Even though not much has changed since last month, here are Super-Sod's January lawn tips for Bermuda, Centipede, and Zoysia lawns in the Southeast. There are things to do, so skim on through this list.
Yes, You Can Lay Dormant Sod in January
If bare spots are driving you crazy or you have made renovations, you can stop all that mud by laying dormant sod. No problem! Laying dormant sod in winter is "a thing." We do recommend you read our article on laying dormant sod for a few important tips.
Rake or Blow Leaves off ALL Lawns
This should have been done all throughout the fall; so if you haven't done it yet, remove leaves from your lawn to prevent suffocation and diseases, even from dormant lawns. Rake or blow them into your beds and natural areas to use them as mulch rather than bagging them. Leaves are also a good addition to the compost pile. Read more about Using Fall Leaves in the Garden.
Fertilizing Tips for Warm Season Lawns
- Do not fertilize or aerate warm-season lawns in winter; wait until spring when you see your lawn green up. We'll give you the go-ahead at that time.
- Resist "weed and feed" and "winterizer" marketing. Weed and feed pre-emergent combos are not not effective at reducing weeds this time of year and winterizers usually contain high nitrogen.
- To emphasize: your lawn is dormant, so don't apply a product with high nitrogen. Why not? Nitrogen's job is to promote fresh, green growth and you don't want tender, new growth when there are frosty temperatures lurking. That new growth will get zapped by the frost, causing your lawn to struggle. Let it sleep like it wants to this time of year.
- Fertilizer products with phosphorus and potassium are safe, but there's not much reason to apply them unless they are included in a pre-emergent herbicide. But wait! The best time to apply pre-emergents for summer weeds is in February so we'll prompt you next month.
Mower Tips for Warm Season Lawns
- Nothing to mow this month, unless you need to mow any winter weeds that are thriving.
- If you have not done so already, "winterize" your mower by cleaning off plant debris, draining gas so it doesn't sit with stale gas all winter, and take the time to sharpen or replace your mower blades. Now is a good time to go ahead and take care of the blades so your mower is prepped for spring mowing.
Weeding Tips for Warm Season Lawns
- Post-emergent herbicides for weeds you can see now in warm season lawns are tricky this time of year because they won't work if it's too cold out. 👍 Rules of thumb:
- If your grass still has any green, consider holding off applying a post-emergent. Instead, choose mowing and hand weeding to protect the health of your lawn. If you live in a colder region and your warm season lawn is truly dormant and all tan-colored, then it's probably safe to apply a post-emergent herbicide. We have post-emergents in stock, but whatever you use read the label and follow all instructions.
- If your lawn is good and fully dormant, applying post-emergent is still weather-dependent. Most post-emergents work best above 65 degrees so you should time application around weeks that are above 65 degrees. (Again, be sure to follow your product's instructions on the label.)
- Mowing a dormant lawn is not a silly thing to do! In fact, if you didn't apply pre-emergent herbicide earlier in the fall, it's one of the best solutions you have for combating winter weeds. Mowing in winter is a smart 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 quietly and constantly mow for you and keep the overwhelming weeds from going to seed.
- The window for applying pre-emergent herbicide for summer weeds will open next month when the Forsythia bushes flower. We'll send you a reminder email alert at that time. Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll ship you pre-emergent when it's time.
- Mulch is a time-tested trick for suppressing weeds in flower beds. Spread bark or pine straw 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.
- Hand weeding gets you outside! If you spend a lot of time in front of screens, hand pulling those winter weeds is a good motivator to get out for some Vitamin D therapy. Annual poa grass is very easy to pull by hand.
Come back next month for February's Lawn Tips!