The key to a successful lawn is know what to apply and when to apply it. The two products that build healthy lawns are pre-emergent to prevent the weeds and fertilizer to feed your lawn.
The start time of pre-emergent season is upon us. From the first of February to the middle of March, is your six-week window to apply pre-emergent. Soil temperature, moisture and sunlight determines when a seed will germinate. The pre-emergent must be applied and active before that magic moment occurs.
The all-natural pre-emergent is Corn Gluten Meal. It is available in both granulated and powder form and it is applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The good news is with the government substitutes for ethanol running out, corn prices are down.
The synthetic pre-emergents are Dimension for the grassy weeds and Gallery for the broadleaf weeds. The key to success with these products is to apply the correct amount to your lawn. Follow the label directions and know the square footage of your lawn.
March through April is the time to apply fertilizer to your yard. There are always a lot of folks asking what fertilizer to apply. There is not a one size fits all answer to this. To determine what fertilizer will work best on your lawn, it may be necessary to do a soil test. There are many companies that perform soil testing, but I’ve found two of the best are Texas A&M and Texas Plants & Soil Lab. Soil testing only needs to be done about every 5 years.
One thing is for certain, we all need to apply nitrogen (the first number in fertilizer) a couple of times a year. Nitrogen and water are two of the three element that makes the grass grow (the third being sunlight). Too little of both and the lawn looks depressed, too much of either can wash off along with your money. I am now cautioning you about applying fertilizer before a rain. We all need to apply a measured amount of water to fertilizer. Not enough water can cause burning and too much will cause run off. Fertilizer run off has been linked as one of the causes of algae blooms in lakes and ponds. If you use the correct amount of fertilizer it will take less water to get it to where it needs to be. However, it is a very good idea to apply your fertilizer after a rain when the ground is wet.