Late-Season Lawn Care in South Dakota
Lawn care certainly is a seasonal activity in South Dakota with our six-month growing season. Spring is a time when we can’t wait to get the garden going or the lawn fertilized so it can develop that green color we have been missing all winter. Summer is left for keeping the lawn going with mowing and making the decisions on when and how much to irrigate. Yet, homeowners often don’t have the same focus and enthusiasm for late season lawn care. The late growing season period I want to emphasize is from August 15th to October 10th. It is part summer and part autumn on the calendar and it is the last best chance to improve our lawns before winter. It is the “prime time” to get some key lawn management practices in play when they will do the most good. Good late-season management will enhance lawn quality for the remainder of this year and set up the lawn to come out of the spring with improved density, color and fewer weed issues next year. So now is the time to get focused on late season lawn care! Your lawn care calendar should begin now!
Fall management needs depend on whether your lawn is maintained as a low, moderate or relatively high maintenance lawn. Yet all levels of lawn maintenance can benefit from some late season fertility, and if needed, irrigation, weed control, thatch control, seeding to repair small areas or overseeding a thin and worn out lawn. So let’s look at the late summer to early autumn best management practices for lawns.
Late season is the best time to fertilize. The goal this time of year is to fertilize when there is a good chance to get the late season grass response. Timing is important. Yet, the lawn needs good soil moisture from rainfall or irrigation to make the most of the fertilizer. Late season nitrogen fertilizer applications allow for good fall to spring growth, increases in turf density and green color. With late season nitrogen fertilizer applications, the timing of the spring fertilizer application can often be delayed until after the normal spring growth surge. This can help reduce spring mowing that results from too much early spring nitrogen fertilizer.
- Low to moderate maintenance lawns: Fertilize once about Labor Day.
- Moderate to high maintenance lawns: Apply one or two applications. The first in late August to very early Sept along with a second application 4 weeks later, around October 1st.
Last year’s drought prevented non-irrigated lawns from recovering during the late season. Irrigation to supplement rainfall during this time may be needed for the turf to best take up the applied fertilizer. Fall watering will also help newly seeded turf to become better established before winter if moisture is not limiting.
Broadleaf weed control is preferred in September on established cool-season turf. The temperatures are such that the weeds are actively growing to take up the herbicides and the grass is better able to fill in the voids left by the weeds with late season fertilization. This is also a good time to use herbicides because most of our garden vegetables, flowers and woody plants are beginning to go dormant or die so they will not be as adversely affected by spray drift as they might during spring. The most effective weed control comes from choosing products from the garden center that are labeled for the types of weeds in the lawn. Garden center weed control products for home consumers typically contain mixtures of 2 to 3 herbicides to provide more control across a diverse amount of weed types than products formulated with only one herbicide. Always read the product labels for weeds controlled, rates to apply and safety precautions. Follow all label directions when making any pesticide application.
Crabgrass and Annual Grassy Weeds
These weeds are very difficult to control this late in their annual life cycle. So we will live with them as they die off. They will lose vigor as temperatures begin to cool down and are killed off by the first frost. Encourage lawn grass growth with late season fertilizer and irrigation to try to fill in the voids as these annual weeds die out. If crabgrass was a problem this year it will return again next year. There are a number of pre-emergence herbicides that can be used in the spring (around May 1st) that will effectively control crabgrass in next year’s lawn.
Thatch and Soil Compaction
Late season is the best time to core cultivate (also called aerifying) to help relieve soil compaction if that is a problem. The soil cores brought up by coring will break up and mix into the thatch to also help its decomposition and keep it under control. De-thatching machines (vertical mower or power rake) are also used to physically remove thatch build-up if thatch is a problem. Late season treatment allows for 4 to 6 weeks of good growing conditions needed for the grass to recover, following these disruptive practices.. Use a shovel to pry back the turf to see if a thatch layer is building up above the soil. Thatch layers thicker than 1/2 inch or so in lawns can begin to cause problems and should be managed.
Planting and Overseeding Lawn
Get ready now to establish a new lawn or to overseed to renovate your existing lawn in mid to late August. The earlier you can get this done the better the grass will grow-in before winter. The choice will be to do it your self or have a landscaper do the work. If you plan to use a landscape contractor contact them as soon as possible to get on their schedule, as it is their busy time of year! This is absolutely the best time of the year to seed a lawn. It is also a great time to plant sod if it gets a bit late to seed. The cooler weather and more likely fall rains make establishment much easier in the fall. Also, some of the warm season annual weeds like crabgrass will not be as much of a problem compared to spring plantings.
