Early spring lawn prep.

Discussion in 'Garden Tips And Talk' started by Bayoubear, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    here in zone 7 the lawns are showing the first faint signs of waking up from winters slumber. one has to sift thru the remnants of last seasons dead grass to find tiny bits of green but they are there.

    if you havent already done so now is the time to get all the leaves and other debris up off the turf and make sure your sprinkler systems are all okay. if no rain is falling where you are its time to start watering too. (at least in zones six and higher) most turf grasses need one inch of water per week during active growing periods. right now half an inch will suffice.

    here is a nifty way to test your sprinkler zones or standard hose end sprinklers... take a few tuna cans or cat food cans and set them out under the coverage area of your sprinklers. using more than one can tells you the uniformity of application in your watering. note the time it takes for one half or one inch of water to accumulate in the cans. this is how long you should water. if your lawn slopes you may want to apply a quarter inch of water at a time to prevent water runoff. watering less than a quarter inch at a time can do more harm than good as grass roots will grow too shallow.

    if your turf is full of broadleaf weeds such as thistle, henbit, oxalis, dandilions...et al... time to spray them. use a broad spectrum broadleaf weed control from your local mega-lo-mart following label directions. (licensed commercial folks can ask me more specific questions here) avoid granular "weed and feed" products. waste of money. liquid pump sprayers or hose end sprayers are the way to go. about a week after spraying the weeds, or if you have no weed problem its now.......

    time for that dreaded first mowing is here .

    lower your mower cutting height to a level as low as you can get it without scalping down to dirt and mow lawn as usual. remember "short in spring, tall in fall"... this is important for a few key reasons:
    it allows more sunlight to reach the soil and warm the ground. gives the grass a stronger start upon waking up from dormancy. it actually kills many of the broadleaf weeds in the turf and those that have already been sprayed and wilted it finishes them off for good. it chops up the dead remnants of lasts years growth providing nutrients to be recycled back into the soil. and for those of you with cabin fever... you'll see green a lot quicker.

    time to apply a fertilizer too. if you have done a soil test then you know specifically what to apply but if not any balanced fert is fine such as the 8-8-8 or 13-13-13 you see at garden centers. *** now is too early for commercially availble lawn food with a high first number such as 21-0-0*** (that crap is just junk food for your lawn anyway) zone 7 and up now is the time to put down your crabgrass pre-emergents too. zone 6 in about 15 days and subsequent zones ten days later per zone number. i.e. zone 5 april first, zone 4 mid april, etc etc make sure the product you apply is labeled for the type of grass you have. unlike granular weed and feeds which i think are a major waste of money, granular fert and preemergents are a great way to go. two applications of them needed a month apart and above all they MUST MUST MUST HAVE TO be watered in within ten days of application. using granular pre-emergents once early spring, once mid summer, once early fall will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce any weed problem you may have. (the stuff works on more than just crabgrass)

    hope this may help....
     
  2. Scott Daw

    Scott Daw New Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    State:
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the info. Im in zone 6.
     

  3. alands94

    alands94 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,706
    State:
    Lebanon, I
    Thanks for the info., Chad. I plan on spending a lot of time and effort on my lawn this year.:confused2:
     
  4. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Chad, thanks for all the good info.

    I scalped (no dirt) our yard last week and burn the cuttings on the lake shore before they raise the lake to it's summer time level. That's the only place I have to burn cuttings and brush so I always wait till the last week. I'm always glad to get that job behind me... that's another one of those "Dirty Jobs", LOL.

    After they raise the lake level I'll kick on the sprinkler pump to check it out. I have my the pump suction just far enough out in the lake to get good suction. And after they lower the lake in the fall I can remove the foot valve to drain the suction line for freeze protection. I'll be applying fertilizer about next month. Usually never have a weed problem except in early spring and they die out by summer.

    Having lived in dry west TX for most of my life I really enjoy using all the free lake water that the yard needs. Out there one had to water ever few days if you had a yard and water was expensive.
     
