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March/April Lawn Checklist

March 8, 2016

A good sign that spring weather is around the corner is when those of you in the northern states start to ask:  “What do I put on my lawn this spring to improve it?”

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.

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

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.

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. Joyce permalink

    My location is Southside, VA. Last Fall I did a complete overhaul of my lawn with additional soil, aeration, seed, lime and fertilizer. Unfortunately, I have some bare spots. In anticipation of a late snow, I put down tall fescue seed and lime the first week in March. I took the advice of a local nursery and used 10-10-10 instead of starter fertilizer. He said I shouldn’t use starter fertilizer until the grass had been cut twice. We didn’t get the predicted snow, but did get some rain. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t seen much change. Will it harm the lawn to put down the starter fertilizer now and perhaps some turf builder?

    • Hi Joyce
      I believe your seed will germinate when your soil warms up some more. Do not allow the seedlings to dry out if you get dry weather. Since you put down the 10-10-10 with the seed, you should not put any more lawn food down until your new grass needs mowing. Do not put a regular crabgrass preventer on the rest of your lawn as this will inhibit grass seed germination in the bare spots. You can use a crabgrass preventer like Turf Builder with Halts once your new grass has been mowed.

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