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Scotts Lawn Spreader Choices

I get excited when I see the vast improvements in lawn spreaders since I first sold Scotts Turf Builder over 50 years ago when I was in high school.

Here is a link to all of your Scotts Spreader choices.

If you are looking for the ultimate in spreader innovation this link will give you more info about the New Scotts Elite Spreader.

Just to get you excited about Spring and this new Scotts Elite Spreader, check out this video:





FREE Lawn Newsletter Based on Where You Live

They say the first thing to go is your memory. Well if that’s true, then the second thing to go may be your lawn. Missing essential lawn care applications can put your lawn at risk. That’s why Scotts Lawn Email Reminder Service is so valuable. Let’s say you forget the right time to feed your lawn. Or what type of lawn food to use. Scotts email service reminds you. And the beauty of Scotts email reminder service – it is customized and timed to fit your specific lawn, right down to your zip code.

Sign up for this FREE service by clicking here.

The right product at the right time is important to building a thick, sturdy lawn without wasting money on unneeded applications.

Why Are Some Lawns Brown and Others Green in Winter?

This question arises for those of you located in areas that can grow both Northern and Southern Grasses. Turf experts call these areas the “transition zone”. You can tell if you are in the transition zone if some lawns in your neighborhood are brown (dormant) this time of year and some remain green in winter (especially if you fed your lawn a couple of times in fall).

Winter dormant Bermuda on the left and a blend of Fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass on the right

Northern Grasses (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass)
• Stay green all winter, especially with a couple of fall feedings.
• Can grow in sunny areas and can tolerate a fair amount of shade.
• Healthiest growth with 4 or 5 feedings a year during spring and fall when daytime high temps are below the 90’s.
• Grass height should be around 2-1/2 to 4 inches after mowing.
• New grass seed can be planted in early spring and early fall.

Southern Grasses (like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahia and Centipede)
• These lawns are brown in the winter when they go dormant (except in very southern areas).
• Grow best in full sun, however St. Augustine and Zoysia have some tolerance for shade.
• Feed 4 or 5 times a year. Spread the first feeding when you are starting to see about 50% green up in early spring from the winter brown color. Then feed every two months through the end of September. Centipede lawns do best with 2 or 3 feedings a year.
• Grass height should be (after mowing): Bermuda ½ to 2 inches, Zoysia ¾ to 2 inches, St. Augustine and Bahia 2 to 4 inches, and Centipede 1 to 3 inches.
• Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede and Bahia can be seeded in late spring. St. Augustine needs to be sprigged or sodded.

If you want to figure out what kind of lawn you have, click here to go to Scotts easy to use grass type identifier. This tool uses your zip code to narrow down the kind of lawns that grow in your area with descriptions and pictures.

Reminder: Apply Your Crabgrass Preventer in the South and West

Last year’s crabgrass is dead and gone after any heavy frosts over the past few months. The seeds those plants left behind practically everywhere will germinate as your soil warms up. The good news is you can stop them from growing by putting down a Scotts Halts barrier that prevents them from geminating. Even if you live in parts of the deep south and southern California where heavy frosts do not occur, you can prevent new crabgrass plants from growing from seed in your soil.

The big question: When to apply? Experts say crabgrass germination starts when your soil temperature reaches 55 degrees for several days. Here is a link to a soil temperature tracking map that provides you up to date soil temps for your area. It is better to get your preventer down too early than too late.

Crabgrass Seedlings

Crabgrass seedlings about a week after germination. Crabgrass gets its name because it sprawls from a central root low across the ground. It can become a problem quickly because it is able to grow vigorously in hot, dry conditions choking out your good grass. Before dying in the fall, a single weed can distribute thousands of seeds which will be ready to germinate in spring.

Some areas of the country have been warmer than normal and some areas colder than normal so far this winter. In a typical year this is the timing guidelines for those of you living in areas where it is important to spread your preventer over the next several weeks:

For Florida: Apply by Mid-February. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have St. Augustinegrass you should use Scotts Halts now and then feed your lawn later this month with Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed.

For other Mid-South States: Apply by March 1. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have Fescue, use Scotts Turf Builder with Halts.

For Texas: Apply by March 1 in South Texas, by March 15 in rest of the state. If you have dormant (brown-looking) Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder. If you have St. Augustinegrass you should use Scotts Halts now and then feed your lawn later with Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed.

For California: Apply by March 1 in Southern California and by March 15 in Northern California. Use Scotts Turf Builder with Halts.

