We are now at that time of year where spring is here, we’ve lost an hour of sleep and we are enjoying the warmer temps. But the grass is still brown. Well then, let’s talk about how to quickly turn that fescue lawn from Old Man Winter into the envy of your neighbors.
To start, let’s qualify the two types of fescue lawns that we will discuss. The first type is a lawn that had care in the previous year and the second is the type that had no care in the previous year. Generally speaking, the lawn with no care (fertilization, weed control, lime, seeding) is going to be more brown, less active and in much sadder shape. The lawn that was properly cared for in the previous year will still have brown tops on the blades of grass, although, there will be more green the closer to the ground you go. Also, a previously treated lawn will tend to be thicker from fall seeding. So now that the stage is set, let’s get to the point of getting a fast green-up.
For the lawn that was previously treated in the prior year, the initial early spring green-up will be easy to spot. In February and early March everything is still all brown but these lawns will have that green base in the bottom half of the grass blades. What needs to be done is to push growth in the blades of grass so the old dead tips can be mowed off. This requires an early spring application of 1/3-1/2 pound of nitrogen per every 1000 square feet of turf area. Many times, this application will also include a pre-emergent for the prevention of grassy weeds like crabgrass as well as a broadleaf weed control for winter annuals. The lawn will take up the fertilizer and the new green growth will “push out” the dead tips. The dead tips are now high enough to be mowed off. In just one mowing of the lawn the grass will go from mostly brown to a deep green color. Obviously, this is the easiest way for a fast green-up.
Now for the poor, old, sad, lonely lawn that has just been sitting there, depressed over in the corner of the cul-de-sac. Poor ol’ thing, hungry, brown and full of weeds. Now what? Many of homeowners have fought this battle just to have the same results year after year. Well fret not! Spring is the time for new beginnings! A time for re-birth and new life! It is the time to start the process of getting that pretty, green lawn you’ve always wanted. The only thing you have to remember is to be happy with the grass you have. Let’s focus on getting rid of the weeds, preventing the crabgrass and getting what grass you have as green as possible. A lawn that is new to being cared for/treated should start the year with at least ½ pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of turf area. Now be careful, just because it is at least ½ pound doesn’t mean that 2 pounds is better. There should never be more than 2/3 of a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet applied to a fescue lawn in the spring. Too much nitrogen can not only cause fungus problems later in the summer, it may also burn the grass roots.
So, fertilize the lawn, but also treat for any weeds that are there and apply pre-emergent to prevent crabgrass. Remember, fertilizer is plant food so you don’t want weeds and crabgrass competing with your fescue for the food in the soil. As the lawn awakens and starts to grow, you will see the grass not only greening up, you will see it thickening up as much as possible. In only two weeks your lawn can go from down and brown to plump and green. The green grows out, the brown gets mowed off and the weeds are dying away. You’re off to a great start!
The key now for both types of lawns is continuous care. Proper feeding, weed control, insect and disease control, soil amendments and, of course, fall aeration and seeding will not only keep your lawn healthy and improving throughout the year, it will help it to spring to life early, thicker and greener in the following year. To learn more or for help with achieving your lawn goals, simply call American Green. We will not only answer all of your questions, we will develop a detail and custom plan for your lawn to get it thicker, greener and weed free. Call us today and Love Your Lawn! 540-406-1766 Ask for Bill!