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Annual Bluegrass (Poa Annua) Prevention

Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass) is very obvious in dormant Bermudagrass and Zoysia lawns right now. This weed is difficult to control now. The best approach is to prevent this weed from germinating in early fall. Circle Late August/early September on your calendar as the time to put down a preventer to keep Poa Annua from growing in your lawn next year. Don’t be tempted to spray weeds in dormant lawns with Roundup as you may damage your good grass even though it is dormant.

Annual Bluegrass in Bermudagrass

This is an early spring picture of the annual grass Poa Annua in a Bermudagrass lawn. Notice the light colored seeds. (Click photo to enlarge)

Lawn weeds like Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass), Common Chickweed, and Henbit are “winter annuals”. This means they germinate in fall, thrive in spring and then die during summer, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in fall. (“summer annuals”, like Crabgrass, Foxtail and Barnyardgrass, have the opposite cycle of germinating in spring, thriving in summer and dying just prior to winter, but not before scattering seed so the cycle can start all over again in spring.)

So, if you vow now that you want to stop these winter annual weeds from invading your lawn, you need to pick up a bag Scotts Halts or Scotts Turf Builder with Halts so you can treat your lawn around Labor Day. (You apply these products in early spring to prevent crabgrass and other summer annuals. Apply the same product in early fall to prevent Poa Annua and other winter annuals.)

Moss in Your Lawn


A rolling stone may gather no moss, but the lawns in the Pacific Northwest or in parts of the country with lawns that stay mostly moist and shady sure do.  Moss loves the kind of weather many folks are experiencing this year.  Left alone, moss will spread and take over your entire lawn.  You can’t change your climate or conditions, but you can stop the moss in your lawn this season.  (For those of you trying to encourage or grow a “moss lawn” in areas where it is just too shady for grass, here is a link to info that you may find helpful.)


Once you kill the moss, plant shade resistant grasses and feed your lawn regularly to encourage thicker grass.

Scotts has a range of liquid and granular moss killers.  For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, Scotts Turf Builder with Moss Control is a good choice.  It kills moss quickly and gives your lawn a deep Turf Builder feeding – to help your grass thicken and fill in the patches where the moss used to be.  The granules will not harm a blade of your good grass and you can put down new grass seed once your moss is dead.  For many other areas you can kill moss with Scotts Moss Control Granules or Scotts 3 in 1 Moss Control Ready-Spray.

Moss can also thrive in acid soil (although I have also seen it grow in an alkaline soil with low fertility).  A soil test will tell you if your soil is too acid (has a low pH) and could use some lime.  Moss is not necessarily a sign of needing lime so a soil test is really the first step to figure out if lime is needed.  To help you find a soil test lab in your state, you can do an internet search using these key words:  soil testing lab, along with the name of your state.

Regular feedings during the year will help raise your soil fertility and encourage healthy grass to crowd out additional moss from growing.


Getting Weeds Out of Southern Lawns

The first line of defense against weeds taking over your lawn is to make your lawn denser and thicker by feeding regularly during the year. Three to five feedings a year really helps your grass crowd out young weeds before they get a chance to get a toehold. (Note: Centipede Grass should only be fed two or three times a year.) The second defense is to mow your grass at one of the higher settings on your mower.


This lawn owner feeds her St. Augustine grass lawn on a regular schedule. Most lawns thrive with 4 or 5 feedings a year.

Here are options for killing weeds in your Southern lawn without hurting your good grass:

Option 1: If you want to kill weeds while feeding your lawn here are your product options:

  • Scotts Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed – use on St. Augustinegrass (including Floratam). (Note: This product can also be used on Zoysia and Centipedegrass lawns, however Turf Builder Weed & Feed may be a better option for these lawns depending on the weeds you are trying to kill – see below.) Apply Bonus S to a dry lawn and water after spreading.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action – use on St. Augustinegrass (including Floratam). (Note: This product can also be used on Zoysia and Centipedegrass lawns). This unique new formula feeds, kills weeds and kills/prevents Fire Ants. Apply to a dry lawn and water after spreading.
  • Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed – use on all Southern Lawns except St. Augustinegrass. Apply to a moist lawn and do not water for 24 hours after spreading.

