As we spend more time in our backyards, it is important to avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides which can harm wildlife, impair water quality, and put your family at risk. FRWA has some tips to help you manage your lawn:
A soil test is always a great first step. The UConn Soil Testing Lab is still open (as of April 2020). Send in your soil sample to determine nutrient and pH levels of your soil. pH is important to know for turfgrasses because an optimal pH level will enable nutrients in the soil to be available for turfgrasses, which prefer a range of 6.0-7.2. Common weeds of the Northeast thrive in more acidic soils (pH below 7.0).
At this time of the year, it is ideal to maintain grass blades 3-4 inches tall. The greatest benefit of keeping your grass at this height in the spring is for weed suppression. Maintaining a tall grass blade prevents weed seeds from germinating and the longer you can keep your weeds from germinating, the less of a fight you will have in the summer.
There are other benefits to 3-4 inch tall grass – it allows for the grass plant to grow longer roots and aids in photosynthesis so the plants can store more nutrients. The longer roots will ensure your lawn will perform better during summer drought and other stress periods.
As your grass begins to grow, maintain a height of at least 3 inches and leave your grass clippings on the lawn. These clippings provide 25% of your fertilizing needs.
Overseed weedy or thin areas: inspect your lawn for weedy and thin areas. Now is a good time to remove any broadleaf weeds (see examples below of 3 common broadleaf weeds) you can identify easily and overseed with a grass blend that includes bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass. Call your local nursery for recommended grass blends for your area.
If you have any lawn care questions – please contact our FRWA organic lawn care expert, Aimee Petras via email. Stay tuned for additional emails and follow us on social media for our river-friendly lawn care tips throughout the growing season!
Education & Outreach Coordinator
Questions? Contact Aimee via email or leave a phone message at 860-658-4442 ex 201