Fertilizing, weed control, lime, watering and proper mowing go hand in hand to create the “perfect” lawn.  With our help and advice below you will be on your way to a lush lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood.

Fertilizing & Weed Control

The first time to fertilize your lawn is usually April 1st when the lawn is just beginning growth.  A fast release granular fertilizer or one combined with a crabgrass preventer can be applied at this time.  Greenview makes an excellent product called Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Food that will feed the lawn and prevent crabgrass at the same time.  It will give good results in most years when applied in the month of April.

In the month of May, a slow release fertilizer with a broadleaf weed killer can be applied.  Remember to get good control of broadleaf weeds, they must be in active growth.  Just follow the directions on the bag.  Again, a good product to use is Greenview Weed Control plus Lawn Food.

Four to six weeks after the application of the weed & feed, a slow release fertilizer such as Greenview Lawn Food may be applied to carry the lawn through summer.

Labor Day is a good time to apply a weed and feed again or a fall fertilizer such as Greenview Fall Lawn Food that will strengthen the lawn’s root system.  Another application of Wintergreen may be applied in mid to late October to “put the grass to bed” and help for a quick green-up in the early spring.

Watering

Short frequent waterings to a lawn will do more harm than good as only the top 1-2″ of soil will be moist and grass roots will tend to grow shallow.   Waterings of once each week of 1″ of water or more are sufficient and will encourage deep root growth.

Never water late in the day or at night as wet grass in the night causes disease in your lawn.

Using Lime

Applying lime is essential as a soil pH that is too low (acid) will inhibit the uptake of nutrients by the lawn.  Most soils in this part of Ohio and nitrogen fertilizers “create” acid in the soil.  A somewhat slightly acid to neutral pH is best (6.5 – 7.0)

In order to know how much lime to apply to raise the soil pH, a soil test is helpful.  Dayton’s supplies soil test kits in which samples may be sent to CCC labs for testing.

As a general rule, one 50 lb. bag of dolomite pulverized lime per 2,000 square feet every other year will maintain a proper pH.  Dolomite lime is a type that supplies magnesium to the lawn as well as calcium.  Pelletized lime may also be used as it may be spread with a broadcast spreader.  Just follow the directions on the bag.

As far as timing, applying lime in November is ideal as fertilizing has stopped.  Lime and nitrogen will react with the resulting nitrogen volatizing.   Also, applying lime in late fall gives it time to react with the soil before the next growing season

Mowing

A sharp lawnmower blade does wonders to keep a healthy lawn.  A mowing height of 2 – 2 1/2″ in spring and gradually raising the height to 2 1/2 – 3″ in summer is ideal.  Mowing too short in summer will put the grass under stress and create a haven for weeds and disease.

Raking or catching grass clippings will not prevent a layer of matted dead grass material called thatch.  When a thatch layer in the grass becomes 1/4″ to 1/2″ or more, problems will arise from insects, disease and lack of water penetration to the soil once the thatch dries out.  It is best to remove a thatch layer by renting a mechanical thatch in April or September.  Then, overseed immediately with a grass mixture that includes a high percentage (70% or more) of fine-bladed perennial ryes plus a starter fertilizer to rejuvenate the lawn

LAWN CARE PRODUCTS BY SEASON

 

GREENVIEW

CRABGRASS CONTROL
Plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart

SPRING
Apply April 1st to April 25th

Apply in early spring to prevent crabgrass from germinating and to give your lawn it’s first fertilizing for the season. Use a walk behind spreader to spread fertilizer, following the directions on the bag for proper fertilizer settings. You will need to water in thoroughly in order to activate the fertilizer. If sowing grass seed, use Greenview's Seed Starter Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer.  It "knows" the difference between germinating grass seedlings and crabgrass.

 

GREENVIEW

SEED STARTER
Plus Crabgrass Preventer

SPRING
Apply April 1st to April 25th

This is an optional first step of a 4-step program for those who have seeded in the spring or the fall/winter before.  This product, formally known as Trebl, is for those planning on seeding your lawn in spring but still wanting the capabilities of crabgrass prevention. The downside is that this product is more expensive than conventional crabgrass preventer.

