I want to take a moment to communicate some of my early season observations, as I have now visited most of the properties I service at least one time this spring. There are two main things I’ve noticed that I’d like to touch on: the slow warm-up this spring and how that has affected us, and the overall condition of the lawns I have been on.
In late winter, I communicated with you my concern about the hot, dry fall we had last year. I’ve been worried about how it would affect the lawns and their health this spring due to the lack of root development in the fall. I am happy to say that most lawns are recovering well from last year! I am seeing lawn density improving as grass plants are coming out of winter dormancy and we start to mow regularly. This is the time of year when lawns should be looking good and healthy, and they are definitely looking that way right now.
The slow warm-up this spring has helped delay the emergence of crabgrass. Soil temperatures have evened out and we are in the normal range that we would normally be at for this time of year, even after starting out higher than average in early March. The lower temperatures have affected two things this spring that you may have noticed.
First, seed germination has been extremely slow this spring. While we put down pre-emergent early as a precaution, the lower temperatures have also played a part in preventing crabgrass germination. (As a side note, please be patient and don’t give up if you haven’t seen a lot of germination on seed you or I have planted. I believe one or two days in the mid 70’s with some sun will really get the grass seed germinated and growing.)
Second, I have noticed some strange weeds out there this spring which I have not seen in lawns previously. I am sure they are products of the warm winter we had. I started spraying for weeds a little earlier than usual, but due to the cooler temperatures, weed control has been slower to work than normal.
Overall, things are looking good out there, and I am pleased with the condition of the lawns I have been caring for. You should expect continued improvement in the coming weeks as it continues to warm up. I am working diligently to get out to everyone for your spring weed and feed treatment.
A quick reminder for everyone: be sure to mow as regularly as you can. The biggest issue I see this time of year is people using round up for weeds in the lawn and trying to cut too much of the grass blade at one time. If the lawn gets out of hand you may need to mow it once at the highest setting and then again at your preferred height. Mowing more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time will cause discoloration in the lawn — so mow often!
Your lawn will thank you for it!