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Spring lawn care tips

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 7, 2008
— After a long, miserable winter, lawn care buffs are itching to get on the mower.

But is the time right?


ďBe patient,Ē says UW Extension horticulture agent Mike Maddox.


Here are some tips from the extensionís Wisconsin lawn care calendar.


In April

-- Rake and clean up winter debris as the weather allows. Shake your fist at kids in the neighborhood who probably threw cans in your yard.


-- If you want, reseed bare spots and establish a new lawn.


-- Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide to your established lawn.


-- Mow your lawn to remove one-third of the current grass height. Grass should be 2.5 to 3 inches tall after mowing.


In May

-- Around Memorial Day, fertilize your lawn using a controlled release or slow-release formulation. For grass growing in sunny spots, apply one pound of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet. For grass growing in shady spots, apply a half-pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.


Calibrations for your spreader are on the fertilizer bag, so you donít need to actually calculate the pounds you apply. Just adjust your spreaderís settings.


-- Brown spots in your lawn can be caused by a variety of things, but itís best to know the cause before you try to find the cure. Most lawn diseases can be treated with regular fertilization and letting the grass outgrow the infection.


Insects in the lawn might need some attention.


Most brown spots are the result of an inappropriate grass species growing on the lawn. And nobody likes an inappropriate grass species!


The difference in growth rates and growing conditions results in a noticeable difference in the grass types. This is the most common reason grass growers call the horticulture helpline.


Reseeding with a desirable species, most likely Kentucky bluegrass, will solve this problem.


TO LEARN MORE

For more information, call the UW Extension horticulture helpline at (608) 757-5696.



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