ESPOMA ORGANIC

SPRING LAWN BOOSTER

SPRING
Apply April 15th 

Safe for kids and pets. All Espoma Organic Lawn Products are specifically formulated to optimize the help of the lawn, and provide 2.5 times more slow release nitrogen (SRN) than conventional lawn programs.  Won’t burn lawns or leach out of soil.  Provides long lasting nutrition. Requires less frequent mowing.

 

GREENVIEW

WEED CONTROL
Plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart

SPRING-SUMMER
May 15th to June 15th

This step takes a little planning and timing. It is used to kill weeds that are actively growing in the lawn, not as a preventive. Do not get anxious and apply when you see the dandelions first appear. If you use it then, you will only kill the dandelions. 85% of the weeds that will grow will appear at a much later time. Follow directions as follows: mow your lawn a few days in advance, watch the weather closely so that there are a couple days with no rain anticipated. Apply when grass is wet, usually early morning dew works fine, or sprinklers. The product must stay dry for at least 24-48 hours while sitting atop the lawn (this allows the chemical to get into the system of the weeds). Then you will need to water it in thoroughly to activate the fertilizer.

ESPOMA ORGANIC

ALL SEASON LAWN FOOD

SPRING OR SUMMER
Apply Around Memorial Day

Safe for kids and pets. All Espoma Organic Lawn Products are specifically formulated to optimize the help of the lawn, and provide 2.5 times more slow release nitrogen (SRN) than a conventional lawn program. All Season Lawn Food also contains Bio-tone Microbes that help make nutrients more available to your lawn. These microbes will help promote faster greening, deeper roots, and improved soil structure. Won’t burn lawns or leach out of soil.  Provides long lasting nutrition. 

 

GREENVIEW

LAWN FOOD
with GreenSmart

SUMMER
June 15th

This is to give you a good fertilizing to stimulate the grass during the hot summer months. At this point you should have your lawnmower raised to at least 3 inches, and if drought conditions are occuring, wait until there is some rain before you apply. Simply follow the directions on the bag for spreader settings, and water in thoroughly after application to activate the fertilizer. This is also a perfect time to put down any insecticide for surface feeding insects such as ants, spiders, fleas, chinch bugs, sod webworms and cutworms. Dursban is recommended control for surface feeding insects because it will not harm earthworms, which are beneficial to your soil. Note: Space this step at least 4 weeks from the 2-Way Weed & Feed so that the lawn is not over-fertilized.

ESPOMA ORGANIC

SUMMER REVIVAL

Apply July 4th

Safe for kids and pets. All Espoma Organic Lawn Products are specifically formulated to optimize the help of the lawn, and provide 2.5 times more slow release nitrogen (SRN) than a conventional lawn program. Sumer Revitalizer also contains Bio-tone Microbes that help make nutrients more available to your lawn. These microbes will help promote faster greening, deeper roots, and improved soil structure.  Won’t burn lawns or leach out of soil.  Provides long lasting nutrition.  

 

GREENVIEW

FALL LAWN FOOD
with GreenSmart

FALL
September 1st to 15th
and/or
October 30th

Raking or catching grass clippings will not prevent a layer of matted dead grass material called thatch. When a thatch layer in the grass becomes 1/4” or 1/2” or more, problems will arise from insects, disease and lack of water penetration to the soil once the thatch dries out. It is best to remove a thatch layer by renting a mechanical thatcher in April or September. Then, overseed immediately with a grass mixture that includes a high percentage (70% or more) of fine-bladed perennial ryes plus a starter fertilizer to rejuvenate the lawn. Or, use Greenview Wintergreen to stimulate root growth, in order to make the grass plants stronger and healthier for the winter. Follow directions on bag for spreader settings. Water in thoroughly to activate fertilizer.

ESPOMA ORGANIC

FALL WINTERIZER

Apply September-October

Supplies long lasting Nitrogen, an essential nutrient that helps to promote a thicker lawn and vigorous growth. It is also fortified with Potassium, a nutrient that helps the lawn recover from summer drought conditions, enhances Winter hardiness and helps promote a better Spring greening the following season.  Won’t burn lawns or leach out of soil.  

