In all the years I’ve been in the lawn and landscape industry I don’t believe I have experienced two identical springs. Everything we do is based on air and soil temperatures, as well as soil moisture. So, we make are spring service plans and schedule services all based on the average spring weather.
But, does average ever happen when it comes to weather?
This spring has been almost perfect when it comes to a good gradual warm up without the usual extreme temperature swings. We didn’t experience the typical above normal temperatures followed by a late freeze. The result was an April with some of the best spring color I can remember. All the spring blooming trees, shrubs and flowers put on a show!
With one exception, this has been a perfect spring. Both air and soil temperatures have lagged behind. This has been a slow-to-get-here spring resulting in slow turf development. Fescue was slower than normal to regain full color. I mowed my fescue lawn less in March than I can ever remember. Finally, fescue color and development came around in April. Even warm season turf has also lagged a couple of weeks behind in green up and development.
Now with the arrival of May and the abundant moisture we are receiving, your lawn and landscape is positioned to take off for the summer.
Here are a few tips for May:
Pre-Emergent Application – Between late April and the end of May, it is critical you receive your second pre-emergent application of the year. A pre-emergent creates a barrier over the soil that prevents weeds from germinating. Routine activity, such as mowing and play, as well as heavy rains, all break down the barrier we created with our first application of the year. Application #3 is a key step in strengthening the barrier and giving you season long control. The effectiveness of all pre-emergent herbicides is increased when the product is watered into the top ½’-1” of the soil. Please make sure you do your best to follow the watering instructions we leave when making your application.
Post-Emergent Application – Weeds that are not prevented, both grasses and broadleaf, require additional treatment to control. Now that the warm season turf is coming completely out of dormancy, control of weeds can be stepped up. Application #3 contains broadleaf weed control mixed with the pre-emergent for additional control. Grassy weed control will continue on an as needed basis in a safe manner to limit turf damage.
Turf Fertilizer – Bermuda lawns need a good feeding as they start into their prime growing season. For fescue lawns May is the last month to strengthen fescue before going into the most stressful time of the year for a cool season turf. After May, excessive nitrogen can harm fescue and often results in disease issues.
Lawn Maintenance – Both warm and cool season turf grasses need frequent mowing now. One of the most important things for good turf health is to avoid removing more than 1/3 of the grass in one mowing. Not only does it not yield you the best looking lawn when you cut below the leaf and into the stem of the grass, it also weakens the root system. Try to maintain your Bermuda on the middle setting or just below the middle setting in May. For fescue, raise the setting one notch this month and cut around 2.5”. At the end of the month it is best to have fescue at a maximum height going into the summer.
Seasonal Color – Now time to install your summer annual color. Most landscapes look best with a splash of bright color creating a welcoming environment near the front door. Impatiens and Caladiums are great choices for full shade areas. Begonias, petunias, and geraniums do well in sun to part shade. Periwinkle, lantana, and penta are good at handling the heat and full sun.
If you have any questions, please drop us an email or give us a call at (405)367-3873.
Our mission is to make sure you have a lawn and landscape that improves the appearance, enjoyment and value of your surroundings.