  5. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    know what you mean about the texas lack of water. we can only water one day a week here and per memo in my water bill the restrictions will be in place for another year. life sure has changed in the past year since i moved here. (in between northwest corner of Frisco and lake lewisville)

    this country mouse doesnt do the city mouse thing very well. for sure miss the swamps, bayous, and rivers i was raised in. couple years we plan on moving away from here. way east texas, arkansas, possibly back to louisiana. gotta have water too as ill be starting up another plant nursery and preferably moving water so i can fish for flatties.

    here north of dallas spring is slowly starting to roll in. all the bradford pears are in full bloom, daffodils are past, tulips will be open in a week, well maintained turfgrass is starting to show some green. ten more days of these warm temps and a good rain is all the turf needs to bust out. my daylilies are poking up thru their covering of mulch and some cluster of bulbs i have no recollection whatsoever of planting???? are waking up too.

    having to fight off the urge to plant my garden. i know its too early and every year i tell myself ive learned my lesson however.... dont be shocked iffen the next couple weeks i plant my maters and peppers anyway. going to start my seeds soon too. im going to have Moonflowers trained up every tree in my yard. (makes the neighbors keep scratching their heads:lol: huh?)
     
  6. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,788
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    sorry fellas im not into yard work.my wife takes care of the flower beds.im into water gardens.no mowing lots of pretty waterlillys water iris and cannas.throw in a couple elephant ears and tarrows you got a self tending garden.every thing else on the grounds gets tillered under to the depth of 10 inches.no weeds no grass.im gone fishing.johnnie
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I have the 6-6-24 ready to put out .
     
  8. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    i have 5 dogs that eat real regular...they have been prepping my lawn for 4 months:lol:
     
  9. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    I cut green grass today here in West Tn.
    And plan on aerating part of mine in 2 weeks. Then over seeding and fert put out then.
    Will have to also spot spray some bad weeds.
    Now If I can only keep the moles out this year.
    Also new mower to play on this this year.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v693/ShilohRed/ferris IS2000Z/FerrisIS2000Z002.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v693/ShilohRed/ferris IS2000Z/FerrisIS2000Z001.jpg
    With this 4 aces and then the 4 down by the river the old riding mower was way to slow and cutting into fishing time.
    Pete
     
  10. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    i always do weed and feed and grow a garden. i canned 50 some jars of salsa last season. cant wait to get the greens and those red peppers going. love to reap the soils of my home grown veggies. thats living. man the pumpkin blossoms and zuchinni. here comes another spring. see ya all im going morel mushroom hunting,lol.:cool2:
     
  11. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv

    hey pete be careful we like ya with all your limbs bud,lol. looks like a stunt mower,:big_smile:
     
  12. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    Chad, We were fortunate in west TX for we had plenty water even if most of it had to be pumped more than 120 miles and it had a salty taste. We never had a watering restriction. The price was high enough to hold most folks back. We had an under sink RO unit that removed the salt. Since we moved the city installed a large RO unit and half the water goes through it.

    We have plenty good water here. Lake Hamilton is a constant level lake and Entergy holds the level within a few inches except during the winter they drop the level a few feet. Lake Quachita is upstream and a much larger lake so we have a good supply coming into the lake. One inch from Quachita will raise this lake 12 inches. We live out of of town but have city water. I think the city has pumps at Hamilton, Quachita and another smaller lake. Water here is not too high priced but our sewer bill is 2 times the water bill.
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Fertilized one water hole last weekend with 200 pounds of 10-10-10. Got one more to go.
    Its part of the yard:big_smile:
     
  14. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    this thread is a little old but needs to be bumped up as its got a lot of pertinent information for this time of year.
     
  15. Bayoubear

    Bayoubear New Member

    Messages:
    425
    State:
    near that hellhole dallas
    and just when these 80 degree temps had me wanting to plant some t'maters...

    checking last years garden journal we had a frost the 13th of april. only dipped down to 33 degrees officially but burned the hell out of a lot of stuff. ill wait a couple more weeks on that. lawn is looking good! greenest one on my block for sure.