The big news this month is that's it's almost time for pre-emergent herbicide to prevent summer weeds from germinating!
The picture above is a beautiful new Tall Fescue lawn at condos in Atlanta. Yes, that's the shadow of the landscaper who installed the sod and it's to remind you that when you buy from Super-Sod, you're getting what the pros use.
The cool months ahead are prime-time growing for Tall Fescue lawns, so keep up the following solid lawn care habits.
Fertilizing Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns
- Order online and schedule pick up of 16-4-8 fertilizer for Elite Tall Fescue lawns through the cool growing season. For Tall Fescue, we even have 16-4-8 fertilizer with pre-emergent so you can take care of both at the same time.
- Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide. Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll automatically mail you all the right products when you need them.
- Along with fertilization, you may need to apply a fast-acting lime that neutralizes the pH of your soil. Always take a soil test to confirm if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Balanced soil pH is critical for your grass to be able to use the nutrients supplied by your fertilizer.
Mower Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns
- Mowing Tall Fescue Seedlings: The first time to mow a new Tall Fescue lawn (at a 2.5-3" cut height) is when it reaches 3-4" tall. In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it! Read: How Soon Should I Cut My Grass?
- Continue to mow as needed throughout winter and spring at a 2.5-3" cut height. This summer we'll remind you to raise it up again.
Preventing Summer Weeds in Tall Fescue Lawns
Forsythia is the signal!
Forsythia signals it's time to apply pre-emergent herbicide because the soil is the right temperature.
What's a Forsythia? It's that bush with yellow flowers that typically flowers in the middle of February.
A Super-Sod truck rolling by a Forsythia bush in flower. Photo taken by Brie Arthur.
The rule of thumb is to apply spring pre-emergent herbicide when Forsythia starts blooming. In a typical year, if you don't have a Forsythia bush to signal you, apply pre-emergent between February 15th and March 1st to kill weeds before you even see them. Any later than that window and it's too late to kill weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide (you'll have to switch to a post-emergent to apply directly to the weeds).
We highly recommend going ahead and ordering so you have it ready when it's time to apply it.
For Tall Fescue, we have 16-4-8 fertilizer with pre-emergent so you can take care of fertilization and preventative herbicide at the same time.
Getting Rid of Visible Weeds in Tall Fescue Lawns
- Right now, the best solution for winter weeds is pulling them by hand. This may not be what you want to hear. Happily, there is hope for preventing a weedy infestation next winter and Clare explains the steps in Tackling Winter Weeds.
- Another method to combat weeds you see now (such as chickweed and annual poa), is to mow those weeds down before they go to seed. Mowing is an effective way to suppress weeds because it cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weeds from making more weeds, thus breaking the life cycle. If you have bad winter weeds, mow on a weekly routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
- A robotic lawn mower will mow for you when you'd rather not be out in the cold. Models with "H" in the name are available with cut height up to 3.6", perfect for Tall Fescue Lawns.
- Post-emergent herbicide in Established Tall Fescue lawns: Weather permitting, you can apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now in established Tall Fescue lawns. These post-emergents work best above 65 degrees so they will work if we have any other extended warm spells like we did in December. Read the label and follow instructions.
- Post-emergent herbicide in New Tall Fescue Lawns: If you planted Tall Fescue seed or laid new sod and in the process tilled up existing soil, you've probably kicked up weed seeds and exposed them to the light. As a result, the weeds are probably germinating alongside your Fescue seedlings.
👍 Rule of Thumb: It's okay to apply a post-emergent liquid herbicide labeled for Tall Fescue lawns (Quincept and 3-Way Max) after you've mowed your new lawn 3 to 4 times.
- Mulch suppresses winter weeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants. Rake/blow leaves off your lawn and into your beds and natural areas rather than bagging them.
Overseeding & Laying Sod
It's still a great time to lay Tall Fescue sod! Get instant impact with Elite Tall Fescue sod, available as a single roll or in full pallets. You can order rolls or pallets of Tall Fescue in our store.
The window has closed until September for overseeding Tall Fescue lawns with fresh seed. If you regret missing that window, consider ordering a pallet or individual rolls to patch bare areas.
Dig into why we recommend laying new sod with Soil³ by reading this short article: Laying New Sod with Soil³.
Come back next month for March's Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!