 

ENCAP

FAST ACTING™ LIME
(or pelletized lime)

FALL
November

Pelletized lime should be applied every other year (approximately 15 lbs. Per 1,000 ft²) once you have your soil pH to its optimum level, which is between 6.0 and 6.5.  A soil test should be taken to determine where your soil pH is now. 

Encap Fast Acting™ Lime helps raise soil pH, significantly reducing problem areas while creating a better soil environment for your lawn. It uses only the highest purity mined calcium carbonate available. And as always, it’€™s safe for children and pets with super easy application.

WHY IS MY LAWN TURNING BROWN?

by Jane Martin OSU Extension Agent

In most seasons, June begins a 90-day period of stressful weather for many lawns with rising temperatures and reduced rainfall.  Discovering why a lawn is turning brown is not always easy, and there can be numerous possible causes.  It’s best not to jump to a conclusion and simply name the thing that is out there at the moment like grubs or brown patch.

There are many things to think about, including weather, improper culture, insects, and diseases.  Of course, the following list is a simplified guide and only serves to give you ideas of how to think about possibilities as to why lawns turn brown.

Mowing Injury
Scalping on slopes or on uneven terrain, mowing too short, and filling the mower with fuel on the lawn can cause brown areas. Be aware of slopes and depressions in the lawn and mow accordingly.  Change mowing direction about every other mowing to avoid scalping.   Fill mowers with fuel on driveways or other hard surfaces to avoid spills in the lawn.  In spring, a mowing height of about 2 – 2 1/2″ is good for a blue grass – perennial rye mixture. In summer, a mowing height of 3-4″ will help keep grass roots shaded and to help keep down stress.

Fertilizer mis-application or spill
Misapplying fertilizer, filling the spreader on the lawn, and fertilizer spills can all cause brown areas.  Fill spreaders on the driveway or other hard surfaces and clean up spills. Make sure the spreader is calibrated correctly and is being used properly by making header strips and shutting of the spreader on turns.

Herbicide Injury
Follow label directions whenever applying herbicides to or near a lawn.   Non-selective herbicides such as Round-Up or Finale can be misused and/or accidentally sprayed on lawns, causing brown areas.  Applicators sometimes make the mistake of stepping in the treated area, then onto the lawn, leaving behind a trail of footprints that later turn brown.

Poor and/or Compacted Soil
If soil is so poor that roots can’t penetrate and fail to establish, brown areas may appear while the neighbors’ lawns look fine.  Soil in areas frequently trafficked, such as footprints or animal paths, can become compacted and lead to a decline in lawn quality.

Drought
Lack of rainfall or irrigation can cause Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass lawns to go into a dormant state.  South facing lawns and slopes may begin to turn brown before other parts of the lawn from exposure.  These lawns can survive drought periods for a few weeks with intermittent rainfall.  Note: drought-stressed lawns are more susceptible to mechanical and heat damage.  To properly water a lawn, apply the equivalent of 1″ of rainfall per week and water in the early morning so the turf has a chance to dry off by night fall.  Avoid frequent shallow waterings.

Buried Construction Debris
Buried block, siding, plywood, etc. can all cause dry areas where grass roots can’t absorb sufficient moisture.  Unfortunately, in newer construction, buried debris is common.  If you can’t determine a cause for browning, do some digging to investigate what is below the brown area.

Competition with Trees and Shrubs
Woody plants compete with lawns for water, nutrients, and light.  Plants with shallow roots may out-compete the lawn in hot, dry seasons.  Deep, supplemental irrigation in some areas may be needed to avoid lawn browning.

Dog Injury
Dog urine can be high in salt content and cause injury to lawns, especially if the soil is dry and infertile.  A dark green ring of grass can surround the spot, related to nitrogen contained in the urine.  Heavy watering reduces the salts to a less toxic concentration.  An application of Gypsum to the area will help to neutralize the urine salts.

