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June Lawn Checklist

June 3, 2014

Some lawns need feeding.  Southern lawns like (Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysia) love to be fed at two month intervals from spring to fall for a total of about 4 feedings a year.  Centipede only likes two or three feedings a year from late spring to late summer.  If you have already fed your Northern lawn (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass) twice this year you can skip feeding until later in summer.  Scotts GreenMAX Lawn Food, Scotts Turf Builder or Scotts Natural Lawn Food are good choices for this time of year.

Prevent Grub problems.  If you have put down GrubEx this spring, you are all set.  If not, there is still time to prevent grubs from destroying your lawn this fall.  A single application of GrubEx will prevent the next generation of grubs this summer from attacking your lawn.  This application of GrubEx also protects against some lawn damaging insects like sod webworm.

Keep your lawn from thinning and turning brown.  Tiny insects can attack your lawn during summer.  One indication that they may show up is when you see moths fly from your lawn when you mow or walk on your grass during early evening hours.  These moths do not damage your lawn, however they lay eggs for insects like sod webworms and cutworms that can cause your lawn to thin and turn brown.  Other insects, like chinch bugs can show up about the same time.  You can protect your lawn while feeding it with a special summer lawn food called Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard.  This product also takes care of other insects like fleas, ticks and ants.  If your lawn does not need feeding, you can spread Ortho Bug B Gon MAX on your lawn to take care of any insect problems.  Oh by the way, it is ok if you still see some moths after treating, since they do no damage.  You have protected your lawn from the damage caused by their hatching eggs for about 6 weeks or so.

Lawn moths fly from the lawn during the evening or when mowing.  They lay eggs for sodweborms or cutworms that can cause your lawn to thin and turn brown during summer.

Lawn moths fly from the lawn during the evening or when mowing. They lay eggs for sodweborms or cutworms that can cause your lawn to thin and turn brown during summer.

Kill lawn weeds.  June can be a good chance to eliminate weeds before they steal water from your grass and begin slower growth during hotter summer months.  Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer OR Roundup For Lawns takes care of most weeds.  (Be sure to check the label to make sure the weed killer can be used on your grass type.)

Treat lawn fungus problems if needed.  Circular patches of browning grass or individual grass blades with spots on them are an indication of lawn fungus problems.  Some of these problems will go away with shifting weather, however if they persist or if you have certain areas of your lawn that are prone to fungus problems each summer, you can treat with Scotts Lawn Fungus Control.

Brown Patch on Tall Fescue - Circular patches of dead grass are a symptom of several lawn fungus problems such as Brown Patch and Summer Patch show up during periods of warm temperatures and high humidity.

Brown Patch on Tall Fescue – Circular patches of dead grass are a symptom of several lawn fungus problems such as Brown Patch and Summer Patch show up during periods of warm temperatures and high humidity.

Seed bare spots.  Even though it is summer, you can still seed bare spots because it is easier to keep small areas watered until the grass becomes established.  Scotts EZ Seed is a good choice because the special mulch holds moisture next to the seed while it is germinating.  Note that you will need to wait at least a month to seed after applying weed controls or four months after applying crabgrass preventer.

Mow your grass taller. Taller grass blades mean deeper roots to match the leaf growth. So adjust your mower to leave your grass height at around 2-1/2 inches for Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Fine Fescue; at 3 inches for Tall Fescue and Buffalograss; at 3 to 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass; and at 1-1/2 to 2 inches for Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass and Zoysia.

Water Sensibly.  If you are able to water without restrictions and you want to keep your grass from going dormant, a half inch twice a week is better than a small amount every day. This helps to encourage deeper roots. Place a tall straight sided/flat bottomed glass or a rain gauge on your lawn while your sprinklers are running then measure the depth of water that accumulates in the glass to help calculate how long to run your sprinklers to put down a half inch. You would only need to do this once to help figure out your sprinkler system.  If you can, water in early morning when there is less wind and evaporation.

