Cranky Man’s Lawn ’13: Cold Spring Stupor

lawn1Spring was still a rumor here in Southeast Pennsylvania up until this past Sunday afternoon.  Yet I remained skeptical until Monday, when I could actually feel Spring’s warm caress on my hair-challenged head without the benefit of three layers of insulating clothing.

Last Spring was recognized as one of the warmest in recent history.  Good if you like warm weather in March, not so good if you’re a climate alarmist.  But there was no problem this Spring worrying about frantic warnings of rising oceans, melting ice caps, and dying forests.  Everybody was too busy trying to keep warm … on Easter Sunday … in Southern Florida …

So, with Spring delayed what’s a Lawn Junkie to do?

For one thing, hopefully you didn’t jump the gun!

Observed several neighbors putting down lawn treatments LAST WEEK!  Way, way too cold for that to accomplish anything.  Few but the hardiest weeds have appeared and crabgrass season was still weeks away.  A little bit of rain and anything that rotary spreader was meant to accomplish was a wasted effort.

Such is the price of not paying attention.

The only piece of data to pay attention to this time of year is ground temperature, not air temp.  The only treatment you should even remotely prepare for – right now – is crabgrass. And it is still too cold for even a pre-emergent application.

Quite possibly, this weekend will be the first where a pre-emergent will be effective.  Look for the blooming of the forsythia!

lawn2Get your lawn clean-up done!  This is what my lawn looked like pre-cleanup.  The picture heading this post shows how it looked after three hours of raking, mowing, and trimming.

Found some weed infiltration along the edges of the lawn, which is common since the edges of a well-fertilized lawn is the only place generally where a weed seed can gain a foothold.  It’s best to try to eliminate them early to deny them the opportunity of spreading.

But it’s still too early for an effective weed ‘n feed application.  Let that go until the end of April at this point.  Instead, I expect to find a good weed product in spray form to hit those edge areas where weeds have popped up.

Just make sure whatever product you grab will not affect the grass around it.

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Note brown lawn across street. Just sayin’ …

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