Read these 14 Dos and Don`ts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Lawn tips and hundreds of other topics.
DON'T water the grass in the afternoon or evening, and NEVER water at night! Night time is prime time for fungus growth. All it needs is moisture. It's ok every now and then to help the grass maintain moisture through a short dry spell. It's not Ok to water on a regular basis without the heat of the sun to help control disease.
DON'T use high Nitrogen fertilizers exclusively. Grasses treated with analyses having 4, 5 or even 6 times as much Nitrogen as anything else put on lush growth that the rest of the plant simply can't support. If you do incorporate them into your fertilization program, use them sparingly. Cut the label rate in half.
DO start your season's fertilization program with a complete fertilizer, such as 16-4-8, 15-5-10, or 12-4-8. These 4:1:2 or 3:1:2 analyses provide grass with complete nutrition. Nitrogen for growth, Phosphorous for stem and rhizome development, Potassium for root growth and disease resistance. Centipede owners: DO use 15-0-15 unless directed otherwise by a soil analysis.
DO scout for pests on a regular basis. Get down on your hands and knees. Part the turf, pull the thatch apart. Dig into the soil. Inspect the stems, leaves and sheaths. Look for discoloration, insect damage, insect pests and obvious signs of disease. Know what your lawn is supposed to look like, and know when a problem is about to cause damage before the damage is apparent.
DO plant new grass at the beginning of your grass types' growing season. If you plan to plant new cool season grass seed, wait until summer is over and plant in late summer to early fall. If you plan to plant new warm season grass (seed, plugs or sod), plant as soon as the neighbors' grass is fully green and actively growing.
DON'T treat a pest problem you don't have. Pesticides are expensive and some cause significant damage to our environment. If you don't have a problem with weeds, don't use herbicides. If you don't have a problem with insect pests, don't use insecticides. If you don't have a disease problem, don't use fungicides. Save your money for the water bill.
DON'T plant cool season grass seed in spring. Planting in spring exposes the seedlings to fusarium blight and other disease pathogens. The survivors will then be subjected to the intense heat and arid conditions of summer. What little grass is left in fall will then have to be overseeded in fall anyway. Best to wait until late August at the soonest.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|