Insects and Disease
The common lawn insects and disease can cause various patterns of dicoloration and browning.  Become aware of the signs to look for and the time of year that they are active in order to diagnose them accurately.  Correct diagnosis is essential for treatment which may include the use of fungicides and/or insecticides as well as cultural methods of control.

In wet years, pythium can be a problem in which the crown rots away.

Rhizoctonia, or brown patch, acts as a “dry rot” in hot weather.  The problems in the lawn look quite similar but the treatments are different.

COMMON DISEASES IN THE LAWN:

POWDERY MILDEW

Time of Year:
Late summer – fall

Susceptible grass:
Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue

Signs & Symptoms:
White or gray colored powdery appearance to leaf surface (does not easily rub off).  Leaves may  yellow and turf stand thin.

Environmental Factors:
Moderate/high humidity, shade and areas of poor air circulation

Management Strategies:

  1. Reduce shade
  2. Increase air circulation
  3. Use resistant Kentucky bluegrass varieties
  4. Agri-fos fungicide

more information

PYTHIUM BLIGHT

Time of Year:
Mid spring – summer

Susceptible grass:
Perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass.  Rather uncommon on mature high cut turfgrass.

Signs & Symptoms:
May start as small dead spots, leaves often look dark/black/greasy, fluffy gray to white “cottony” fungus may be present when disease is active, spots may run together and have an irregular shape, turf quickly dies or turns brown, may be confused with brown patch.

Environmental Factors:
Very hot/wet, Day highs in the 80s to 90s with warm nights of 70 degrees and above, often found in low wet areas with poor drainage.

Management Strategies:

  1. Improve soil drainage
  2. Increase air circulation by removing surrounding vegetation
  3. Avoid excess watering
  4. Avoid high rates of nitrogen
  5. New seedlings often affected in hot, wet conditions
  6. Agri-fos fungicide

RED THREAD

Time of Year:
Summer

Susceptible grass:
Perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescus, bentgrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Patches appear as tan, light pink or reddish, leaf tips and edges of leaves have fine pink or red strains of fungus present, 2-12″ sized patches

Environmental Factors:
Moderate to wet foliage, prolonged periods of wet leaves

Management Strategies:

  1. Follow complete fertilization program
  2. Avoid deficiencies in nitrogen or phosphorus
  3. Promote growth by aeration and watering
  4. Use resistant grass varieties
  5. Apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

RUST

Time of Year:
Fall

Susceptible grass:
Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Starts as small yellow flecks on leaves, flecks enlarge to form rust colored raised spots (spores rub off on shoes), overall turn yellows and thins

Environmental Factors:
Moderate/wet foliage, dry soil (slow leaf growth so poor recovery from damage)

Management Strategies:

  1. Avoid nitrogen deficiency
  2. Use resistant varieties of bluegrass and ryegrass
  3. Water if dry, promote growth
  4. Bayleton or Propiconazole

SNOW MOLD

Time of Year:
Early Spring

Susceptible grass:
Creeping Bentgrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Infected grass in patches, bleached, matted, Grass appears slimy when wet, Patches may run together to form large irregular infected areas, Crowns are often alive for recovery

Environmental Factors:
Cool wet winters,  saturated/unfrozen soil for long periods is ideal, no snow required, Occurs in winter and spring

Management Strategies:

 

  1. Avoid lush turf in winter, keep mowing to prevent long turf in winter.
  2. Rake leaves
  3. Control drifting snow, prevent piles of snow.
  4. Bayleton or Propiconazole

NECROTIC RING SPOT

AKA Summer Patch

Time of Year:
Summer

Susceptible grass:
Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine FescuePerennial ryegrass, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescus, bentgrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Begins as dark wilted spots like drought stress (1-3”) and enlarge to patches (about 12’ in diameter), Shapes are variable, crescents, streaks, etc., Outer edge of circles/patches are brown with green centers are common, Crowns & roots usually die

Environmental Factors:
Warm/extremes in soil moisture (fluctuating wet to dry), Poor quality soil, compacted, clay, buried stone and debris, Usually occurs on sodded lawns with poor site preparation

