There Is Science Behind Lawn Care
Believe it or not, the snow will melt soon and your thoughts will turn from shoveling to lawn care. Do you continue to use a lot of fertilizer and water on your lawn with mixed results? Are you concerned about the impacts of climate change affecting your lawn? Are you overwhelmed with all the lawn work in the Spring? If you said yes to any of these questions, click the link to learn more about the Science behind lawn care and how it can help you, your lawn and the environment.
Do you continue to use a lot of fertilizer and water on your lawn with mixed results? Are you concerned about the impacts of climate change affecting your lawn? Are you overwhelmed with all the lawn work in the Spring? If you said yes, to any of these questions, click the link to learn more about the Science behind lawn care and how it can help you, your lawn and the environment.
The University of Minnesota turf specialists have for years studied various methods of lawn care in order to achieve the best results with the minimal amount of human, water, and fertilizer resources needed. As it turns out, the best time to plant new grass or reseed your lawn is actually in early Fall not Spring. Dethatching and aerating your lawn are also best left for Fall. Spring is the second best time to plant new grass or re-seed your lawn. The U of MN Extension has developed an extremely handy lawn care calendar to make it easier to follow the science behind lawn care. Following this calendar will produce better results with less effort and hopefully, fewer chemical applications.
The trick with Spring is practicing patience as you see your lawn emerge from the snow. For example, many people add fertilizer too early in the Spring. This will just encourage the grass to grow when it’s dormant or when growing should be slow. One of the most common Spring problems is grey snow mold. This has the appearance of whitish dead patches. The blades of grass are usually matted down with a fungal fuzz. This disease thrives on extra fertilizer almost as much as the snow so adding fertilizer will make it worse. Instead, to treat snow mold, rake the matted grass in order to allow for additional air flow. It will take time for the fungus to die and the grass to grow back, but generally, a fungicide is not needed. Also note that once the weather has turned warm, don’t spray for weed control. It’s too late and will increase the chance of damaging your lawn.
Climate change is having an impact on our environment and one way to help your lawn is to consider adding some fescue grasses to your lawn mix during Fall re-seeding. Kentucky bluegrass is gorgeous but also needs a lot of water compared to fine fescue, for example. Another option is to consider adding a raingarden in order to retain the water runoff in your yard versus the storm sewers. Improved technologies have been developed such as “smart” irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors and more efficient sprinklers to more effectively manage water use. If you do have a sprinkler system, please check it every Spring by running through a short cycle to make sure the sprinkler heads are in good working condition and not wasting water.
The bottom-line is there is science behind lawn care and following a lawn care calendar and best practices can achieve a better result with fewer resources needed.
Photo credits: University of Minnesota Extension (1, 2, 3)