Lawn Maintenance Calendar
For cool-season (Bluegrass/Fescue) grasses - Customized for Zone 7 and North Carolina Climate
|Memorial Day||Fertilize+Broadleaf Weed Control+Insect Control|
|Labor Day||Fertilize+Insect Control|
|Month||Fertilize||Weed Control||Disease Control||Insect Control|
|February - March|
|May - June|
|October - November|
February - March
- Have soil tested if you have not done so recently. Apply Lime or Iron if needed.
- Use broadleaf / selective herbicides for perennial and winter annual weeds not controlled in the fall.
- Before growth starts, power rake, mow and sweep or aerate to remove excess old growth; this also speeds soil warming and lawn green-up. Watch for moles; traps are an excellent means of control.
- Overseed thin spots early if missed last fall. If seeding or overseeding, use a starter fertilizer without any weed control herbicides. Weed control products can be applied 6 weeks after new growth.
- If not seeding, apply Scotts Turf Builder + HALTS Crabgrass preventer between late February – mid March, but after raking or dethatching. Latest time to put down pre-emergence herbicide is April 15th. Prepare to apply before a soaking rain or plan on watering in.
- Start mowing as needed at recommended heights.
- Fertilize and apply post-emergence herbicides as rapid spring growth begins to slow. Use Scotts Turf Builder Plus 2 Weed Control (between mid to late month; 6-8 weeks after Scotts Crabgrass application).
- Watch for first brood of sod webworm. Apply insecticides about 10 days after major moth flight. Should there be signs of insects, apply Spectracide Triazicide Complete Insect Killer granules mid month.
May - June
- Watch for leaf spot, mildew, and brown patch diseases. Apply pre-treatment of Bayer Advanced Fungus control for Lawns late May/early June as nightly temperatures are above 70 degrees.
- Start watering as needed. Water infrequently and during the morning to a depth of 6 inches. Overwatering can promote fungal growth, but water frequently enough to prevent drought stress. All grasses under stress are susceptible to disease. Avoid puddles and runoff. Ensure lawn gets about 1" of water per week.
- Increase mowing height by 1⁄2 to 1 inch if grass stand is thin. Rapidly growing lawns need frequent mowing. Taller mowing heights (2 1⁄2" to 3 1/2") reduce the chance for turf scalping. Let clippings remain unless they are excessive.
- Do not mass apply fertilizer or attempt to seed fescue during this period. Wait till fall for seeding or re-seeding.
- Apply HALTS post-emergence herbicides in early-mid June to prevent summer crabgrass & prostrate spurge.
- Continue frequent mowing, and irrigate only enough to prevent turf wilting (about 1" of rain or irrigation per week - more if experiencing drought conditions). When irrigation is needed and conditions are hot and humid, Irrigate between 2-8am to prevent evaporation, and not in the evening since wet turf can promote diseases. Irrigate two to three times a week as soil absorption allows. Avoid frequent, daily irrigation.
- Treat with Spectracide Triazicide Complete Insect Killer early in month.
- Apply Bayer Advanced Fungus control for Lawns mid to late month if signs of brown patch are noticed or humid, moist evening conditions are present.
- Apply broadleaf / selective herbicides (Bayer Complete concentrate) to troubled spots but only if the grass is not drought-stressed.
- Treat wild burmudagrass with Turflon Ester or wait till next month to kill.
- Make plans for fall lawn renovation as fall is the best time for seeding fescue. Prepare seedbed now (Lime, Iron, depending on soil test). Select and purchase grass seed and fertilizer.
- If lawns are to be totally renovated, kill all vegetation with a non-selective herbicide (Roundup) application near mid-month. If trying to kill bermudagrass / wild bermuda, apply non-selective herbicide on August 1 and again one month later. Have soil test made if unsure of basic fertility level.
- Rake; dethatch; kill weed patches; over-seed thin spots.
- Aerate where needed in early Fall (Sept. 22nd), prior to seeding or overseeding.
- Plant or sod new lawns in early Fall; keep soil moist.
- If seeding or overseeding, use Starter fertilizer to stimulate germination. Otherwise, apply Scotts Turf Builder at a rate of 1lbs N / 1000 sq feet OR 3.8 lbs / 1000 sqft – based on 26N) in mid month.
- Mow at regular heights until growth stops.
- Apply Scotts Winterizer + Weed Control when cool weather slows leaf growth (Late October/mid November) after newly seeded lawn is mowed 4 times.
- Keep leaves from packing and smothering grass.
- Be sure turf goes into winter with moist — not wet soil.
- Recondition lawn mower; store with clean oil and empty fuel tank.
- Use soluble fertilizer or calcium chloride instead of salt for melting winter ice
Controlling Bermudagrass in a Fescue Lawn
Bermudagrass is difficult to eliminate because of its extensive underground root system. It also spreads by stem sections, so rototilling just spreads it farther. If you have tons of time and patience to hand pull the rhizomes (creeping roots) and stolongs (creeping stems), you might be able to get rid of it in your flowerbeds and lawn. However, these areas will be visibly disturbed and you will still need to prevent the seeds in the soil from germinating.
Fortunately, there are a few postemergence herbicides that work on bermudagrass, but what's used in the lawn can't be used in the flowerbeds and vice versa. These products might seem expensive at first, but they are very concentrated so many applications can be made from a single small container. Read and follow label directions and cautions carefully to insure the best control without damage.
In fescue lawns a product called Turflon® (http://www.yardlover.com/products.php?pid=1800) containing triclopyr can be used to suppress bermuda while it is actively growing and keep it from taking over. A few monthly applications will be needed. Turflon is also effective on most broadleaf weeds including some tough ones like oxalis, so be sure to avoid drift onto flowerbeds and ornamentals or damage will occur. Also avoid spraying turflon on exposed roots of shallow rooted trees.
In flowerbeds, use Grass Getter or Grass-B-Gone to kill any grasses (except annual blue grass) around broadleaf plants. We've used it around many cherished trees and ornamentals with great success. The bermuda turns a reddish color and dies within one to two weeks. It works better in warmer temperatures during the summer and is less effective in the early spring and fall. Be careful not to allow drift onto your lawn.
Follow up with a preemergence herbicide like dimension, pendimethalin, or weed stopper to control bermudagrass seedlings in both the lawn and the flowerbeds
Grass-B-Gone (Fluazifop-p) can be applied to tall fescue to control bermudagrass but high rates can kill tall fescue, so make sure you do not over-apply.