The “take-home” message here is for homeowners to set their cool-season lawn management calendar to begin August 15th in South Dakota! To have a “lawn to your liking” focus on the amount of care needed based upon the kind of lawn you want. If your lawn needs some TLC don’t miss the mid-August to early October “window” of opportunity to set your lawn up with the basic management it needs.
Lawn Care Schedule Using Only 3 Products
Before I got my lawn care ‘education’, I stuck mostly to the 4 step programs you see at the big box stores. To be honest, my lawn always looked half way decent using these products. The main benefit though was the convenience and availability of these products.
After becoming very familiar with the 4 step programs, I realized that some of the products worked OK, while others barely worked at all.
For starters, the crabgrass pre-emergents didn’t seem to be that effective. My lawn always had a lot of crabgrass each season.
I also noticed plenty of broadleaf weeds, even after applying products like Weed & Feed.
Eventually I became convinced that the Weed & Feed wasn’t working, even though I was applying it correctly. It greened up my lawn, but didn’t do much to combat weeds.
After a lot of experimentation, I realized that a next level lawn really came down to 3 products. The best part is these 3 products are usually supplied by the big box stores. If not, you should be able to get them shipped to your store.
Before we get started it’s important to point out this program works best for Cool Season Lawns. If you have a Warm Season Lawn then check out this lawn program here: Lawn Care Schedule for Warm Season Grass
Lesco 19-0-7 Fertilizer with Dimension Pre Emergent
Dimension is one of the best pre-emergent herbicides out there. It’s a common choice among professionals. It was hard to find in big box stores until Lesco came out with this awesome fertilizer and Dimension combo.
I recommend using this product for your first 2 applications, and then a 3rd time a little later in the season.
The first 2 applications are for preventing crabgrass as well as other broadleaf weeds. The 3rd application is mostly for preventing Poa Annua.
Once soil temps are nearing 55 degrees it’s time to throw this product down. About 5 weeks later as soil temps approach 70 degrees it’s time to throw it down again. Once soil temps hit 80 degrees, crabgrass and broadleaf weed germination slows.
The 3rd application is going to be after the hot summer months when soil temps start decreasing back down to 70 degrees. This is the time of year when Poa Annua seeds germinate. Poa Annua drops its seeds in spring and summer and germination begins in early fall.
Applying the Lesco fertilizer with Dimension when soil temps are heading back down to 70 degrees will help prevent Poa Annua seeds from germinating, as well as other broadleaf weeds.
* It’s important to point out that if you plan on doing any fall seeding then don’t apply this product. Doing so will prevent grass seed from from growing. Instead, use a starter fertilizer when applying the new seed.
Check out Greencast to find out when your soil usually hits the 3 important benchmarks of approaching 55, approaching 70, and coming down below 70 heading into fall.
Notice how I’ve been referring to soil temperatures, and not calendar dates when talking about when to apply this product. It’s so important to understand soil temperatures and have that be the driver behind when you do anything to your lawn. Check out this post here for more about soil temperature in your lawn: The Importance of Soil Temperature in Your Lawn.
In terms of a fertilizer, this product provides 19% nitrogen, 0% phosphours, and 7% potassium. The 7% potassium plays a big role in balancing this program since our other go to fertilizer is Milorganite which doesn’t have potassium. Instead it has phosphorus which the Lesco product is lacking.
If you’re struggling to find this product I have recommended substitutions below, towards the end of this post.
For times when you’re not applying Lesco’s fertilizer and pre-emergent combo, shift to a good organic fertilizer such as Milorganite. I was never a big organic fertilizer guy until I realized all of its benefits:
- Builds soil health instead of temporarily feeding roots
- Slow release for longer lasting results
- Doesn’t burn if over applied or applied in poor conditions
- Eco friendly
Milorganite has 6% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, and 0% potassium. This works great in this program with the Lesco product since it provides a balance of the Macronutirents N, P, K. It also contains iron which helps give your lawn that dark green color.
