During the winter homeowners oftentimes do not think much about their lawns, and certainly not about ugly weeds such as crabgrass until they start seeing them around Memorial Day. However, late winter, which is February meteorologically in the Raleigh, NC area, is when you should get started to help prevent weeds later this spring and summer.
The first treatment of the year by Crownover Green is key to preventing annual weeds such as crabgrass and spurge that would otherwise sprout and grow throughout the summer. By mid-March we will apply our weed pre-emergent, which essentially provides a barrier on top of the soil that prevents weeds that sprout from seeds from growing. When a lawn is free of debris and excess dormant top growth, more pre-emergent coats the soil and is therefore more effective at preventing weeds. Here are a couple of basic tasks that will help you prepare your lawn to look its best later this summer.
Remove Large Debris
If your lawn is littered with tree branches or pine cones that are too large for your mower to shred, pick them up. and put them at the curb for yard waste pick-up.
Mow Down the Brown
Before weed pre-emergent is applied, set your mower height lower than usual and mow down the dead growth and other debris in your turf. It is best to bag and remove the clippings. Shorter top growth will allow the pre-emergent to reach the soil where it needs to be in order to work. After the first mowing, raise your mower blade a notch or two and let your grass grow this spring.
Rake Lightly – Some organic debris left on the lawn is good as it decomposes and returns nutrients to the soil. However, too much of it may smother your grass as it begins its growing season this spring. If there is still a lot of debris on your lawn after mowing, we recommend raking it off.