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Easy To Use Grass Type Identifier

You know there are different kinds of grass because some of the lawns in your neighborhood are brown in winter and some are green.  Or if you are a golfer, you know there is a different kind of grass growing on the greens compared to what is growing on the fairways.

So you think “what’s the big deal” until you read the weed control package it states “Do not use on this and that kind of lawn!”  This is especially the case with weed controls for southern lawns.  On the other hand, most lawns in the north are mixes of compatible grasses like Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass and Fescue where it is ok to use the same weed control.

Well if you want to figure out what kind of lawn you have, I have good news for you.  Click here to go to Scotts easy to use grass type identifier.  This tool uses your zip code to narrow down the kind of lawn you have, then helps you figure it out with descriptions and pictures of grass types that grow in your area.

If you are still having trouble figuring out your lawn type, let me know and I will try to help.

This well fed healthy St. Augustinegrass helps to keep weeds from gaining a toehold.

St. Augustine grass is typically found in warmer climates.  This lawn is located in Georgia.

This lawn owner follows an annual lawn program feeding schedule of the right product at the right time.

This lawn is a blend of Kentucky Bluegrass and Turf-type Tall Fescues and is typically found in climates that are cold in winter, but hot in summer.  This lawn is located in Reno, Nevada

Patches of Dead Looking Grass in Early Spring

I am getting questions from northern lawn owners this time of year about patches in the lawn with stuck together grass blades.   This is caused by Gray Snow Mold or Pink Snow Mold which are fungi that thrive in moist conditions under melting snow that is on your lawn for several months. The Snow Mold patches are covered with gray, pink or white matted grass blades that appear to be stuck together. These patches can be up to several feet wide.  The problem is these matted patches can inhibit your lawn from coming out of winter dormancy.

Rake patches as soon as you can in spring with a leaf rake to allow air and sunlight to get to grass plants. Lightly infected grass plants usually recover when you feed your grass and temperatures start to warm. If the patches are dead (showing no small green grass shoots coming from the base of the grass plant after you rake), you may need to spread grass seed in those spots.

Your feeding should include a crabgrass preventer if crabgrass was a problem last summer. Click here to learn about Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. If you are putting down grass seed, be sure to use a crabgrass preventer that will not prevent your grass seed from growing. Click here to learn about Turf Builder Starter Food For New Grass plus Weed Preventer.

This is snow mold.  A light raking with a leaf rake will break up matted grass so sunlight and air can reach new grass shoots

This is snow mold. A light raking with a leaf rake will break up matted grass so sunlight and air can reach new grass shoots

I Started My Tomato and Pepper Seeds Indoors Today

I followed my tried and true indoor seed starting tips to get my tomato and pepper plants up and growing for this year.  Click here to read my blog posting from several years ago to learn my five tips and to watch a couple of my vegetable videos.  You can also click here to see how our peppers liked growing in our deck planters last year. The tomato plants will be ready in 6 weeks and the pepper plants will be ready in 8 weeks.  This is perfect timing for our area as you always want to plant these warm season vegetables in warm soil.

 Our "Mr. Stripey" tomato ready for eating!

Our “Mr. Stripey” tomato ready for eating!

Check out our harvest of Carmen Seet Peppers - An "All America Selection" from 2006

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

Spring Grass Seeding Tips

These are my six tips for planting grass seed this spring:

  1. Cheap seed will give you problems down the road.  Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed blends are sold for different lawn situations using the best available grass varieties.  Old seed that has been stored in a garage causing it to experience big temperature changes will germinate poorly. It is best to buy fresh seed and use it all up that season.
  2. Rough up the top inch or so of your soil.  The idea is to make sure the seed is in good contact with soil and that it is no deeper than the top 1/8 inch. If you are seeding into an existing lawn, a slit-seeder can be rented to help the seed come in contact with the soil without damaging your grass.  If you do not use a slit-seeder, you can expect some of the grass seed to find its way to the soil and live after germination, however a good bit of the seed will sprout without finding soil for the roots to spread before drying out.
  3. After you spread the seed, make one pass across the newly seeded area with an upside down leaf rake (tines pointed up). Note: this is a leaf rake, not a garden rake. . It is ok to still see some seed on the surface.  Then spread Scotts Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer to feed your new grass seedlings as they germinate while preventing crabgrass and other weed seeds from growing.  Note:  This is NOT the same as other crabgrass preventers that also prevent your good grass seed from growing.
  4. Keep your new seed moist until your new grass is established. With colder spring soil you can sometimes count on 2 weeks or more before you see new grass sprouts. In fall this time can be cut down to 7 to 14 days because the soil is warmer. Also understand that no matter when you seed, you will generally see some of the grass seed come up a week or so before the rest of your seed germinates because of the different varieties in the seed blend and their different germination times. This is why it is important to keep up your watering a week or so after you begin to seed new seedlings.  If you suspect you will have a difficult time keeping the soil moist, a thin layer of straw can be spread over the seed.
  5. Anytime you use a weed killer and plan to seed, check the label to see what the waiting period is before you can plant grass seed or how long you need to wait to kill weeds after seeding.
  6. A feeding of Scotts Starter Food for New Grass (without the weed preventer) one month after seeding will really help your new grass fill-in any thin areas.
Our new Atlanta lawn just after putting down Scotts Heat Tolerant Blue grass seed on March 14, 2011

