Happy New Year! We hope that you and your family have stayed healthy and safe amidst the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the chilly temperatures and snowfall we’ve seen so far this winter, most of us are still in winter mode. However, spring will be here before we know it, and now is the time to start thinking about how to best care for your lawn once everything starts growing again in just a few short weeks.

Think Now About Turf Care and Health

In early spring, when all the trees, flowers, and grass are doing their best growing, unfortunately that usually means weeds are too. From crabgrass to winter annual weeds, the time to start thinking about how to control these pesky weeds is now—before they start showing up in your lawn and landscape. Because once they have emerged, they are a whole lot more difficult to get rid of!

Across our area, usually starting in late February, many homeowners will start to notice two specific winter annual weeds. The first is hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). A member of the mustard family, this tall weed with white flowers is prolific in our area this year. It pops up along edges of walkways and in landscaped beds, causing concern for a lot of homeowners about how to control it.

The second is henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule). This weed is a member of the mint family. It is identifiable by its scalloped leaves and its long, tubular purple flowers.

Henbit. Photo by Photo by F.D. Richards via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
Henbit in bloom

Green Care is offering a pre-emergent treatment now specifically to target these weeds to prevent them from emerging in the first place. We are doing these applications now, so if you are interested, contact us today!

Additionally, to target crabgrass and other weeds that emerge a bit later in the season than these winter annual weeds, we offer early spring applications. These will utilize a light, slow release nitrogen fertilizer along with a crabgrass pre-emergent. This product will inhibit weed seed germination for the season, and this is the treatment that keeps your crabgrass at bay all season long. For certain yards, we will further enhance the pre-emergent control as needed during the late spring application.

Spring Turf Tips

In thinking ahead, we thought we’d offer a few spring turf tips.

Avoid over-fertilization. Unused fertilizer can end up leaching (moving) through the soil and contaminating groundwater and surface water. Excessive fertilizer can also lead to nutrient toxicity in plants, which can have a variety of negative effects on a plant’s growth and development. (link to blog post)

Consider spring seeding for thin, shady areas of your lawn. We normally recommend fall as the best time to seed, but in areas where you have large trees with excessive leaves, spring seeding often works best. This spring, consider a core aeration and overseeding in those areas to give the grass plants all season to establish roots and develop before the fall leaf season arrives.

Use proper mowing techniques. Proper mowing plays a major role in lawn appearance, thickness, and health. Follow these guidelines to assure your lawn’s health:

  • Don’t mow too short (turf type tall fescue 3 inch minimum)

  • Don’t mow off too much at one time (no more than 1/3 of the blade)
  • Keep mower blades sharp
  • Keep under mower deck clean (decomposing clippings can spread disease and fungus)

New for 2021: Full Landscaping Services—Mowing, Mulching and More—Available

Another thing to consider before spring arrives is lawn care. And if the thought of mowing season arriving again is daunting to you, then we have great news! For the first time, Green Care Turf is offering full landscaping services for our seasonal clients who are located in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.

This means that in addition to managing the fertilization and weed control for your lawn, Green Care can now handle your mowing, mulching, pruning, and leaf removal! Plus, if you sign on for the 2021 mowing season, you’ll receive a free soil analysis. Call us today for a free estimate.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you of the importance of planning now to achieve the healthiest lawn possible once warmer weather returns. We at Green Care would be happy to work with you to help you achieve your lawn goals through fertilization, weed control, lawn care, and more. Get in touch with us today if you have questions or want to get started!