Ortho Weed B Gone Plus Crabgrass Control, Post Emergent Herbicide
No pre-emergent plan is perfect. No matter how hard you try, there will be some weeds that emerge. The trick is to knock these weeds out right away using a lawn safe liquid herbicide.
All that’s required is walking your lawn and spot treating any visible lawn weeds. This product is a liquid herbicide that comes with a spray wand.
Spot treat weeds a couple days before mowing. This is when the weeds will be easy to spot and it will also be enough time for the herbicide to be absorbed by the weed.
Benefits of This Lawn Care Strategy
1. It’s a more aggressive and effective approach to combating weeds with pre-emergents. This schedule calls for applying pre-emergent herbicides at 3 specific times during the year.
Most of the 4 step programs only cover pre-emergents in the first step. It also uses spot treating for killing developed weeds which is more effective then Weed & Feed products.
2. Focus’s on soil temps instead of calendar dates. Weed seeds don’t care what the date is.
3. All these products are easy to use, and easy to access.
4. It uses organic fertilizer for most of the applications which has many long lasting benefits.
The 3 Product Lawn Care Schedule
Once familiar with this schedule I highly recommend you check out : How to Fertilize Your Lawn
* If you plan on core aerating and overseeding, or top dressing your lawn, or doing any type of seeding in general then don’t apply Lesco with Dimension for round 5. Instead, apply a starter fertilizer at the same time you apply seed. Lesco and Scotts both make starter fertilizers so either one is a fine choice.
If for some reason you can’t get your hands on the Lesco 19-0-7 product with Dimension then check out this alternative here: The Andersons 19-0-6 with Barricade. It’s a very similar product but the pre emergent has a different active ingredient (Prodiamine).
You could also check out this product: Proscape 16-0-8 with Barricade. With this product you can type in your location and see if there is a local dealer.
Lastly, if you’re completely striking out, you can use Scotts Halts with Lawn Food. Your almost guaranteed to find this locally so you don’t have to worry about getting it shipped.
Soil Test for Best Results
While this program is great for putting your lawn care maintenance on auto pilot, it’s recommended you do some simple soil tests every once in awhile to see where you’re at.
My favorite soil test is this the one by Yard Mastery: Yard Mastery Soil Test This is a simple kit that gets delivered to you with easy to follow instructions. You’ll simply mail back a sample of your soil and they will quickly get back to you with a soil analysis.
Feel free to check out some other soil test options here: How to Do a Soil Test (and Read It)
This plan makes no mention of treating for grubs, fungus, or insects. The truth is, you may never need to do those things so don’t feel you have to. There’s no need to apply fungicides or insecticides unless you suspect you are having problems.
Also, this plan is best used if your starting out and your lawn ‘needs work’. Eventually you should phase out at least one of the Milorganite applications with a product such as: Stress Blend 7-0-20. This will help you remain in balance. If you were to just continue year after year with Milorganite your Phosphorus levels would get very high. The Stress Blend 7-0-20 will help zero out phosphorus. Also, the other great part about the Stress Blend 7-0-20 is the high level of potassium helps protect your lawn from summer heat.
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Why is it that the soil dries quickly. I can water at night in the morning looks like I haven’t watered in weeks. I’ve had my yard aeriated, thatched and everything else…can you help
Could be your soil is very sandy. I would recommend tops dressing your lawn in the fall using compost. This will add organics to your soil and keep it from drying out so quickly. check out my tutorial on Top Dressing
How did you decide on these two products?
the lesco 19-0-7 contains dimension which in my opinion is the best pre emergent herbicide. I see this product in most big box stores so it is easy to access. The Milorganite is my favorite organic fertilizer and contains phosphorus (middle number) which the Lesco product doesn’t contatin. So using these products together helps balance your 3 macro nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium). Also the Milorganite contains Iron which is a great micronutrient that gives your lawn a dark green color.
Darlene Armes says
I just laid some seed today but my grass is full of weeds. What do you recommend for now to do.?
Where are you located?… at this point I would just wait and see what happens. In most areas with cool season lawns, a lot of lawn weeds will die as the weather cools and cool season grass will thrive. Don’t try and treat weeds if you just seeded. In the spring you want to apply a pre emergent to prevent weed seeds from germinating.
I would first like to say thank you! Since I’ve been following you and trying to keep up with your program (since summer) my lawn has never looked so good!
