We’ve finally made it; March is here. College basketball’s regular season has come to a close. Conference tournaments are underway. Soon we will be filling out our brackets and throwing them away after the first weekend. Maybe you’ve been teased by Mother Nature with some warm temperatures, indicative of what’s to come. Regardless of your recent weather, we are getting excruciatingly close to the start of lawn care season. We know..we know we’re just as excited as you are. But with lawn care season comes a list of to-dos and items to purchase. Never fear, we’ve got your March lawn care checklist ready, so you’re not behind the eight ball when the actual spring weather and subsequent flush of growth arrives.
MOWER MAINTENANCE - For those of you with gasoline-powered mowers, make sure to:
- Sharpen your mower blade
- Clean or replace your air filter
- Change your spark plug
- Grease any zerk fittings present on your mower
- Replace old fuel
Check out the multitude of how-to videos on YouTube for any of these items.
Our battery-powered friends have less maintenance to consider, but still, check your battery health and make sure they’re charged up and ready to go. Maybe invest in a new battery or two so that you don’t run out of power when you need it the most. Sharpening your mower blade goes for you too. Clean cuts make healthy, looking turf.
PREEMERGE - The target soil temperature for preemergence herbicides is typically prior to the soil warming to 55 degrees F. For a large portion of the country, getting the preemerge out sometime in March is probably a good bet. It’s better to be too early than to be too late. The herbicide needs to be in the soil for plant uptake immediately upon germination. If you wait too long, the herbicide will be rendered ineffective. If you’re worried about getting it out too early. Try a split application. Use half of a full rate in March, and then 4 weeks later, come back with the other half of the rate to catch some of the late germinating weeds.
AERIFY - Spring is a great time for aerification on cool-season lawns. March might be a little early for aerifying warm-season lawns unless your grass has been green now for some time. Aerification gives you the most bang for your buck as far as root zone modification goes. The holes create channels for water, air, and nutrient penetration, and the increased oxygen can help increase thatch degradation. Additionally, core aerification can help alleviate problems associated with soil compaction
DETHATCH - Similar to aerifying, a good dethatching at this point in the season can be beneficial, as well. It’s best to just choose one or the other to perform in the same month. Heavy aerification and dethatching can put quite a bit of stress on the lawn prior to the summer months. We want your lawn to be in tip-top form going into the hottest months. Remember, a half inch of thatch or less isn’t a bad thing. It can help moderate moisture and temperature near the crowns of your turf.
FERTILIZE - Your lawn is hungry after being in hibernation all winter and it's time to eat. This is even more important if you chose to aerify or dethatch in the spring. We need to get the lawn into fighting shape to take on the rigors of summer. A good dose of a nitrogen and potassium-based fertilizer will get you well on your way.
MOW LOW - Late March is a great time for warm-season lawn owners to perform the infamous scalp and reset to remove dead leaf tissue and create space for new growth and sun exposure for the soil. Cool-season owners can benefit from a couple of low mowings to start the season but shouldn’t go crazy low as their turf might already be actively growing, and it could result in damage.
Hopefully, this list gives you a pretty good idea of what should be getting taken care of this month. Before you know it, Easter will be here, and then it will be full-blown lawn care season. Remember to check out our website for all of your liquid fertilizer needs. Or, take the guesswork out of your fertilization plan and contact us today for a personalized plan to make you the envy of the block this summer.