The Q&A Archives: Taking care of grass/planting trees

Question: My grass has weeds and has balded spots and looks like wheat. What steps should I take to start repairing it. Also I would like to plant a tree next to my porch, when is a good time to plant and should I give it any specific fertilizer? Thank you

Answer: Early spring is an excellent time to renovate a lawn. Begin by digging and removing any weeds and then raking to remove debris in the dead areas. Overseed the entire lawn, especially the bare spots. Then put your lawn on a regular maintenance schedule and you will stay ahead of the weeds - a thick and healthy lawn will crowd out any weeds. When the new grass is up and growing, it is time to mow. Plan on mowing as often as necessary to keep the lawn at 2 or 2 1/2 inches in height, removing only one third of the blades when you mow. This means you may have to mow twice a week during the prime spring growing period and only once a week when the grass slows its growth. Water deeply, once or twice a week to encourage deep root growth and more heat tolerance. And, feed your lawn in April, June, September and late November to help it maintain its lush, green color. We typically recommend using a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. I've found that garden centers such as Home Depot generally have just the right fertilizer blend on sale at just the right time to use it. Watch for sales and apply when it goes on sale.

Trees can be planted either in spring or in fall when the weather is cool. Don't feed your new tree immediately after planting. Wait until next spring, after the roots are established. Best wishes with your landscape!

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