Our new Atlanta lawn just after putting down Scotts Heat Tolerant Blue grass seed on March 14, 2011

Our new Atlanta lawn on May 19, 2011; two months after seeding.

Our new Atlanta lawn on May 19, 2011; two months after seeding.

Best Way to Prevent Crabgrass from Choking Your Good Grass

If you love your lawn, you’ve gotta hate crabgrass.  It’s an aggressive, stubborn weed.  Even if you had just one crabgrass plant last year, your lawn could have thousands of crabgrass seeds lying in the soil right now ready to grow up and choke your good grass to death.

This photo of a mature crabgrass plant appeared in a Scotts publication about 20 years ago.  The caption:  “A single seed produced this monster crabgrass plant, which crowded out good grass as it grew.  Each plant is capable of producing tens of thousands of seeds for an even bigger problem next year.”

This photo of a mature crabgrass plant appeared in a Scotts publication about 20 years ago. The caption: “A single seed produced this monster crabgrass plant, which crowded out good grass as it grew. Each plant is capable of producing tens of thousands of seeds for an even bigger problem next year.”

I have good news.  You can stop crabgrass and several other kinds of annual weeds before they begin to grow this spring.  Put down some Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer around the time of your first mowing.  This product does just what its name says:  halts crabgrass in its tracks by creating a barrier on your soil that stops it from germinating.  Plus it gives your good grass the deep Turf Builder feeding it needs to green up and create new roots this spring.  Unlike the bargain brands, the particles are tiny, which means you get a good weed barrier on every inch of your lawn.

If you plan on putting down some grass seed this spring, you need to use a different crabgrass preventer that will not keep your new grass from growing.  Instead, use Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer as it is compatible with grass seed and has the special food to help you get new grass faster.

Apply crabgrass prevention before yellow blossoms fall from forsythia bushes.  Note:  After this very tough winter, your forsythia may not bloom as much as usual.  If that is the case, apply before you see lilacs bloom.

Apply crabgrass prevention before yellow forsythia bushes finish blooming.

Free Lawn Application Schedule Based on Your Zip Code

They say the first thing to go is your memory.  Well if that’s true, then the second thing to go is your lawn.  Missing essential lawn care applications can put your lawn at risk.  That’s why the Scotts Annual Lawn Program Builder is so valuable.  Let’s say you typically forget the right time to feed your lawn.  Or you don’t know what type of lawn food to use.  Scotts Annual Lawn Program Builder gives you a customized plan to fit your specific lawn, right down to your zip code.  Just sign up for your FREE lawn application schedule by clicking here.

This lawn owner follows an annual lawn program feeding schedule of the right product at the right time.

This lawn owner follows an annual lawn program feeding schedule of the right product at the right time.  (click photo to enlarge)

New Southern Weed & Feed for Grass

The Scotts R&D scientists have been working on a big improvement to Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed for several years and from what I have seen on test plots it has paid off.  You can now see results for yourself with the new Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed.  This new formulation was available in limited areas last year.  This spring it is available in these states:  Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Here is what you can expect to see on your lawn:

  • Clears Out Dollarweed, Clover & 49 Other Listed Weeds Guaranteed
  • Kills 2X More Weed Types vs. Previous Formulation
  • Builds Strong, Deep Grass Roots
  • Apply to a wet or dry lawn, however for best results apply to moist grass.
  • May be used on St. Augustinegrass, (including Floratam), Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, Zoysiagrass, Seashore Paspalum, and Buffalograss
  • Do not use on Bahiagrass, Ryegrass (annual and perennial) and blends that contain Ryegrass.  May be used on tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine fecues if temporary discoloration can be tolerated.
If you are one of those who is tired of waiting for someone to redeem the Dollarweed in your lawn at face value you may choose to get rid of it once and for all with Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed.

If you are one of those who is tired of waiting for someone to redeem the Dollarweed in your lawn at face value you may choose to get rid of it once and for all with Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed.

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