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April Lawn Checklist

April 8, 2014

First thing is to pick up fallen tree limbs and rake any lawn areas that have a fungus called snow mold. These patches will be white or tan and will have grass blades stuck together in a mat. When you use a leaf rake on these patches, you help to expose the grass plants underneath the matted grass blades to sunlight and air so they can grow. You can also rake any matted tree leaves so your grass will fill in thin areas faster.

Mow your lawn as soon as you start seeing the first sign of green growth. Some folks like to drop their mower height down a notch for the first mowing to remove the brown, dormant grass blades that remind them of the kind of winter we had this year.  Just remember to raise it back up so your grass height after you cut is around 2-1/2 to 3 inches.

The next step is to figure out what to feed your lawn. You make your choice based on whether you had annual weeds, like crabgrass or foxtail, last summer. If you had these weeds, go with Turf Builder Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food to do two jobs at one time: feeding and preventing new weeds from seed. Be sure to water your lawn after you spread this product. The alternative for those lawns with no annual weeds last summer is to feed with Turf Builder Lawn Food.

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 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 when you see lilacs begin to bloom.

If your lawn has bare spots, spread Scotts EZ Seed. Remember to NOT spread Turf Builder Halts in areas you plan on seeding. If you have large areas to seed and you need to prevent crabgrass, you should use Scotts Turf Builder Starter Lawn Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer to stop crabgrass without stopping your new grass seed from growing.

This first feeding will help your lawn recover and fill in after our tough winter. Your lawn will now be all set until you do your next feeding in about 6 weeks.

For answers to your lawn questions, my friends at the Scotts Help Center can help.


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  1. Todd permalink

    Hi Ashton,

    First I want to thank you for the advice last August on a feeding schedule. I had just moved in and the yard was a bit neglected. Well this spring we are the first to green and I am the first to mow. I have had 2 people ask what they can do for their yard. I passed on what you had recommended for me.

    I applied Scotts with Halts last weekend. While I was repairing a small leak in my irrigation I noticed quite a few grubs. So would it be okay for me to go ahead and apply Scotts Grubex now?

    Thanks again for the great advice.

  2. Hi Todd
    Glad you are getting positive comments about your lawn! Grubs typically do not do a great deal of feeding in spring as they are about to shift into the pupae stage prior to making their last shift into the beetle stage. They do not feed during the pupae stage. If you are not seeing damage (brown sections of your lawn or lawn peeling back like a carpet), I would not worry about treating now. GrubEx is best used prior to the eggs being laid this summer for the next generation of grubs. Suggest you put down GrubEx in May or early June to hit that timing perfectly.

    • Todd permalink

      Thank you for the advice. I will hold off on applying the GrubEx. I had them pretty bad last year. To the point where moles were tearing up my yard. So I just want to try to get them before it gets to that point.

  3. Hi Todd
    The primary food for moles is earthworms. Here is a link to info that may help: Check out the Mole Killer Worm Baits. Good Luck!

  4. Jeanstte Perich permalink

    I have applied turf builder for new seed then applied seed to lawn…When can I apply scotts weed and feed?

    • Hi Jeanstte
      It is best to wait to apply weed controls on new grass until you have mowed them 4 times. This could put you into late May. Glad you asked.

  5. Maureen Vellanti permalink

    I just put down Scott’s Halt and Fertilizer all in one on Sunday. On Monday night it rained. Will the weeds,crabgrass still work after that rain. On the Scott’s Blue package it said not to water for 2 – 3 days.

  6. smitty permalink

    can I use iron something with halts crabgrass preventer

    • Hi smitty
      The lawn food from Scotts that provides the most iron is GreenMAX. If you spread Halts (without Turf Builder) you can spread GreenMAX the same day. If you spread Turf Builder with Halts, you should wait at least a month before spreading GreenMAX.

  7. Hey Ashton, I’m looking to get a new string trimmer and have been checking out the B&D LCC420 however I can’t find a ton of reviews on it, the best one I’ve found is this one

    Can you give any extra feedback on it? I need a battery that can last and this one SEEMS like it has a better battery than the other models.

    • Hi Bryce
      Sorry I do not have any helpful info for you on this string trimmer. Good Luck in your search.

  8. Joe F permalink

    What seed do you recommend for a soil with a lot of clay in it?

    • Hi Joe F
      For Long Island pick the Turf Builder Grass Seed Blend that matches your conditions. For example, there is one for Full Sun, one for Deep Shade and one for a combination of Sun and Shade. There is also one called Heat-Tolerant Blue that would do well. All of these would work in clay soil.

  9. I put down halt, now i have decided i would like to over seed the lawn, how long do i have to wait to do this?

    • Hi James
      Unfortunately you will need to wait 4 months to seed after putting down Halts. (If you had a small bare spot you could break up the crabgrass barrier by cultivating the top 3 to 4 inches of soil and mixing in some organic matter, like Scotts Lawn Soil before seeding.)

      • Grrrrr, oh well, Over seeding is better done in the fall anyway i have read.

  10. Leif permalink

    I am going to aerate this weekend and I know that it is a good idea to add fertilizer and overseed soon after I aerate. So, I saw your recommendation to use Scotts Turf Builder Starter Lawn Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer and I thought that was a good idea because a lot of our lawn has crabgrass here in Westchester, NY. However, I saw that it should not be applied until it is consistently 60-90 degrees. That does not happen here until June. Should I just use Turf builder lawn food now when I overseed and then apply weed preventer later in the season? Thanks.

    • Hi Leif
      Crabgrass will germinate when your daytime high temps are hitting 60 degrees on a consistent basis which is around 4 or 5 days. Since you want to put the Weed Preventer down prior to that, I think your timing is good. Turf Builder Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer gives about 6 weeks prevention. This will stop most of your crabgrass for this year. If you get some stray crabgrass plants during late June, you can spray them with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. Good Luck with your lawn.

  11. Hi James Dusch
    Sorry that you will need to wait till fall to seed. On a positive note, you may find that your lawn fills in very nicely from several feedings this spring.

  12. Sharon Cornett permalink

    When do we apply the insect killer? We are reseeding the yard and want to know how soon before or after that we use the insect prevention that is part of the Scott’s Snap system.

    • Hi Sharon Cornett
      Let me know where you are located and I can give you specific timing suggestions. Typically, if you are in an area that is prone to grub damage, GrubEx is applied in May. If you an area that is more prone to fleas, ticks, ants or other insects the timing for the Insect Killer is geared more to the weather (for example early May in Georgia and June in Ohio).

      • Sharon Cornett permalink

        Thank you,
        I am in SC. I am guessing Early May but how do we apply in relation to seeding and fertilizing?

  13. Carrie Grafrath permalink

    I have quite a bit of thatch and would like a recommendation on how to get it under control. Thank you

  14. Joe F permalink

    Put down scotts turf builder food for new grass. How long before the kids can go on the grass?

  15. Hi Joe F.
    While there are no restrictions on reentering the lawn with this product, I always like to water the product in and then waiting until the lawn has dried before going back on the lawn.

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