This fall (end of September) I aerated, filled a few low spots, and over seeded the entire yard. I fertilized with a starter/ winterizer with milorgranite in it. The grass has come up everywhere. Maybe a little thin in some areas, but I’m hoping it will maybe fill in next year? My main question is the new grass still looks thin and delicate, is that normal? Should I put something else down at this point or wait till spring? Has it possibly gone dormant?
I live in north east Ohio.
Hi George, I’m glad you’ve been finding the info helpful, thanks for sharing! The answer is a definite yes, it’s absolutely normal for the new grass to be thin right now! I did a major renovation to my lawn this past september and the new grass never even got tall enough to mow. Its thin and looks for the most part like it just germinated. That’s completely normal. A lot of pros call this period ‘sprout and pout’… meaning you get excited about newly sprouted grass but then it seems like nothing is happening. This is because all the energy is going into root development under the soil. This new grass will go dormant soon and wake right up in the spring. Stick to the program in the spring and you will see it get thick and blend with the rest of the lawn. Also don’t be alarmed if as it starts to go dormant you see a lot of brown in those new areas. Again, this is normal and just part of the new seed going dormant! At this point, if you recently put down fertilizer I wouldn’t hit it again. I’m actually putting down my last application of nitrogen today, knowing that it will be stored by the grass and used in the spring. It won’t really be doing anything for the lawn now as soil temps are getting cold here in NH as well.
Hey Mark, thanks for the article! Definitely going to give this schedule a go this upcoming season.. I just have one question about the schedule you’ve posted. The first application of Milorganite is 5-6 weeks after the first application of the lesco, not 5-6 weeks after the second lesco application correct? Thank you in advance!
Hi Tommy, you’re very welcome! Your first application of Milorganite will be your Third treatment. The first two treatments are the Lesco product. I like doing the Lesco for the first two treatments because it’s going to give you much better protection against broadleaf weeds.
Allison Booker says
Hello, I cannot find the Lesco 19-0-7 online or in stores anywhere. I wondering if it’s discontinued? I see that Lowe’s carries a large variety of Lesco products and if you would recommend any other variation? Also what are you thoughts on Scott’s Halts crabgrass and weedy grasses preventer? Do you think it would work sufficiently if I can’t find the Lesco product? I live on the northern Kentucky border to Indiana and will need to get a product down in the next week or two I assume. Thank you for any suggestions! I plan to follow your program ASAP!
HI Allison… For some areas in the country it can be hard to get the Lesco 19-0-7. It is definitely not discontinued or anything like that but it does look like they aren’t shipping to your area. You have a couple of options. Since you are running out of time you can definitely keep it simple and use Scotts Step 1 for your first 2 applications. That should be easy to find. The benefit of using the step 1 is it has the fertilizer and pre emergent mixed together. The Scotts Halts Crabgrass and Weedy Grasses Preventer is just a pre emergent. Now, to make it more confusing Scotts does have a product that says Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food. That’s a fine product to use since it has the fertilizer and pre emergent mixed together. Another option is to check out this product: Andersons 19-0-6. It looks like you can get it shipped directly to you. If I were you I’d probably just get the Scotts Halts with lawn food and use that for my first 2 applications. Then later in the year I’d get the Andersons 19-0-6 for the application at the end of summer. This way you’re not over applying the Scotts Halts product since technically you’re only supposed to apply that no more then twice a year based on application maximum rates. Good Luck! Let me know if there’s anything else!
Hi! I live in Georgia and have been using the Scott’s program with fair success .. except always seeing broadleaf weeds and Poa Annua issues.
My question is – right now – January 2020, we’ve had enough mild weather to where I’m seeing way more Poa Annua and these broadleaf weeds than I should be seeing this time of year. There is an area in particular that is getting overtaken by the Poa Annua. Can I put the Lesco product down now … or is it too early for the season/too late for what has already germinated in the fall?
Hi Cheryl! The Lesco product is a pre-emergent which needs to be applied in fall before the weeds germinate. Any weeds that are present now need to be handled using a post emergent herbicide. Depending on your grass type there are a couple of selective products that I recommend for warm season grasses. My two go to products are Blindeside, and Atrazine. Both are great for spot treating broadleaf weeds and poa annua in warm season lawns. Just read the label to make sure it’s safe for your lawn type depending on what you have!
