It’s that time of year when many of us will be receiving calls from lawn service companies who are soliciting for your hard earned dollars to provide several applications of materials to your yard so you can have a lawn that is picture perfect. Many times they will razzle dazzle you with comments about pH, iron and other technical jargon. If and when a lawn service company suggests you lime your lawn this should be a clue that they may not know too much about how to care for lawns in this area. Most of our soils in the Miami Valley are alkaline, with a pH of near 7.0, due to the bedrock of limestone that underlies this entire area. Additional lime is of no benefit and could actually be detrimental. Turf grass grows very well in the natural soils we have in regards to lime and we certainly do not want to make our soils any more alkaline by adding additional lime.

Many of our lawns do not need all the treatments that may be suggested. If you have a reasonably good lawn that only has a few weeds, there is no need to treat the entire yard with weed killers. One of the best ways to have a good lawn is to start with either bluegrass or tall fescue and provide adequate fertilizer. When reasonably good lawns are fertilized adequately it is not necessary to use a lot of additional weed killers or crabgrass control. Many times the only weeds that need to be controlled are a few dandelions and other broadleaved weeds that could be taken care of with spot treatments. Crabgrass is a bigger problem if the turf is not thick enough to crowd it out. So the biggest objective is to thicken up the good grasses in your lawn with a fertilizer program. If you like to save money you can do that by taking charge of your lawn maintenance including applications of fertilizer. We are approaching one of the most important fertilizations of the year. If you didn’t fertilize your lawn last fall then it is very important that you make a fertilizer application by the end of this month. The turf food formula that you should consider is one that has a high first number like 20-5-10 or similar formula. It is best to use one that has a slow release nitrogen (first number) to prevent loss due to leaching and also so the fertilizer is delivered over a longer time period.

If you do not have the time or would rather spend the time you do have on working with the rest of your landscape and you are going to engage a lawn service company I would encourage you to work with a reputable company and have them explain what they are going to do. Make sure it makes sense to you and try not to over apply chemicals that are not needed. We all need to protect our environment and use the tools that are available wisely.

Your team at Meadow  View, send us your comments or questions.

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