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  1. Todd permalink

    Hi Ashton, With all of your great tips I have turned my lawn into the envy of the neighborhood. I have had people asking me for tips. I just pass along what you send me. So thank you.

    Now I have another question. This year I applied Scott’s with Haltz in early April. Then in May I applied Scott’s Weed and Feed and an application of Grubex. So my question is do I just sit back and wait until fall to give it a couple more feedings? I still have a few patches of chick weed and clover. But that is on the property lines and my neighbor isn’t really concerned. I live in Virginia.
    Thanks again

    • Hi Todd
      Glad your lawn is showing off your green thumb to your neighbors. You have set up your lawn to coast through the summer with no additional feeding necessary. Virginia Extension Service stresses the importance of fall feedings, so plan on feeding 2 or three times beginning around Labor Day and ending around the end of Nov. The only additional suggestion is to treat for fleas, ticks ants and any lawn damaging insects that may show up this summer. Ortho Bug B Gon MAX is a good choice.

  2. Ali permalink

    I have two questions
    How to measure the height of bermuda grass.

    The second question is that every time I mow the lawn it loses the green color and I see brown patches here and there. I hope I’m not cutting g the grass too low

    • Hi Ali
      You place a ruler on the soil surface and measure the height after you mow. Bermuda grass falls into two broad growth characteristics. The more common Bermuda has broader leaf texture and can be mowed taller, which is generally around an inch and a half. The more hybrid Bermuda, that is typically used on golf courses, is finer textured and can be mowed shorter, which can be as low as around an inch. Hope this helps.

  3. Bob Rhodes permalink

    We used MAX and it worked well on bluegrass, but seems to have killed Marathon grass, is that possible? Is MAX not usable on Marathon grass?

    • Hi Bob Rhodes
      You have stumped me on this one… Marathon Fescue would love this kind of feeding just as much as your Bluegrass.

  4. Rick Spilker permalink

    What is the proper Ph level for lawn soil?
    Could residual salt from the winter affect lawns?
    What is the best way to raise Ph level?

    • Hi Rick Spilker
      Grass likes a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, however a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 can be OK. Some ice melts are easier on plants than others. Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride) is tough on grass and other plants. Over time these materials will be diluted to allow more normal plant growth. Lime will raise the soil pH. A soil test can indicate how much is needed, however note that the typical application rate is about 50 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. and fall is a good time to apply as the alternating freezing and thawing in winter helps to move the material into the lower into the soil.

  5. Oonagh permalink

    I did a great job of reseeding my southern NH lawn spring/summer 2013. This year , probably from too generous watering last year or just the severe winter, I do have some small dead grass patches not easily visible in the good lawn, but I know they’re there, as well as some mushrooms. We applied the crab grass preventer but I didn’t know that I needed to wait 4 months to patch the lawn. I was planning on the 2 months that I thought was the norm for weed and feed before putting down grass seed. I actually just bought more miracle grow potting compost today for the base. And what do I do about the mushrooms. Heavy clay soil, mix of sun and shade, and I used sun and shade grass seed mix.

    • Hi Oonagh
      Even though the normal waiting period to seed after putting down Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer is 4 months, you may be able to get seed germination by mixing in an inch or two of Miracle Gro Potting Mix or Scotts Lawn Soil into your existing soil. This will help break up and dilute the weed barrier to allow germination. Scotts EZ Seed for Sun and Shade would be a good seed choice for your bare spots.

  6. Hi Ashton,
    Our spring in Maine came late. A hard, long winter and a wet, cold spring. The grass was almost white in color with patches of green after the snow melted. I put Step 1 with Haltz down in April. In May I put fungus control down and a week later GrubX….in June 3 weeks later another application of fungus control ( a few brown spots reappeared). My questions to you 1. why was my grass white after the snow melted and 2. can I now apply. Step 2 one week after I put down preventive fungus control application. My lawn now is thick, lush and green and I don’t want to overdose it.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Sandy
      The white matted grass in early spring was a lawn fungus called Snow Mold. Generally you do not need to treat this problem. The best remedy is to use a leaf rake to break up the matted grass to allow sunlight and air to get to the where the grass plants initiate growth. Feeding helps the grass recover. You can apply Step 2 a week after your last treatment of fungus control.