Lora Karabatsos says
Hello Mark. Thank you for the email on lawn care. We will put it to use this year. Although, I’m not quite sure where to start. I live in Gastonia, NC and we have been bombarded with rain this year. Our yard has been so wet all year it is extremely soft and has actually caused us to have bare patches in the yard. We plan to reseed in the spring with tall fescue which is what we generally use. If We use your program what would we change for a spring reseed or would you suggest we wait until next fall? I also have an area on the side that is slightly sloped that no matter what we can’t get good grass there. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance foe your time.
Hi Lora! If you’re thinking you want to do some spring seeding then definitely don’t use the Lesco Product that has the pre emergent in it. Pre emergents will block grass seed from germinating. Personally, I really try not to do any seeding in the spring. Fall is such a better time. I prefer to block weeds with pre emergents in the spring and fertilize to get the existing grass to flourish. I’m always shocked at how the lawn fills in throughout the year. If some areas need to be touched up in the fall then I will top dress and reseed just those areas. It’s such a better way. But ultimately it’s a judgement call. If you have large sections that are completely bare and you’re confident grass growth won’t spring into action then seeding in spring is probably worth it. If that’s the case then don’t apply any pre emergents, instead just apply a starter fertilizer. I’m actually going to be doing some spring seeding this year. I had a bunch of tree work done in the yard this winter and it is completely rutted up in sections and pretty much a mud pit. My plan is to apply the lesco product with the pre emergent for most of the lawn, but in the lower section where the damage was done I’ll apply seed and use a starter fert. If there is a clear separation from the problem areas to the good areas you can get away with this strategy of segregating the areas. Lastly, with sloped areas Turf Type Tall Fescue is a great choice. The biggest problem with sloped areas is the water runs off and the grass roots don’t grow deep and therefor they bake in the sun and die. I’d imagine this is especially true for cool season grass in North Carolina. I would make an extra effort to water this sloped area with frequent and deep watering to get the roots to grow deep into the soil. Then once established after the first season you should be able to back off. Tall fescue roots can grow up to 4′ into the soil! That’s what makes it so heat tolerant and great for erosion control
Lora Karabatsos says
Thank you for the advice. I will walk the hard and see how bad the bare areas are and see if I can wait until the fall to see if I need to reseed. I have another question, will anything kill bermuda that creeps into my yard from my neighbor? Thanks for the info.
For killing Bermuda grass there is a selective herbicide called Ornamec Over The Top. It’s labeled for controlling Bermuda grass in tall fescue. You should be able to get it several places online. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully. Also the Bermuda grass needs to be actively growing for this product to work. Bermuda is a warm season grass and takes a little longer to get going depending on temperatures in your location this time of year.
What do you suggest if you see no weeds or crabgrass? I used Scott’s 4 step and milorganite 4x last year and my lawn has grown thick and plush. Wouldn’t a pre-emergent be a waste in my case? I don’t mind spraying weeds as I believe too that it is a more effective way of spot treating weeds. Any thoughts on Tenacity as both a pre and post emergent?
Hi Brain… Great to hear your lawn has grown thick and plush… Even though my lawn is thick and established I still apply pre-emergent twice in the spring. I usually don’t apply the third treatment at the end of summer though. But honestly, it’s a judgement call. If you feel you don’t need pre emergents then definitely back off on them. I live in the middle of the woods where there’s usually some kind of weed seed trying to enter my yard. But for people in more a subdivision type setting there’s less of a need. Again, it’s really situation and if you’re spraying weeds that pop up then that’s a fine approach. You could always go back to pre emergents next season. Lastly, tenacity is a great product that can be used as a pre-emergent, but personally I use it just as a post emergent. Yes you can definitely use as a pre emergent, you just have to water it in. But my personal pre emergent plan has always been with granular products.
What do you think of using a Lesco 19-3-6 to sub for the Lesco 19-0-7? I found it cheaper at a landscape store than Home Depot. I would use it for my first two applications. Any potential problems?
That’s perfectly fine, actually in some ways better… You’ll just be getting a little Phosphorus as well.
Charles Baker says
In the Lawn Care Schedule above, for Spot Spray Weekly, it lists Image Southern Lawn Weed Killer. Shouldn’t it be Weed B Gon?