Option 2: If you want to kill weeds without feeding your lawn here are product options:

Option 3: Preventing new crabgrass and other annual weeds.

  • There is still time in most Southern areas to apply Scotts Halts (without the Turf Builder) on your southern lawn to prevent annual weeds that have not shown up yet from germinating.

If you have lawn weed questions contact the Scotts Help Center.

Our February Landscape is Blooming Big Time!

One of the benefits of moving to Georgia is we can now grow plants that would not make it where we used to live in Ohio (we were primarily zone 5 however we were successful with some plants that were only hardy to zone 6). Here are a couple of shots of our blooming shrubs in our February landscape.

Camillia blog

Our Camellia is outstanding this year (grows best in zone 7 to 10).


Edgeworthia chrysantha (also known as Paperbush) grows best in zone 7 to 9.   This shrub is a relatively problem free option for partly shaded areas and some good news: deer don’t bother it!

Edgeworthia blooms

The Edgeworthia’s gardenia-like fragrance really knocks you out during late winter before the leaves appear.

By the way, we have found that a single feeding of our landscape in early spring with Osmocote Plant Food Plus for Outdoor & Indoor provides a continuous feeding for around 4 months. All our plants seem to love this annual feeding ritual.

Scotts Lawn Spreader Choices

I get excited when I see the vast improvements in lawn spreaders since I first sold Scotts Turf Builder over 50 years ago when I was in high school.

Here is a link to all of your Scotts Spreader choices.

If you are looking for the ultimate in spreader innovation this link will give you more info about the New Scotts Elite Spreader.

Just to get you excited about Spring and this new Scotts Elite Spreader, check out this video:





FREE Lawn Newsletter Based on Where You Live

They say the first thing to go is your memory. Well if that’s true, then the second thing to go may be your lawn. Missing essential lawn care applications can put your lawn at risk. That’s why Scotts Lawn Email Reminder Service is so valuable. Let’s say you forget the right time to feed your lawn. Or what type of lawn food to use. Scotts email service reminds you. And the beauty of Scotts email reminder service – it is customized and timed to fit your specific lawn, right down to your zip code.

Sign up for this FREE service by clicking here.

The right product at the right time is important to building a thick, sturdy lawn without wasting money on unneeded applications.

Why Are Some Lawns Brown and Others Green in Winter?

This question arises for those of you located in areas that can grow both Northern and Southern Grasses. Turf experts call these areas the “transition zone”. You can tell if you are in the transition zone if some lawns in your neighborhood are brown (dormant) this time of year and some remain green in winter (especially if you fed your lawn a couple of times in fall).

Winter dormant Bermuda on the left and a blend of Fescue/Kentucky Bluegrass on the right

Northern Grasses (like Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass)
• Stay green all winter, especially with a couple of fall feedings.
• Can grow in sunny areas and can tolerate a fair amount of shade.
• Healthiest growth with 4 or 5 feedings a year during spring and fall when daytime high temps are below the 90’s.
• Grass height should be around 2-1/2 to 4 inches after mowing.
• New grass seed can be planted in early spring and early fall.

Southern Grasses (like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahia and Centipede)
• These lawns are brown in the winter when they go dormant (except in very southern areas).
• Grow best in full sun, however St. Augustine and Zoysia have some tolerance for shade.
• Feed 4 or 5 times a year. Spread the first feeding when you are starting to see about 50% green up in early spring from the winter brown color. Then feed every two months through the end of September. Centipede lawns do best with 2 or 3 feedings a year.
• Grass height should be (after mowing): Bermuda ½ to 2 inches, Zoysia ¾ to 2 inches, St. Augustine and Bahia 2 to 4 inches, and Centipede 1 to 3 inches.
• Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede and Bahia can be seeded in late spring. St. Augustine needs to be sprigged or sodded.

If you want to figure out what kind of lawn you have, click here to go to Scotts easy to use grass type identifier. This tool uses your zip code to narrow down the kind of lawns that grow in your area with descriptions and pictures.