It always seems early to start but we are starting to spread crabgrass preventer with fertilizer. This year we are spreading 13-0-0 with about 1/2 of the crabgrass preventer needed for the year. Next application we will spray the remaining 1/2. The reason we do this is to try to get better control on the crabgrass. Crabgrass preventer is a pre-emergent chemical that stops the crabgrass seed from germinating. That is one reason we try to get in on quite early in the spring. On the sunny south side of brick houses or on a south facing hillside, the soil temperature can be much warmer than the rest of your lawn. Especially so with all the 60 to 70 degree days we have been having.
Back to the split application, a little more explanation. The way crabgrass preventer works is, it only takes about 1/2 the yearly rate to stop the crabgrass seed from germinating. The remaining 1/2 that we put on stays in the soil and keeps all the seeds that would germinate through out the year, from germinating. So we do the split app in case we leave any skippers we are less likely to skip the same area twice. It gives us about 6 weeks longer control by doing 1/2 now and 1/2 with the second application. This application also keeps good grass seed from germinating also so that is why it is difficult and not recommended to do spring overseeding.
We have a new face at Windy Ridge Lawn Care. Eric Koehn will be doing a lot if not all the spraying and fertilizing. This is exciting for me. Many of you have expressed some dismay that you have a hard time communicating with me. I am hoping this will help change that. I hopefully will have more time to help you with your problems. Texting is an excellent way to get my attention, also email. Feel free to let me know if you have concerns about your lawn service. Looking forwards to working with you this year!
NEXT SCHEDULED APPLICATION LATE MARCH TO EARLY APRIL
Its seems like there is no normal anymore. We have had a very mild winter as you all know. Now it seems like a lot of plants are emerging and blooming well ahead of normal. Also, maybe it is just my imagination, because I need to be spraying, but it seems like it has been a windy spring. We used to say that crabgrass germinates about the same time as the Redbuds blooming. Beings crabgrass preventer needs to be spread and watered in before crabgrass germinates then we are in trouble. I don’t think that is the case though. Normally we would have until the end of April before we would feel like soil temperatures are warm enough to germinate crabgrass. I think it is early but I think some plants, as far as when they bloom, are soil temperature driven and some are daylight driven. So, that brings me to what we are doing this spring. Normally we would start applying crabgrass preventer around Feb 15, weather permitting. Then we would be back around April 1 to spray for weeds and put on a second application of fertilizer. Because of the windy spring and the mild winter we are combining our 1st and 2nd application. It seems like the best way to get the crabgrass preventer on soon and also spray for weeds earlier than normal. We have already done some of your lawns and are hoping to get to the rest this next week. (As I am writing this I see it is supposed to be very windy every day this week.) On a different note, I want to tell you what we are putting on your lawns this spring. I don’t want to bore you with the details so skip over this if it doesn’t interest you. I am someone that feels like if we only spread fertilizer we are doing nothing to improve your soil. Fertilizer is only feeding the grass. If your soil is healthy your grass will look good with less water and less fertilizer. We are spraying a product called Sanctuary 11-21-21. You will hear me talk more and more about the benefits of Mycorrhizae. This photo shows the much more vigorous root system and healthier plant with mycorrihza. This is beneficial bacteria that feeds the microbial activity in the soil. The more microbes the healthier your soil and thus healthier grass. I can’t tell you enough of the benefits. We mix Mcorrhizae with the dirt around every tree and shrub that we plant. It has greatly reduced the number that we replace due to dying. Notice the pictures of grass with and without Mycorrhizae. Also we are spraying Rapture_4-0-4 which is micronutrient package. This will feed your grass with numerous minerals that will help your grass continue to be healthy through the hot part of the season. Iron greens your grass up without the fast growth that is hard on your grass. Lots of nitrogen actually causes grass to grow rapidly which if the weather conditions are not perfect stresses the grass, causing it to need more water to sustain the rapid growth. Also mowing so much of the leaf off, because you do not have time to mow multiple times a week, is also hard on the grass. On the flip side we all want dark lush green grass. So we try to balance the right amount of nitrogen yet not to much to cause rapid growth.
Please feel free to email me with questions. I know some of you get frustrated that you can’t get me on the phone. I have not been carrying it when I am working, so you will often just get my voicemail. So email is probably the best way to reach me or send a text. firstname.lastname@example.org 316-835-0343
Its been 4 or 5 years since we last saw Armyworm damage like this. It almost looks like Grubworm damage but when you pull up on the grass it is firmly rooted, whereas Grubs eat off the grass just under the dirt and pulling on the grass causes it to come up like sod with a layer of dirt attached to the roots. Armyworms tend to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. They eat the grass blade down to the crown. Armyworms do not necessarily kill the grass. Windy today and tomorrow and rain on Wednesday. I will not be able to spray for all you that have Armyworms.
If you do want to spray for it Tempo or Talstar works very well.