Yes thank you so much for catching that! The website uploaded and used the wrong image. I will correct!
Hello, I’m new to lawn care and ready to get my lawn in shape. I live in So. Oregon. I just finished my application of tenacity. My lawn has a lot of clover. Would I still apply the lesco product now? Thank you for reading and any help is very much appreciated.
Hi Lynda! Yes, definitely apply the Lesco with Dimension product. That has a pre-emergent that will help prevent broadleaf weeds. Tencacity is great for Clover. Putting the Tenacity and Lesco down close together shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Lynda Schwerdt says
Thank you. I have a follow up question… if I miss the first application of lesco should I start with the second application when due? The ground is at 55° consistently and since I’m a newby I don’t know when it’s too late to do first application. My product just arrived. Thank you for your help, Lynda
Hi Lynda… I would definitely put it down asap. Don’t really think of it as late… crabrass and other broadleaf weeds will germinate throughout a long window of soil temps, mid 50’s – mid 70’s… At this point in the season I would say definitely get pre-emergent down. You could also apply it again in another 4 weeks. Once soil temps hit high 70’s it’s safe to assume all crabgrass has germinated so it wouldn’t be worth applying a pre-emergent then… But until those high soil temps are hit crabgrass (and other weeds) will continue to germinate. Don’t worry that your applications are moved back a little.
Hi Mark,can you explain watering before/after for each application?
Hi Kushan… The Lesco product with pre emergent should be watered in as soon as possible. The Milorganite, or other slow release fertilizers work best once watered in as well. But since these slow release products are less likely to burn its not as urgent to water in right away like a truly synthetic fertilizer should be.
One more quick que: I live in Omaha, NE , do you think, is it too late for first pre-emergent app?
It’s not too late, it’s just not as ideal as getting the first application down around 50 degrees. Weeds will continue to germinate all through soil temps in the 70’s even though you already notice some that have already germinated. I would definitely apply pre emergent asap. This will definitely help. For weeds that have already popped up, use a post emergent herbicide like Weed B Gone Plus Crabgrass Control.
I could already see dandelion and crab grass on my lawn, not sure it would be effective if I apply lesco now?
Hello Mark, 1rst off, want to say how much I appreciate and enjoy all of your well written articles. I do wish you would consider compiling all of this valuable information into a simple to read lawn care/gardening book. I think you would do very well! So, I have a small lawncare business named: Charles In Charge lawncare, in a retirement complex which started by accident but blossomed into 25 plus customers. So much for retirement! So I saw one customer putting down Epsom salts onto their lawn and was shocked but I waited, and a few weeks later the lawn blossomed beautifully! I was shocked, I never heard of such a thing! Are you familiar with this practice? Any insight from you or your readers would be much appreciated! Also, moss seems to be a big problem, mostly on the north side of the house. It is like a slow cancer that takes/creeps along and smothers the grass. I believe the liming helps to control but would really like to help customers bring back/recover from the moss damage. What to do? Thank you, Charles
Hi Charles! I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the articles! I’m actually planning on starting work on a Lawn Care Guide this winter. I agree, having a start to finish guide will be the best way to get people started with lawn care. As for the Epsom Salts, I am familiar. Epsom salts add micronutrients Sulfur and Magnesium to your lawn (or plants). These micronutrients help in the process of chlorophyll and can definitely be beneficial to your lawn. Personally, for micronutrients I prefer a product called Microgreene 0-0-2. It contains many other micronutrients as well, including Iron which is what really gives your lawn that dark green color. But at the end of the day you can’t beat doing a soil test and seeing which Macronutrients and Micronutrients are needed. Epsom salts by themselves will not really benefit a lawn that is deprived of the main Macro’s… As for moss, I’m a big fan of raking up as much as possible with a leaf rake. There is also a product called Moss Out which in my opinion is the best product for killing moss. Another option is to rough up the area where the moss is and overseed with a fine fescue like red fescue. These grasses usually do well where there is moss and will outcompete the moss. As for liming the lawn, yes lime does reduce the alkalinity of the soil which moss prefers, but it is more of a control solution. It won’t help your existing problem. Again, a soil test will tell you where you are with PH, Ph is definitely really important to get right, otherwise fertilizers won’t be as effective if PH is off. Good luck Charles!
