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Early Spring Lawn Checklist

April 10, 2015

This early spring checklist is for folks who live in northern states.  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.

This is a crabgrass seed head in summer when seeds are being spread over your lawn.  Notice the three fingers.

This is a crabgrass seed head in summer when seeds are being spread over your lawn. Notice the three fingers.

You should apply your crabgrass Preventer by the time forsythia bushes in your neighborhood have stopped blooming and lost their flowers, or if you do not have forsythia, by the time you see lilacs in bloom, or before you start seeing dandelion puffballs.

You should apply your crabgrass Preventer by the time forsythia bushes in your neighborhood have stopped blooming and lost their flowers, or if you do not have forsythia, by the time you see lilacs in bloom, or before you start seeing dandelion puffballs.

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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2 Comments
  1. Dave permalink

    Hey Ashton, Dave from northern KY again. I have patches in my grass that have turned to a strange light green, yellow color. I slit-seeded and added starter fertilizer with weed preventer. I didn’t notice it until after we received a lot of rain and the grass started to grow. What is it? Thanks.

  2. Hi Dave
    Young grass plants have a different look, color, texture from older grass plants even if they are the same kind of grass. If you do not think this is the situation you are looking at, there could be several things causing this ranging from a difference in coverage of the lawn food, a fungus if the condition tends to be in circular patterns or a difference in grass heights before mowing (tall grass can go yellow if a lot of growth is mowed off). My guess is this condition is temporary. Continue regular mowing and I think you will see this go away.

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