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Late Winter – Early Spring

•   If no reseeding is needed, around mid-Feb. apply FL Crabgrass Preventer Plus Lawn Food  or FL For All Seasons Lawn Food Plus
Crabgrass and Weed Preventer.

•   If not reseeding and broadleaf weeds are a problem, FL Weed Free Zone is highly effective at this time of year.

•   If reseeding, then plan to aerate, lime, and spread seed and fertilizer. FL New Lawn Starter is recommended if existing grass is thin
and Fast Acting Lime will give benefit this season.  The Top Choice line of seeds is top quality and highly recommended.  Spread seed
at between 3 and 5 lbs / 1000 sq ft.  A 30 lb bag of the fast acting lime does 5000 sq ft.  Rake new seed in lightly or cover with a thin
layer of top dressing and moisten once to stimulate germination.  After germination, usually in 7 – 10 days, water frequently until
seedlings begin to get established.  Mow when about 4” high so it can be kept about 3” high without cutting more than 1/3 of  the
total grass height.  Do not use weed killers on new grass until it is established and hardened off, usually after 3-4 mowings.

•   If only fertilization of a good stand of grass is needed at this time, an application of FL Lawn Food Plus Iron will do the trick.

•   Apply a grub control if you detect a serious grub problem.  Most of the white grubs visible now will become June Bugs or Japanese  
Beetles this summer; meanwhile, large numbers of them in the sod can be destructive to your lawn’s roots.  To check for grubs, cut
and turn over 1 sq ft sections of sod in a few inconspicuous spots and count the visible white grubs.  More than 5-6 grubs in a sq ft
area is a problem and should be treated.

•   Service the lawn mower for the upcoming season and sharpen the blade(s). Garden Grove can assist with sharpening these and   
other tools.

Mid Spring  -  Early Summer

•   About 8 weeks after the first application of fertilizer with crabgrass preventer is the time to apply the second application of crabgrass
preventer.  Hi-Yield Turf & Ornamental Weed & Grass Stopper is an excellent product to use now.  It will extend the control of
crabgrass through most of the summer and should be ineffective by fall reseeding time.

•   Broadleaf weeds may be controlled now with FL Weed-Out products which contain Trimec.  This is available as a liquid or granular.  
The liquid concentrate is the most economical method and very effective when applied properly. The granular is easiest to apply. The
key to success with it is to spread it on damp grass so that the particles adhere to the weeds, and then don’t mow or irrigate for at
least 48 hours (and hope it doesn’t rain).

•   If no pre-emergent was used in the spring and young crabgrass is appearing, Weed Out with Q should control that.  This is available
in a hose-end bottle for spraying large areas.

•   If bermudagrass (wiregrass) is a problem, mid-May would be a good time to begin a program to suppress it.  3-4 applications about a
month apart of a product called Turflon Ester is very effective at keeping this under control.

•   Extended warm and damp weather can lead to the development of a disease called Brown Patch.  This begins as small, scattered
dead spots which gradually merge into larger dead areas as the summer progresses.  Over fertilization will actually encourage the
advancement of this disease.  Treat it in the beginning stages with either FL Liquid Systemic Fungicide or the granular FL F-Stop.  
Repeat applications will likely be needed to avoid extensive damage.

•   Sharpen the lawn mower blade again.

Mid Summer  -  Early Fall

•   Fescue is a cool season grass and wants to rest in hot weather.  Let it.  Don’t fertilize it now to try and force it to grow and stay green.

•   Continue to control weeds and fungus problems as described in the previous section.

•   Irrigate the lawn during extended dry periods, if permissible. The goal is to keep it alive, not actively growing, and 1” of water a week
is sufficient for that.

•   Now is a good time to have the lawn soil tested. This is mostly done to verify how much lime to apply in the fall.  The NC Extension
Service will test it for free, and a kit is available at Garden Grove for sending in your soil sample.

•   If things get completely out of hand and it becomes apparent that a total fall reseeding is going to be necessary, start preparing for
that around mid-August.  Spray the area with Killzall to eradicate everything.  Repeat it in about two weeks to catch things that begin
to germinate after the first spraying.  By mid September, new grass can be sown.

•   Mid September is the best time to sow new grass seed, whether overseeding or renovating.  The Top Choice Seed Blends are highly
recommended and come in either a Premium Fescue Blend or a Fescue and Heat Tolerant Bluegrass Blend.  Incorporating New Lawn
Starter into the soil is a good way to get phosphorus into the root zone area. (Note: Most ordinary lawn fertilizers now only contain
Nitrogen and Potassium.)

•   Mid September is a good time for the annual fall ritual of aerating, spreading lime, and spreading fertilizer on existing cool season
lawns.  A coring type aerator which pulls out plugs of soil to the surface is best.  Fast Acting Lime is best if a rapid pH correction is
needed (this was the reason for the soil test). FL Lawn Food Plus Iron is an excellent fall fertilizer.

•   Aeration improves the character of heavy clay soil.  By enabling air, water, and nutrients to move deeper into the soil, grass is able to
develop a better and deeper root system.  That in turn means a stronger turf with improved heat and drought tolerance.

•   Most of the same benefits derive from regular applications of gypsum, which also improves the structure of clay.  Unlike lime,
gypsum has no effect on the pH of the soil.  

•   A good soil pH is between 6.0 and 6.5.  Lower is more acid, and too acid interferes with the uptake of nutrients, even when you put
them out there.  Lime raises the pH and soil tests help you figure out how much lime to add.  It takes a lot of the regular pelletized
dolomitic limestone to do the trick in clay soil and it takes up to 6 months to be effective.  It takes only 1/5 as much of the fast acting
kind, and it is effective much sooner.

•   If you end up the summer with a pretty decent lawn and don’t need to reseed or overseed in the fall, you might consider using the FL
For All Seasons Lawn Food Plus Crabgrass and Weed Preventer as your mid-September fertilizer.  This would be that rare opportunity
to put out a preemergent control for the poa annua, henbit, and chickweed which usually invade over the fall and winter.

•   Sharpen the lawn mower blade once more.

Late Fall  -  Early Winter

•   This is a time for basic maintenance and clean up tasks:  mow as needed and keep the leaves cleaned off the grass.

•   Water as needed, mostly if new grass was sown.

•   Apply a winterizer fertilizer if desired.  This can help provide a quicker green up come spring.

•   An application of Ironite can help maintain a richer green color during the winter ‘non-growing’ season.
FESCUE  (COOL SEASON)  LAWNS ANNUAL  
MAINTENANCE GUIDELINES
FESCUE  (COOL SEASON)  LAWNS ANNUAL  
MAINTENANCE GUIDELINES