Hi Mark I live in Oregon when is too late to laid the Lesco pre-emergent ?
Thank you in advance
Hi Sergio… I would put it down Asap. You’re definitely a little late but putting it down now will still block weeds that haven’t germinated yet. Better late then never!
Roger peldai says
Hi mark. I put down the two steps on pre – emergent. Should I put down stress blend next or milorganite? I live on Long Island
Hi Roger… great job getting the pre-emergent down for the first 2 steps! Either one would be great…. I’d probably do a round of Milorganite and then do the stress blend when we head into July. That’s normally when we get our true summer weather even though this year has been crazy dry and hot last couple of weeks.
Again, since I’ve been following your program my lawn has never looked better! I wasn’t able to get the second treatment of lesco down this spring before the weather got too hot. This week has cooled back into the lower 70s, so my question is should I put that down real quick or skip it and go for the milorganite? Thanks again for all your help!
Hi George! Happy to hear your lawn has been improving! You ask a good question. At this point I would probably lean towards getting the Milorganite down. We are just about to head into July and its a great time to get Milo down before the serious heat. I’d put the Milo down and just be on the lookout for crabgrass and other weeds and knock them back with Ortho Weed B Gone or other post-emergents.
So I’m out in the south west (Az) where those soil temperatures are in the triple digits. What do you recommend? I have spotty lawn.
Hi Joe, what’s the grass type, and do you have irrigation?
Hi Mark! I live in Greenville, NC. I have Zoysia. Can you advice me on a good step-by step on when and what to apply. Sod is new, planted in March 2021. Lots of grab grass. I pull them out by hand. Did not want to put weed killer on new sod.. I did apply Miloganite, but was advised it contains a lot of weeds. Is that true? Thank you for all your helpful information!
Hi Roni… First off let me start with the easy question. Milorganite is a fertilizer made from bio solids. It doesn’t contain weed seeds or any seeds at all. Without seeing the lawn it’s tough to really advise but I’m guessing the safest thing to do is apply a starter fertilizer such as Scotts. This will help give you a shot of every macro nutrient. And if you’re having some issue with dollar spot pushing out some quick growth with a synthetic fertilizer like Scott’s is actually a good way to help get past the fungus. If you planted the sod in March you should be safe to use a post emergent herbicide such as Image Southern Lawn Weed Killer. That’s assuming the sod took and when you try and pull it up it gives you resistance meaning it’s well rooted. If you’re worried about it being vulnerable then hold off until next spring to apply post emergents. You’re lawn is about ready to go into a period of dormancy later this fall through the winter. Don’t apply nitrogen as it starts heading into dormancy since this will only stress it out more. After the application of Scotts Starter which I would do now, you probably want to apply a fertilizer that’s mostly Potassium as your lawn heads closer into dormancy several weeks from now. Lastly, early next spring, put down a pre-emergent to block crabgrass.
I forgot to mention, we had a lot of rain. I have a fungus, looks like dollar spot. Treated with Scott’s fungus control twice now, not clearing up. Any advice? Thanks!
I am so glad to find your guide which seems very easy to follow.
I was using Scotts 4 step program but wanted tpo try more organic fertilizer.
I’m in NC and have bermuda grass,
I’m planning to apply Lesco with demention in late February.
Should I apply 0-0-7 instead of 19-0-7, since the grass is still dormant?
Also, is it a good idea to apply extra nitrogen along with Milorganite later when it green up, or Milorganite alone enough?
Hi SK! Yes if you have Bermuda I would recommend applying a pre emergent and no nitrogen for your first application since the grass isn’t ready to get going yet. I’ve actually got a warm season schedule here that outlines that: Warm Season Plan. A 0-0-7 with dimension is the perfect product to use for your first app. A 19-0-7 with dimension would be good as your second application since by then your bermuda should be ready for nitrogen as it begins waking up. As for the Milorganite, you don’t need any additional nitrogen. Don’t forget the 6-4-0 are all percentages. Meaning in this case the bag contains 6% nitrogen. If you want to put a pound of nitrogen down per 1000 s/f, the nitrogen percentage doesnt matter. A pound is a pound. I highly recommend you check this post out that explains application rates. How to fertilize lawn. Sounds like you’re doing good, you’re almost there!