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Lawn Care and Maintenance Tips

Maintenance tips for Cool Season grasses

Cool season grasses are planted in the fall or early spring of the year and remain green year round with proper maintenance.

Re-seeding to thicken the stand is often necessary as cool season grasses tend to thin out somewhat during the hot summer months.

These grasses should be fertilized with a complete, controlled release lawn food in the spring and fall. If weeds are a problem, use a crabgrass preventer in late winter before weeds begin to germinate. If weeds persist in the spring, apply a weed and feed instead of lawn food.

If re-seeding an existing lawn in the fall, apply a lawn starter fertilizer to encourage strong root growth.

Maintenance tips for Warm Season Grass

Bermuda, Bahia, Zoysia and St. Augustine - Warm season grasses are those that thrive well in the spring and summer months in the southern regions of the United States. Warm Season Grasses are planted in the spring when all danger of frost is past. They turn brown or go dormant in the winter. All Warm Season Grasses except Centipede may be re-seeded in the fall of the year with annual or perennial ryegrass to provide green color throughout the winter with no harm to your permanent warm season turf.

The best planting times for warm season grasses are late spring to summer when soil temperatures are above 70 F. Use a lawn starter fertilizer for new plantings. Once established, if no weeds are present use a complete lawn food containing controlled release nitrogen in the spring and again in late summer. If weeds are a problem on your established lawn use a crabgrass preventer in late winter before weeds begin to emerge. If weeds persist once your grass has greened up during the spring, apply a weed and feed fertilizer labeled for use on these grasses at the recommended rate instead of a lawn food.

Winterize fertilizers with a low nitrogen analysis may be used during the fall to help strengthen the root system of your lawn against cold weather damage.

Centipede lawns - Centipede should be planted at the same time of year as other warm season grasses, yet it has some special requirements for proper maintenance. Do not re-seed centipede lawns with annual or perennial ryegrass. This could weaken the root system and cause a partial or total loss of stand.

Centipede needs less fertilizer than the other warm season grasses. On established lawns use a complete lawn food that is specifically made for centipede containing little or no phosphorus like 18-0-18. A light application in the spring and again in late summer should be all that is required. If weeds are a problem, use a centipede weed and feed in the spring. A low nitrogen winterizer fertilizer may be used in the fall to help strengthen centipede's root system.

Also visit our special links page for links to helpful planting, growing and lawn care information.

*Seasonal tips provided courtesy of Pennington Seed, Inc.

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