With all the moisture this year and especially this fall it has been a perfect “storm” for a weedy lawn. Unfortunately, it is likely that any barriers to weeds from spring lawn applications and maybe even summer applications are long gone! So what can you do to get your lawn back in shape?
Weed and Feed
The more things change the more they stay the same. As usual, try to find a time to weed and feed the lawn this fall. If possible, apply a late winterizer feed to improve the root system during the winter months. This will make a more thick, lush turf hopefully leaving less room for weeds.
Next spring apply a preemergence product designed to minimize the crabgrass which will emerge in warm weather if given the chance. It may be very wise to “split” the preemergence into two doses and include some broadleaf weed control for “emerged” broadleaf weeds.
Always mow as tall as you will tolerate, the taller the better to avoid trimmer scalp and mower scalp. Cutting your lawn short or even worse, scalping your lawn creates a better environment for weeds to grow. This happens because the turf does not have enough time to recover allowing potential weeds to get more time in the sunlight. A taller cut promotes a more lush lawn leaving little room for weeds to grow.
If it has been more than 3-4 years since your last pH soil test, now is a good time to get your soil tested. It is important to get this done every 3-4 years to ensure it has not changed greatly. If your lawn is not within an acceptable pH range it will need treatment to correct. Lime is used for an acidic lawn and sulfur for alkaline. Without a pH test, you will not know which your lawn needs.
All of this advice is for those with a “decent” stand of turf. They will not need to overseed. If you are concerned that your lawn is too thin, you may need to overseed. In the mid-Atlantic, the best seeding results are in August and September and then February and March.
It is important to remember preemergent is normally applied in February and March which cannot be done during seeding. For this reason, it is important to decide which is more important to you. If you are not sure if you should do seeding or preemergence our registered lawn technicians can help answer your questions.