  7. Hi Ashton, I consistently hear and read that weed and feed products (esp. with Atrazine) are hard on trees and woody shrubs. I’m told those products will eventually kill trees, etc., which is why I’m surprised that companies like Scotts sell and promote such products for residential use. Are the other reports incorrect and, if so, what’s in it for them? (Most of these sources aren’t selling plain fertilizer or competing products.) Thank you, Jberto in Texas

    • Hi Jberto
      Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed directions state to not apply under trees and shrubs. I understand Scotts researchers, after many years of trying, have developed an improvement for this product that uses another ingredient to kill weeds in St. Augustine. This new product will be sold in Texas by next spring. Their challenge has been to find a weed control that actually kills weeds without damaging St. Augustine grass.

  8. Mike permalink

    Ashton I need help. I just retired and moved to SC. I have 3 yr old centipede sod and live in Myrtle Beach area. I also have an irigation system. It looks beautiful right now. But I get confused on the fertilizer schedule. I applied Scotts Bonus-S April right at first cut. About 6 weeks later (May 15) I put down Scotts Turf builder for southern lawns. Its June 26 and everything looks great except Its gone from the initial dark green to the centipede apple green color. I am tempted to hit it again but keep reading about only 3 feedings with the last before Aug 31. What should I do? Leave it apple green throughout the rest of the summer? Have I put down enough for now? Is my schedule ok?

    • Hi Mike
      You are correct that Centipede does not like more than 3 feedings a year, so you get one more feeding this summer. You can feed it again with Turf Builder or you could go with GreenMAX. You do not need to wait until the end of the summer to do this last feeding. Suggest you feed mid to late July.

      • Mrd54 permalink

        Thank you!

        Sent from my iPhone


  9. Mel permalink

    Just curious. Why do I receive my monthly checklists at the end of the month instead of the beginning? Thanks for helping us with our lawn problems.

    • Hi Mel
      You raise a good question. I think you got a link to my blog via an email. I try to put up at least several blog postings each week. Good luck with your lawn!

  10. Aunttech permalink

    Hi Ashton. For the past 18 years I have had a lawn company take care of fertilization and weed control. The last company I had did a terrible job so I decided to do it myself. Looked all over the Internet and came up with the MAX product. I have fescue grass – live in south Georgia. Grass looked great until a couple of weeks ago when I put out Turf Builder and weed control. Within 2 weeks I’ve went from green grass to grass looking yellow and then the fungus started showing up. I’ve had fungus before but not this early in the year. Got the Scott’s fungus control and put it down last week. Will apply more in 1-2 weeks per Scott’s instructions. My question to you is: Can I go ahead and put down MAX now to get my yard back as green as it was? Went from being the envy of the neighborhood to “What the heck happened to your grass?”

    • Hi Aunttech
      I also live in Georgia and we have had perfect Brown Patch weather for fescue. Fescue really thrives when our weather is cooler. This time of year it is not going to look its best. Your four feedings a year would be March, Early May, Early Sept and Early Nov. Since your fescue really prefers to slow down growth now, I would hold off feeding until early fall.

  11. Delphinia permalink

    what months of the year should I fertilize centipede grass? fertilized in May and my lawn did not green up at all? Also what weed killer can I use on centipede grass with out harming the grass?

    • Hi Delphinia
      Your first feeding would be around the time you are seeing at least 50% green growth in spring, which is typically around May. Then two more feedings during summer at 6 to 8 week intervals. Try feeding with Scotts GreenMAX as this has a maximum amount of Iron to supplement the other nutrients. As far as weed controls go, Halts Crabgrass Preventer (without Turf Builder) can be applied in Early March. Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed can be used for your first feeding of the year after you are seeing at least 50% green growth. Several of the Ortho Weed B Gon products can be used on Centipede, just check the label to make sure you are getting the right one. Hope this helps.

