by Zachary A. Davis, Somervell County Agricultural Extension Agent
Glen Rose – With all the moisture we have had in the past month maintaining your lawn can be a challenge. Is the grass dry enough? How often should I mow? Where are these weeds coming from? I find myself asking all these questions.
According to Matthew Elmore, Assistant Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist in Dallas, don’t get in a huge hurry. “It will be important not to run heavy equipment (including lawn mowers) across the lawn while the soil is saturated. Regular mowing is important, but try to find a day where the soil is not saturated.” Compaction can become a problem if you do much driving on wet soil. This will cause the plant to be unable to get oxygen.
The wet weather may cause some of your pre-emergence herbicide to fail so annual crab grass and other annual grassy weeds can be a problem according to Elmore. “Keep an eye out for weeds and control them with herbicides or by hand before they get too big.” Other problems that come with wet weather can include fungal diseases such as take-all patch and large patch but they should go away with some drier weather.
One day when we get some sunshine, lawns will grow at a faster rate. Elmore says with some drier weather fertilization and aerification can be good management practices. “Aerification will reduce soil compaction and increase oxygen available to your roots and will provide season-long benefits to your lawn. Fertilization is important to increase the vigor of your lawn, especially in areas where the turf is thin, said Elmore.
Once the regular mowing begins be sure to keep an eye on those blades. Your grass blades can tell a lot about the sharpness or quality of your mower blade. “When the ends of a grass blade are frayed, this is a sign that blades need to be sharpened or replaced”, according to Elmore. For a typical lawn this might be once or twice a year. Finding an ideal time can be good for you and your lawn, usually around the first or second mowing in the spring. Small sticks, acorns and other debris can be left in your yard over winter so it’s good to wear those older blades out first.
For additional information, contact Zach Davis, AgriLife Extension agent in Somervell County 254.897.2809.