CARE GUIDE FOR CENTRAL OHIO AREA
Lawn clean up.
Remove sticks, leaves and debris from the lawn. A one- time early
spring mowing at a lower cutting height, can be used to remove dead
grass blades and encourage spring green-up
Seeding, over seeding.
Sow seed as soon as soil is workable. Seed must make soil contact for
successful establishment. Seeding may be carried over into early April,
Core Cultivation. ( Aeration.)
Core cultivation can be done when the soil is moist, so that the
operation pulls adequate soil cores, at least 2”-3” in length.
Winter/Early spring Lawn Diseases
Potential diseases are Pink snow mold, Gray snow mold, leaf spot, red
thread, fairy ring, necrotic ring spot and yellow patch
If late fall fertilizer was applied last October late November, Then
make one fertilizer application this spring, preferably in late April
or early may, using 3/4 # actual N per 1000 square feet, each time
If no late fall fertilizers was applied then make two applications this
spring: one about April 1, the other in late may using ¾ actual
N per 1000 square feet, each time
Bluegrass, perennial rye grass and the fine fescue should be mowed at a
height of 2” to 2 1/2; tall fescue is mowed at 2 1/2 “- 3”. Mow often
that so that no more than one-third of the grass blade is removed at
any one cutting. Make sure mower blade is sharp for clean cuts.
It may be necessary to water the lawn if spring is dry. Water
deeply once a week; apply 1” of water to wet the soil 6”-8” deep, if
rainfall is insufficient. Check soil with a trowel to see if soil is
wet to 6” depth. Early morning watering is best.
Lawn insect control
White grubs resume their activity as the soil warms. These grubs
however, are large and fairly resistant to insecticidal treatment,
should be as spring treatment if necessary, it is best to have a
commercial lawn company apply insecticide.
Pre-emergent crabgrass control
Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied in spring for control of
crabgrass, barnyard grass, foxtail and other annual grassy weeds. In
most seasons treatment deadline is mid-April for Central Ohio. A few
annual broadleaf weed can also be controlled with this application,
five to seven most nights with 50°F soil temperatures are required
for crabgrass to germinate.
An organic product is corn gluten meal, if you are seeding the lawn in
spring; do not apply a pre-emergent herbicide.
Broad leaf weed control
Weeds must be actively growing herbicides to be effective and
temperatures above 50°F; May is generally a good moth for broadleaf
weed control. Selective-Post emergent herbicides available to
homeowners. Some of these products occur in combination with fertilizer
and both tasks may be done at the same time.
Granular weed control products for broadleaf weeds are generally not as
effective as liquid applications.
Yellow Nut sedge Control
Nut sedge will resume growth in May and can often be found through the
summer; herbicides should be applied when plants are young for best
Late Spring Diseases
Diseases which may be active in May include stripe smut, red thread,
necrotic ring spot, yellow patch, slime molds, and fairy ring.
Eight to ten weeks after the spring fertilization, apply ½-1#
actual N per 1000 square feet using a complete fertilizer. If no
fertilizer was applied in spring, do make a June application.
Broadleaf Weed Control
Treatments can continue into early June as long as weeds are actively
growing and the weather is not hot (over 80 degrees F) and dry.
Same as in May
Same as in May
Lawn Insect Control
Watch for population of these insects and manage them as needed:
Bluegrass billbug larvae- early June- http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2502.html
Chinch Bug- about mid-June http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2503.html
Sod webworm- about mid-June
Use post emergent herbicides starting when crabgrass is less then
1 “tall: treating later is ineffective. Repeat treatments are
necessary, and some discoloration of the grass may be expected.
Raise cutting height 1/2 “to increase shading effect on soil and grass
crowns for the summer stress period. Depending on temperatures and
rainfall or irrigation, grass may be going into dormant state and
mowing will be less frequent through July and August.
Follow these guidelines for irrigation if you desire to maintain a
green lawn through the summer stress period, assuming rainfall is
Apply 1 “of water per week (take some measurements to ensure you are
applying this amount) Check soil at 6” depth with a knife or trowel for
Be aware of water use; a 7500 ft2 lawn will require 4680 gallons of
water a week.
If the grass is allowed to go dormant and rainfall is low, a light
irrigation of ½ in of water every 3-4 weeks is recommended to
keep roots and crowns alive but will not turn green the lawn. If
dormancy is lengthy and temperatures are excessively high, some loss of
lawn is probable.
SUMMER and EARLY FALL Diseases
Diseases that may be active July through September include: brown
patch, dollar spot, clime molds, powdery mildew, and rust, and
anthracnose, fairy ring, melting out, stripe smut, necrotic ring spot
and summer patch.
At the end of August or early September apply fertilization using # 1
actual N per 1000 square feet.
Lawn Insects Control
Watch for populations of these insects and manage as needed:
Chinch bug – Mid to late August
Sod webworm- through August
White grubs- Control action is needed when grub populations are greater
than 10 per square foot. Treat about mid to late August. Check lawn 2-4
weeks after treatment to make sure late season grubs are not present.
Same as in July
Seeding Over seeding
Ideally any seeding, overseeing or other renovation is done by
September 15th for best fall establishment.
Thatch Management- Core Aeration
Core aerate the lawn to manage thatch so that ½” or less is
present. In addition, a lawn can be core aerated to reduce soil
compaction. Run the machine in three or four different directions over
the lawn to create at least 9 holes per square foot. Soil should be
moist to pull good cores: cores should be 2”-3” in length.
If thatch is ½” or greater in depth, the lawn should be heavily
core aerated, 20 cores per square foot. If thatch is excessively deep
consider stripping off the old sod and renovating completely. An overly
deep thatch layer greatly reduces pesticide penetration for billbugs
and white grub control and reduces water and fertilizer filtration.
Apply 1 # actual N per 1000 sq ft if none was applied in late August.
Best applied early in the month. If only one fertilizer application is
to be made in the fall, make it in later September or early October.
Lower cutting height back to 2”-2 ½” inches (2 ½”-3” for
tall fescue) Mowing frequency will likely increase with cooler
temperatures and moisture
Same as August, if needed
Lawn Insect Control
White groups may be present in September and October. These late season
older grubs are voracious feeders and chemical control may be
difficult. We suggest you have a commercial lawn care firm treat
for these grubs.
Broadleaf weeds will resume with cooler temperatures and moisture. Fall
is often the best time to control weeds since the grass fills in as the
weeds die, and there is less chance of injury to flowers and vegetable
gardens compared to spring applications
Accomplish no later than October 15th
Sod should be laid no later than 4 weeks before the ground freezes for
good root establishment. Follow good watering practices.
Continue as long as grass is actively growing
Fallen tree leaves should remain no longer than two weeks on grass.
Grass may become stressed and discolored if sunlight is limited for
Watch for Powdery mildew and rust, two diseases that may be active in
Late Fall Fertilization
Apply 1 # -2 # actual N/1000 square feet in late October or early
November. Grass should still be green and air temperatures typically
below 55 degrees. This is the most important fertilization of the year
for turf grass
Late Fall Fertilization
Application should be made no later than November 15th. See October
note for details.
For the last mowing of the season cut the grass at 2 “ to avoid
problems with snow mold, especially if you are in the area where winter
snow cover is common.