the nursery at 425-334-2002 or email at email@example.com