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The Easiest and Cheapest Way to Get a Better Lawn

October 8, 2011

Want to look like you know what you are doing when it comes to lawn care AND not dip too far into your wallet to pull it off?You ask any turf expert how they would spend their first lawn care dollar and they will tell you the same thing I am about to tell you. (And, I know you will be thanking me later for this very important bit of lawn advice.) You get the most “bang for your buck” and your efforts by giving your lawn a couple of feedings in fall. (Note: for Bermudagrass, Zoysia, Bahia and St. Augustinegrass one fall feeding will do the trick.  Hold off feeding Centipedegrass now.)

Here’s what you need to do: For most areas there is still time to spread your first fall feeding. (Congrats to all of you who have already given your lawn a feeding in the past couple of weeks… you are half way towards a healthier lawn.) This first feeding will give your lawn a chance to recover from any summer lawn damage. Now you might not see much improvement at first, but don’t get discouraged. A lot of the improvement from an early fall feeding is happening underground, as new grass roots develop and spread. In fact, the underground root development will go on until the ground freezes, long after the first frost.

Within a few weeks, your lawn will start looking healthier. But the real improvement comes with the second feeding about 6 weeks after the first in late fall. This one helps to lock in what you’ve just gained, and carry it into the spring. What’ll happen is that your lawn’s increased root mass will absorb and store the nutrients from the fertilizer. Once spring arrives, your lawn will quickly tap into these nutrients, for a beautiful burst of green. In fact, a lawn fed twice in the fall will be the first to green up in the spring!

And I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t emphasize it enough. When it comes to fertilizer, spend the few extra bucks for a really good one. There are big differences in how fertilizers work, and with a better brand like Scotts you’ll see a big improvement in how your lawn looks! You can count on it!

Oh by the way, one of these feedings can contain a weed control. This is a great time of year to kill clover, ground ivy (creeping charlie), dandelions and other weeds. Just make sure you apply to moist foliage on a day when rain is not expected. Application to a dew covered lawn in early morning really works well. And, don’t forget, any newly seeded areas should not be treated with weed control until after your new grass has been mowed 4 times.

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  1. Shawn permalink

    I cannot find anything in Scotts Products about chickweed control. Please assist. Thank you.

    • Hi Shawn
      A couple of the Ortho products will kill chickweed: Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX Chickweed & Clover Killer, which you use in the Ortho Dial ‘N Spray Hose-End Sprayer; and Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX Weed Control plus Crabgrass Killer. Good Luck with your lawn.

  2. Shawn permalink

    Ihave wrapped the trucks of my well established trees with black plastic because my sprinklers hit the tree trunks. Please comment on whether I should cut holes in plastic, take off all together or just leave it as is. Thank you!

  3. Shawn…. I would not worry about the water hitting the tree trunks. Suggest you remove the black plastic.

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