If you are like most gardeners, you have some green spots, weedy spots and bare spots in the same home lawn. When the spring growing season is about to begin, around mid to late February, is the best time to regreen the entire home lawn.
First decide what portion of the lawn can be saved. Then dig out or spot kill the weedy areas with a weed control product labeled for lawn renovation. After the weeds begin to brown rake out the dead portions and till these and barren areas several inches deep to prepare the planting site.
Quickly reestablish a new lawn using plugs or sod of St. Augustine and seed or sod of bahia grass. Keep new lawns moist and apply a first feeding in three to four weeks.
If you are one of the lucky few, your lawn may only need a good feeding. We normally wait to feed the lawn until new growth begins. For St. Augustine, bermuda and bahia lawns this could be late February or March. For centipede and zoysia lawns the time for feeding is usually delayed until late March or April.
You may have already noticed the newer environmentally friendly fertilizers have little or no phosphorus, the middle number in the analysis. All can do a good job of feeding your lawn. If you have a few weeds you might also consider a weed and feed type product. Do make sure you obtain a weed and feed made for your lawn type. With all fertilizers follow the label instructions carefully.
Lawn care doesn't end during the spring. So here are a few more tips to use throughout the year.
- Water when spots of grass begin to curl their leaf blades and turn a pale green.
- Make a repeat feeding(except centipede) in late May and again during fall.
- Check weekly for insects and diseases that need control.
- Hand pull or spot kill weeds before they become established.
Now, one more thing, don't forget the mowing. Most lawns need some mowing year-round if only to control the weeds. But when the warm spring weather returns that is when the regular mowings really begin. Mow whenever the grass grows an inch or two above the desired height. And don't forget to use a sharp blade.