First Weekend in March: What You Should Be Doing to Your Lawn



It's been a dry winter and lawns are toasty brown. Grass blades have been frozen by winter temperatures and burned by winter sun. These old dried blades do not recover. In time they will be replaced by fresh green growth sprouting from the crowns and root system of the existing grass plant.

Every Spring Mother Nature gives plant life a chance to start over. The winter season has been a long time out. It's the first weekend in March and now there is a chance to begin anew. Gardener’s and home owners can't make Spring come one day sooner, but they can be prepared for an early start.

Uncle's Early Spring tips: 

  1. First, mow the lawn short: Lower your mower deck one or two notches. Being careful not to scalp your lawn. Pick up the grass clippings and remove any winter trash. This low mow will cut off the brown winter grass blades and open up the soil to the warm spring sunlight. 
  2. Second, give the lawn a booster shot of spring fertilizer. Golf Course Starter or Loveland Renovator formula will start the rejuvenation process four weeks early and help lawns thicken and fill in ahead of summer weeds and hot weather. 
  3. Third, over seed any bare spots larger than a salad plate with fresh clean lawn seed and top dress with PrimeraFC top dressing or sphagnum peat. Avoid seed blends that contain coarse bladed annual rye grass or K-31 field fescue; and do not top dress weed free Grass Pad grass seed with garden dirt or black peat as these will often contain coarse weed and sedge seed. 
  4. Fourth, water when you are able. Winter has had below average moisture. Surface conditions are extremely dry for turf. Water deep once or twice per week till normal spring rains arrive.

Macho Mix Fescue Blend
Spring thawing and frost heaves open up cracks in the soil that let in air and moisture. These cracks make March an ideal time to apply seed, fertilizer, gypsum and lime. Shady areas have been hit hard this winter and are ideal for mixes like Macho Mix or Estate Mix, If you have a house or rental property that needs a make over in the front yard look for a sports field rye blend like Stadium Special. This is real first aid for distressed real estate or a play area where kids and dogs have torn up the play field. Both fescue and bluegrass lawns may be over seeded now. But don't fiddle; new grass plants need an early start to be ready for hot weather.

Estate Mix Bluegrass BlendUncle's Rant: My Irish Uncle taught me a thing or two about thrift. He said keep your money in the mattress and always buy grass seed by the pound. READ THE LABEL! some seed bags are now only half full with grass seed, the rest is magic dust from the Leprechauns and Fairies. Uncle says this is like pouring water in the whiskey jug and calling it “Jack Daniels.” Homeowners should read the analysis label and only pay for the real grass seed. Recommended coverage is often so much blarney. Mother Nature puts the magic in the grass seed, the inert matter is just expensive dust.

See Related: When to apply PREVENT for crabgrass.