With the excitement of a new year you may be making several resolutions to improve your health, wealth, etc. for 2013. But have you ever thought to make a resolution to improve your lawn? Most of us are delighted that our warm-season species lawns have gone dormant and we are enjoying a reprise from our weekly or more often mowing chore. But we shouldn’t forget our lawn completely at this time. There are a few things we can do that will ensure a more aesthetic and healthy lawn this spring. With the recent rains and cold wet soil we can much easier determine poor drainage areas and begin filling these with topsoil or determine some drainage options. Continue the removal of any leaf litter from your lawn. Controlling winter weeds now will be much easier than waiting until they reach maturity and become unsightly. Warm-season turf species will not benefit from fertilization until they are actively growing so make plans for a fertilization program but don’t apply any fertilizer now unless you have over seeded your lawn with a cool season species. Applying lime to raise the soil pH (acidity) is a different matter however. If you have taken a soil sample and found that lime is recommended, then by all means get it out any time during the year. Lime will improve the soil acidity and make nutrients more available when needed as it generally takes months for lime to react and dramatically change the soil pH.
Published January 7, 2013
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org