The grass is green so it must be time to start working on the lawn, right? Wrong! The green you see now is just winter weeds. And the best thing you can do is mow them down.
Here are some lawn chores you should avoid doing for now:
- Don’t buy weed-and-feed fertilizer. It’s too early for the fertilizer part and too late for the herbicide part. Besides, your grass will be asleep until late March. And if you put that stuff on the yard now, all you’re doing is feeding the weeds.
- Don’t water dormant grass. It doesn’t do the grass any good because the roots are still asleep. You’ll know the lawn needs to be watered when the grass doesn’t spring up after you walk across it.
So, what can you do right now for the lawn to be green and healthy next spring? A healthy plant needs good soil. That means lots of organic matter, air and water. Now would be a good time to aerate and compost the grass.
First, water the ground to soften it. Then rent an aerating machine. (Ask three or four neighbors to chip in and aerate all the lawns in one day!) Next, put down about a half inch of compost (too much will smother the grass) and water the lawn to wash the compost into the little holes the aerator makes. This will do more for your soil than anything else you can do, especially right now.
And if you had a lot of sand burs and crab grass last year, apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late February or early March. Be sure to read the label and remember, more is not better.
By Tom Harris, Guest Author