  12. Great Information

  13. For my lawn sake is it better to let my cut grass mulch back into the lawn or removed the cut grass from my bag once full?

    • Hi Craig A. Gilbert
      Leaving your grass clippings on your lawn will return some nutrition to your grass. A good mulching mower helps to break down these clippings during the mowing process.

  14. Ben Jackson permalink

    I have two questions I would like you to answer. I live in Southeastern Coastal area of N.C. I have St. Augustine grass. At this time it is dark green and responding well to our hot humid weather. However I have dealt with chinch bug, pearl bug,brown spot, fungus and anything else that has a negative effect on St. Augustine sod. Question # 1: My soil is quite sandy in this area so do I need to water more than 1/2 in, twice a week ? Question #2: Can I apply Scotts Turfbuilder with Summer Guard and Ortho Bug-B-Gon MAX INSECT Killer for lawns at the same time?

    • Hi Ben Jackson
      Some folks find that their sprinkler system does not distribute water evenly to all sections of their lawn so they end up putting down more than a half inch twice a week in some areas to keep the dry spots from showing up in the areas that get under coverage. As you know sandy soils drain faster so those dry spots show up quicker especially if they were not getting the same amount of water as the rest of the lawn. The active ingredient is the same in Turf Builder SummerGuard and in Bug B Gon MAX. Bug B Gon allows you to select the amount you want to put down since there is no feeding, so if you want to put down enough to not only control chinch bugs and sod webworms as well as fire ants, you have the choice of using the higher spreader setting. The feeding in SummerGuard is a “light rate” compared to GreenMAX or Turf Builder for Southern Lawns. So one option for you is to give your St. Augustine a full feeding of Turf Builder or GreenMAX and then put down Bug B Gon at a heavy rate to protect against fire ants.

  15. permalink

    I used Scotts Weed & Feed. Now I have brown burn spots all over my lawn. What doI do now?

    • Hi Louis1037
      Sorry to hear about your lawn. It is likely these areas of your lawn are temporarily burned and will come back with regular watering. Some grass types are sensitive if the product is put down too heavy or if the temps are too high. (Turf Builder Weed & Feed should not be applied if the high temps that day are going to get above 90 degrees.)

  16. tom taylor permalink

    I have alot of crepping charlie what is the treatment for it

  17. Hank permalink

    I live in the transitional zone and have a beautiful deep green fescue & bluegrass yard. My problem area is the 6-8 inch strip along the curb. The grass there is usually weak and yellow and wild bermuda will eventually fill it in during the summer. Why does fescue not do well in this area? Also, what can I do to prohibit wild bermuda from taking over other areas of my lawn? Thanks

    • Hi Hank
      You are trying to solve a very tough problem. There is no selective control to remove Bermuda from a Fescue/Bluegrass lawn. In your area, Bermuda can get a start from just a small piece of root and spread rapidly if the area is full sun and hot. During hot, humid weather Fescue is challenged by fungus problems like Brown Patch, this allows the Bermuda to spread into the weak grass as weather conditions are very favorable. I have seen folks manage this kind of mixed lawn by doing most of their feeding in fall and very little feeding in spring/summer. A feeding schedule might look like this: Early March (while the Bermuda is mostly dormant), Early September, Mid October, and Late November. These three fall feedings are during the time when your fescue/bluegrass can maximize root growth and your Bermuda is winding down for the winter. You could consider seeding in September with Scotts Heat-Tolerant Blue (a Fescue/Bluegrass blend), using a slit seeder or aerator to get seeds in good contact with the soil to keep more pressure on the Bermuda. If you do not want to go the mixed lawn route, you would need to kill the Bermuda with Roundup, beginning in mid August, with two sprays a week a part. You could then seed 7 days after your last spray. Hope this helps.

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