Lawn care tasks to do this weekend and in the following weeks.
1) Aerate and de-thatch
You will know if your lawn is in need of aeration if you have a significant amount of moss. Moss growth is a good indication that water is sitting on the surface of the soil. If you have a large amount of dead grass in your lawn you may wish to de-thatch your lawn. This will allow air and sun to penetrate for a nice thick lawn. You can rent an aerator or de-thatcher from your local rental company or have a landscaper do this for you.
Apply at the rate of one 50-pound bag of Dolo-Pril per 4000 square feet. Dolo-Pril is almost dustless and adds both calcium and magnesium to the soil. Lime will help raise your pH, allowing better uptake of nutrients by your lawn. This way all of your fertilizer will be able to be absorbed by the grass.
Apply moss killer
If you have moss, apply moss killer one-week AFTER liming. It is easier to use the ‘ready to use’ moss killer, which simply attaches to your hose, allowing you to water the moss killer into your lawn. For best results be sure to apply this on a warm dry day. The outdoor temperature should reach at least 15 degrees Celsius for at least 4 hours after application.
Lightly rake the moss once it turns brown and dries up, if it is thick. If the moss is quite thin then you can leave it in place. Never rake off green moss as the live spores will spread and your second crop of moss will be much stronger then the first.
It is always a good idea to top dress with sand after aerating. After removing any dead, brown moss you can top-dress the lawn with clean washed sand, which is great for filling in low spots and will aid in drainage.
Late February, March and April are great times to over-seed the lawn. Choose a blend that is right for your area. Use shady lawn seed, which is a shade tolerant grass for shady areas. Choose a locally blended mix as most national blends have Blue Grass, which does not do well in our wet coastal environment.
Mowing your Lawn
When mowing your lawn, you should cut no more than the top 25% of the grass blade. Cutting length can vary depending on the season. In summertime the ideal length is 3”, whereas in winter it should be 2 – 2 ½”.
Lawn care can start in February with fertilizing. Use a slow release high nitrogen fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks throughout the growing season for a consistent green lawn. Use a mix such as 28-4-8 or similar. Slow release fertilizers will not burn your lawn.
The Cedar Rim 28-4-8 should be used at a rate of 1 Bag per 6000 sq/ft.
See also Lawn Care: Article Dealing with Pests in you Lawn
Fall Lawn Care
1) Aerate or de-thatch: If not done in the spring you can de-thatch your lawn or, in bad cases of soil compaction, aerate your lawn in early September.
2) September/October: Over-seed now. This should be done by the mid-October for best effects. You should apply moss killer when the temperature is above 15° for best effect.
3) Apply moss killer: If you have existing moss, apply liquid moss killer now while the weather is still warm. This will help prevent moss build-up over the winter.
4) Correct PH by liming: Due to our naturally acidic soil, caused by our wet climate, it is good to correct the pH by sweetening the soil with lime in both Fall & Spring. Use 1 bag of Dolopril per 2000 sq/ft
5) Fertilize: Re-apply fertilizer with a composition of 28-4-8 as the lawn is still in active growth until the end of October.
6) Starting in mid-October: Begin to shorten the length of grass. In the summer it is best to have a lawn length of 3”-4”, while in the winter the length should be 2”–2 1/2”. This allows the lawn to stay drier through the winter months and prevents moss & disease build-up.
7) Late October/November: Fertilize with a winterizer lawn food such as 6-8-6 and continue to shorten the length of grass when you cut.
8) Rake Leaves: Leaves left on the grass over winter will smother the lawn and cause brown patches. Remove them as quickly as possible.
9) Remember: The more you do to your lawn in the fall the less you have to do in the spring.