Vegetable Variety Confusion?

Seed catalogues in your mail box. Seed racks in garden centers. How do you decide what to grow in your garden? Or do you want to get a jump on learning about vegetable plants that will be available this spring in your garden center?
The first thing I do is look at my vegetable garden journal from last year. This is a calendar where I noted what I planted, when I planted, how much I planted, what we liked, when it frosted, etc. I then select one or two varieties of each vegetable from my journal that I know did well. Next, I like to try one new variety of our favorite veggies each year. I make my selection of these varieties we are going to try from the seed catalogue descriptions or from a list of recommended vegetable varieties for my state. To find out vegetable varieties for your state do a web search using key words like: vegetable variety recommendations (insert your state). For example, click here to see the recommendations from the Extension Service here in Georgia.
To research vegetable plants that will be available in garden centers this year, a great place to start is the Bonnie Plant website (click here).
When it comes to “what to plant” in our vegetable garden, we learned long ago that it is hard to go wrong with “All America Selections”. Every year since 1933, the best of the best new seed introductions that have proven themselves in variety trials, get this “All America” designation.

Carmen Sweet Peppers

Check out our harvest of Carmen Seet Peppers – An “All America Selection” from 2006

For example, we love Carmen Sweet Pepper (2006 selection), Sugar Snap Pea (1979 selection), Melody Spinach (1977 selection), Buttercrunch Bibb Lettuce (1963 selection), Premium Crop Broccoli (1975 selection) and Gypsy Pepper (1981 selection) to name just a few of our favorites.
And for all you flower lovers, there are probably even more flowers that have been recognized as All America Winners. For example, Purple Wave Petunia was a 1992 selection.
Click here to go to the “All America Selection Winners” website. (When you are on the site, there is a search feature to narrow down your options from the many winners. For example, you can narrow your search down to just edible vegetables suitable to your region of the country.)


Most of the time these All America Winners are identified in seed catalogues and on plant tags as having won this distinction.

Tomato Facts


If you are like most folks, tomatoes are your favorite homegrown vegetable. As long as you have full sun and are able to supply your plants with food and water, you will be rewarded with that fresh, juicy, delicious, tasty (are there enough adjectives?) treat we all love.

Why am I bringing this subject up now? Well, I am tired of winter and writing about tomatoes helps me visualize the warmer months. And, I want to pass along a few tips to those of you who are getting ready to select your seeds in the coming weeks. This info will also be helpful to those of you who will be buying plants later in spring.  (Here is a link to Tomato plant info from Bonnie Plants which will be widely available in garden centers this spring.)

Our Better Boy Tomatoes are sure to make your mouth water!

What to plant? There are hundreds of varieties from which to choose. Besides the range of colorful tomatoes (red, pink, orange, yellow, etc.) and the size and shape, there are some technical descriptors that can be useful.

Determinate varieties will be more compact and do not require staking. Since this type of tomato tends to produce a heavier crop over a several week period, it is a good choice for canning.

Indeterminate varieties grow vertically bearing tomatoes until frost, so cages or stakes are recommended.

Hybrid varieties have been developed by the plant breeders to resist or tolerate the wide range of diseases that can frustrate. Capital letters, such as V, F1, F2, EB, N, etc. signify the specific disease resistance you can expect. Hybrids also tend to produce more fruit on each plant.

Heirloom varieties have the textures and flavors that our grandparents enjoyed. When they found a tomato they liked, they saved the seed year to year. Since they were mainly interested in taste, they did not mind if there weren’t as many fruits per plant or if some of their plants got fungus, they just planted lots of plants.

I will jump on the subjects of seed starting and tomato growing another time. Until then, stay warm and think summer when you can grab a tomato right from the vine and take a big juicy bite.


Apply Now For a Grassroots Garden Grant

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s charitable foundation announced the opening of the GRO1000 Grassroots Grants award program, inviting non-profit organizations from across the country to apply for funds to improve their communities.  The Grassroots Grants program, now in its seventh year, provides support to not-for-profit organizations to better their neighborhoods through the development of community gardens and greenspaces.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will have supported the creation of 1,000 community greenscapes by the end of this year, which aligns with the The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s 150th anniversary.  To date, more than 956 community organizations across the country, as well as dozens of major U.S. cities, have received program funding.

The 2018 GRO1000 Grassroots Grants application is available online now at  The deadline for application submission is February 19, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Grants range from $500 to $1,500 and are awarded based on youth engagement, community impact, harvest donation, and sustainability, among other factors.