Lawn fertilizing isn’t a spring thing

Lawns are important to your landscape. They provide naturally soft play surfaces and cool gathering areas. They serve as paths and as a carpet to set off other flowers and shrubs in your landscape.  Maintaining a beautiful, livable lawn is easy – if you know when to perform certain tasks.

In spring, you need strong roots, not shoots. In the spring, grass puts its energy into growing leaves. When you fertilize in the spring, you get quick green up, but it also causes a surge of top growth in plants creating more work for yourself with increased mowing.  It also depletes the plants’ energy reserves causing the grass to weaken and make it less apt to survive periods of stress in the summer. Grass shoots will grow naturally, at their own pace, from last fall’s roots when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees. But it’s the strong roots that will help your lawn withstand the summer heat.

Leave the clippings on your lawn.  Grass clippings improve the soil by releasing nutrients as they decompose – without the risk of runoff! In fact, by leaving clippings on the lawn, you can reduce the amount of fertilizer you would ordinarily buy and use in a year by up to a third.

Why water when you don’t need to?  Unless you have a newly seeded or sodded lawn, you don’t need to water lawns in Delaware. Grass typically goes dormant during the hottest part of summer, but it’ll green up again with natural rainfall.

Winter Turf Cycle GraphicFor more resources go to www.delawarelivablelawns.org