Management Strategies:

  1. Avoid low mowing & thatch buildup
  2. Maintain soil pH of 6 to 7
  3. Frequent watering when dry to avoid stress.
  4. Use very slow-release fertilizer
  5. Renovate the damaged areas with resistant grasses
  6. Difficult to manage with fungicides
  7. Bayleton or Propiconazole

More information

SLIME MOLD

Susceptible grass:
All turfgrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Small pin-head sized balls/debris on leaves, vary in color from yellow, white, gray, purple, cosmetic problem, rubs off on leaves

Environmental Factors:
Moderate to warm temperatues, prolonged wet foliage

Management Strategies:

  1. Mechanically remove by raking or mowing (causes no injury/only cosmetic), apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

More information

RHIZOCTONIA BLIGHT

AKA Brown Patch

Time of Year:
Late spring – summer

Susceptible grass:
Tall fescue, perennial ryegraass, bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue

Signs & Symptoms:
Irregular to circular patches from 6-24″ side, patches variable shades of tan or brown, outer edges of patch may be darker, irregular shaped lesions on leaves, gray to white fungal growth may be present when turf wet and high humidy

Environmental Factors:
Hot and wet, days above 80 to mid 90s with warm nights in the 60s+, abundant water or wet soils

Management Strategies:

  1. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers
  2. Avoid excessive watering and poor drainage
  3. Increase air circularion by removing surrounding vegetation
  4. Increase sunlight
  5. Manage to prevent lush succulent turfgrass plants
  6. Apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

More information

DOLLAR SPOT

Time of Year:
Late spring -summer

Susceptible grass:
Bluegrass, bentgrass, fine fescues, perennial ryegrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Circular tan paches from 1-6″ across, leaf lesions light tan with dark edges, leaf lesions go across leaf blade, white fungal growth may be present in early morning when dew present

Environmental Factors:
Moderate days in the 60s to low 80s, prolonged periods of wet leaves

Management Strategies:

 

  1.  Avoid nitrogen deficiency
  2. Choose resistant grass varieties
  3. Mange watering to minimize time leaves are wet
  4. Water to increase growth
  5. Apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

More information

FAIRY RING

Time of Year:
Spring- fall

Susceptible grass:
All turfgrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Dark green or brown circles (from 1′ to 10′ wide), grass in dark green ring may grow taller, rings may turn brown and die, mushrooms may grow in the ring, white fungal mat may be present in the thatch are of the ring and smells musty

Environmental Factors:
Grow over a wide range of temperatures, often favored by moist soils, brown turf may develop in prolonged hot/dry periods

Management Strategies:

  1. Improve water penetration; aeration, deep watering and wetting agents
  2. Remove infected soil and sod, replace with clean soil and sod or seed

GRAY LEAF SPOT

Time of Year:
Late spring – summer

Susceptible grass:
Perennial ryegrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Starts as very small dark spots/flecks, leaves often quickly wither and die, irregular patches to large areas die out, only perennial ryegrass affected, no fungus (mold) is found on plants

Environmental Factors:
Prolonged hot humid weather patterns in summer and fall, long summer stress conditions for cool season grasses, moist soils (turf may appear wilted by soil is moist)

Management Strategies:

  1. Plant resistant varieties or avoid perennial ryegrass
  2. Avoid lush turfgrass by using moderate fertilization
  3. Manage watering to minimize the time leaves remain wet
  4. Minimize turf stress by reducing compaction and avoiding chemical injury (herbicides)
  5. Apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

More information

LEAF SPOT

AKA Melting Out.

Time of Year:
Summer

Susceptible grass:
Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass

Signs & Symptoms:
Initially very small dark spots on leaves, center of spots may be lighter brown, crown rot, turf thins, spots enlarge in size

Environmental Factors:
Fungus becomes active during the cool, wet weather of spring (April to early May)

Management Strategies:

  1. Raise mower height
  2. Mow frequently to avoid stressing turf
  3. Avoid excess nitrogen
  4. Avoid frequent watering and wet turf
  5. Apply Bayleton or Propiconazole

More info