Lawn Tips' 2021 Resolution: Teach you a new weed every month. Scroll to the bottom to find January's featured weed or click here to jump there.
It's Tall Fescue's Time to shine!Tall Fescue is a cool season lawn that takes center stage in winter when it shines bright green, while other lawns and plants are dormant.
- 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 sod online.
- Overseeding Tall Fescue - This window has closed. To successfully seed Tall Fescue, either rewind the clock to September or wait until next autumn to seed at the right time.
- Mowing Tall Fescue Seedlings: The first time to mow your lawn (at a 2.5-3" cut height) is when the seedlings reach 3-4" tall. In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it!
- Fall and winter is the time to lower the mower blade for your established Tall Fescue lawn. Continue to mow as needed throughout the winter at a 2.5-3" cut height. Next summer we'll remind you to raise it up again.
- Stop in to pick up 16-4-8 fertilizer for Elite Tall Fescue lawns through the cool growing season. Check out our Lawn Coach subscriptions for Tall Fescue products.
- 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.
Does all that sound like a lot to keep up with? Never mind that! Your Lawn Coach Subscription Is Here. 💪
YOUR LAWN COACH SUBSCRIPTION FOR TALL FESCUE LAWNSLawn Coach is a game plan where we send you all the right products at all the right times, for a full year. We have two subscription plans for your home team, the Essential and Champ, and different tiers for different sized lawns.
Introductory Offer: 15% off Lawn Coach plans. Subscribe now and win at lawn care! Every plan includes perks (for instance, 20% off our custom yellow spreader) and full access to coaching.
YOUR LAWN COACH SUBSCRIPTION FOR WARM SEASON LAWNS
Lawn Coach has game plans for Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass lawns too! Even though your warm season lawn is dormant, you can lock in 15% off Lawn Coach plans.
WARM SEASON LAWNSWarm season lawns such as Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede are dormant during winter, so there's not much going on in this department.
- Whatever you do, don't apply nitrogen this time of year when your warm season lawn is dormant. It's time to rest. Avoid "weed and feed" and "winterizer" product marketing - these products usually contain nitrogen and nitrogen will push growth during a time that can cause damage to your lawn.
- Likewise, hold off aerating warm season lawns until they fully green up in the spring.
- Mow your weeds. You may feel self-conscious mowing your dormant lawn, but if you have weeds put on your silliest hat and mow those weeds down. If you'd rather be discrete, turn on your Automower robotic mower to do the mowing/weeding for you.
Keep Weeding - All LawnsNow is the time for post-emergent herbicides for weeds you can see now on all established lawns. Come by for products or check out our new Lawn Coach subscription.
- POST-Emergent herbicide on NEW Tall Fescue: If you planted a brand new Fescue lawn from seed 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 seeds are probably now germinating alongside your Fescue seedlings. 👍 Rule of thumb: It's okay to apply a post-emergent herbicide labeled for Tall Fescue lawns after you've mowed your lawn 3 to 4 times. Come by for products or check out our new Lawn Coach subscriptions.
- The window for applying pre-emergent herbicide will open in February when the Forsythia bushes flower - we'll send out an email alert at that time.
- Mowing works well for suppressing weeds you see now.Mow to break the weed life cycle. Mowing cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weed seeds from making more weeds. Get yourself on a weekly mowing routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you. Better yet, a robotic lawn mower will quietly and constantly mow for you and keep the despised weeds from going to seed - It's a clean and green, weed-stopping machine!
- 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 - Smaller lawn? Time on your hands? Frustrated? Consider hand weeding for outdoor exercise/Vitamin D/dopamine hit/therapy.
A New Series on Weeds
a.k.a. annual bluegrass or annual poa grass
Those of you with warm season lawns will be vexed by this weed right now - it's bright green, making it highly conspicuous in dormant lawns.
- thin, grassy leaves that are bright green
- forms clumps
- short growing clumps
- the grassy flowers start green, turning white as they age
- see more pictures on the NCSU Extension webpage for Poa annua
This little annual weed grows fast, has several lifecycles during winter/spring, and produces thousands of seeds. To make matters worse, it won't stop growing until heat comes in spring/summer and it is showing resistance to post-emergent herbicides. Early in the season you can stay on top of it by mowing to keep the flowers from setting seed, in this way breaking the lifecycle. It's also one of the easiest weeds to pull by hand.
Our CEO Ben Copeland Jr. says, "Treat it or pull it; don't ignore it." The following are his tips and trivia.
- Mowing helps, but it doesn't fix it - as the days lengthen in the spring, it starts to bolt and will go to seed at 1/2" tall, making it impossible to mow.
- Pull it! Especially bigger clumps that are in flower - just pull them by hand.
- Pre-emergent herbicide is the best control (post-emergent herbicide treatment is not very effective). Come by for products or check out our new Lawn Coach subscription.
- Annual bluegrass proliferates in compacted and/or wet areas, so if you have an annual bluegrass problem, consider aerification in the spring after your lawn has greened up. This practice will reduce the problem for the next year.
- The healthier and denser your turf, the less annual bluegrass you'll have.
- Poa annua has one of the widest adaptations, from Arctic to tropics.
- You've heard of Kentucky bluegrass, yes? It's a common lawn in the north, but that's a different species called Poa pratensis.
Poa Pulling - By Hand
Do you believe us when we recommend pulling weeds by hand? You should!
Pro Tip: Make it fun and fill a sled with hand-pulled weeds. Might as well use the sled for something.
How To: Install Sod during winter
Warm season turf is dormant (hibernating) in the winter, yet it's safe to install most types. Even though it's dormant, it still prevents erosion and muddy areas during the winter.
lessons: growing cover crops
When your garden is resting between seasons, protect and improve the soil by planting cover crops — they provide aeration and fertility while stopping weeds — and the benefits don’t end there.