It’s time to start cutting warm-season turf such as Bermuda. Be careful not to scalp your lawn, even if your lawn has not been cut yet, you want to remove much of the dormant turf, but not the crown of the turf. Adjust the blade height so that the turf looks cut when finished, but you can’t see spots of soil. A good rule of thumb for spring cutting is to not remove more than one third of the height of the plant. During periods of fast growth in the coming months, it is best to cut the lawn once per week to avoid damage to the turf and keep the lawn looking its best.
Weed Control and Fertilization:
If you’ve been following a typical schedule, it’s probably about time to have another round of pre-emergent applied to the turf to guard against weeds. To feed the turf so that it has the nutrients it needs for optimal growth, applying a fertilizer with ammonium sulfate, such as 21-0-0 would be appropriate.
For pest control; Cutworm, Grub, and Pillbug pests may become an issue and can be treated as they arise.
Now that winter is gone, remove and replace mulch around such plants as azaleas and roses to lessen the chances or harboring disease causing spores or insects. If you think disease or insects are not a problem, just freshen your mulch to a depth of 2-3” for the best weed suppression and moisture control. Make sure not to bury the root crown of any trees you may mulch around as it can cause many issues including decay of the trunk, insect damage, rodent damage, root girdling, and failure to develop a normal root flare.
Now that the threat of frost is gone it is safe to turn your irrigation system back on. It is a good idea to run through the system and check for any broken heads, heads or nozzles that need adjustment, leaks, or broken or stuck valves. If you had previously programmed a watering schedule, check it make sure that it is appropriate for this time of year. We would recommend approximately 15 minutes every other day for warm season turf and approximately 20 minutes every other day for shade turf. Do not water past the point of runoff. If you notice a significant amount of water on any hard surfaces you may want to check to make sure that you do not have an issue with hydrophobic soil or have a broken or misaligned sprinkler head. Oklahoma Mesonet, a local weather provider, does provide approximate soil moisture levels and turf rainfall needs. You can view their site here: http://sip.mesonet.org/
We hope these tips will help you with your lawn maintenance needs and as always, if you have any questions or need any help, call us at 405-494-6020.
-The TurfWorks Team
Turfworks The Oklahoma City Metro’s Landscape Maintenance Expert.