If you are like many homeowners in Sampson County, this undecided weather pattern has your lawn wondering if it is spring or winter. Some lawns have already begun to green up and many homeowners haven’t gotten their pre-emergence herbicides out yet. Crabgrass has started to germinate, and questions are coming into the office about what to do. It’s not too late to begin, or to continue your pre-emergence spray program. Common preemergent herbicides labeled for use in turfgrass areas include Benefin, Dithiopyr, Oxadiazon, Oryzalin, Pendimethalin, Prodiamine, and Trifluralin. Many of these products come in a granular form and must be watered in to activate the herbicide. Applying these now will give your lawn a jump on summer weeds.
Fertilizer should be applied according to soil sample reports. Healthy lawns should have a soil sample completed every three years, and an unhealthy lawn should have a soil sample completed every year. Fertilizers should be applied to lawns in late spring. Zoysiagrass can be fertilized in late April, Bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass can be fertilized in May, and Centipede should not be fertilized until June. Applying fertilizer too early can cause increased weed growth, and possible injury to your lawn.
If you would like to learn more about lawns or how to better maintain your lawn, the Sampson County Friends of Horticulture is offering a lawn care class on Thursday, March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Sampson County Livestock Facility located at 93 Agriculture Place, Clinton. The class will cover best management practices, insect control, disease control, and fertilization. The cost of the class is $5. To register for the class, call the Sampson County Extension Office at 910-592-7161.
Brad Hardison is an agricultural extension agent specializing in horticulture.