The Q&A Archives: lawn care

Question: I am on in years and need an easy way to do my lawn properly.I have an ST.AUGUSTINE lawn and have a hand held rotating spreader and also a hose end sprayer.What is best for fertilizating and the times to do it?What is best for controlling weeds and what is best for controlling insects.I know the best chemicals are not available any more.Please name products that are available at Home Depot

Answer: Good lawn care can be summarized in three cultural practices: mowing, watering and fertilizing. If you will do these three properly, your lawn will be the best on the block! Frequent mowing is better than infrequent mowing. Mow on a 5-7 day schedule, removing no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade with each mowing. While many homeowners like to water 15 minutes a day, your turf will benefit from a good soaking applied less often. Apply 1/2 to 1 inch of water once or twice a week. A coffee can makes a good rain gauge to test out how long it will need to be run to apply an inch. Frequent wetting promotes disease problems and a shallow rooted turf. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings and the grass will develop a deep root system and do much better. Fertilize with no more than 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen in spring after you have mowed the grass twice, again in June, another feeding in September and again in late November. Apply a product with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients as this is roughly the ratio of nutrients grass takes in. So, for example, if you purchased a 15-5-10 fertilizer (15% nitrogen), you would apply about 7 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .15 = about 7). If you purchased a 21-7-14 fertilizer (21 % nitrogen), you would apply about 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .21 = about 5). Healthy turf will choke out most of its weed problems. When the turf is thin and soil is exposed to the sunlight, weeds will sprout and you have a battle on your hands.

I would use a pre emergence product (such as Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer) in the spring (Feb or March); or a post emergence product such as Ferti-lome Weed Out Lawn Weed Killer With Trimec, Bayer Advanced Southern Weed Killer For lawns, or
Spectracide Weed Stop Weed Killer For Lawns in June.

Hope this answers all your questions.

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