Taking care of your lawn


We are in that time of year when lawn care takes front and center stage.

Control of crabgrass is best managed now with the application of control materials. Sadly, most products also contain fertilizer which will make the grass grow and need to mowed. The alternative would be to work with a lawn care company to treat your lawn with crabgrass control products and have fertilizer applied later. The April 1-15 time frame is best for applying crabgrass control products as that will provide a protective layer of chemical to kill the newly germinating crabgrass seed which is an annual. Crabgrass seed starts to germinate when the top 2-3 inches of soil reach approximately 50 degrees.

If you had a lot of nimblewill grass last year you will have more this year as it is a perennial which spreads by seed and stolons. It turns brown in the late fall but greens up in the spring. Control can be had by digging it out but this is hard to do because of the way it spreads. Another way is to apply a product containing glyphosate like Roundup. Wait a week or so for the chemical to move into the weed’s roots before you reseed with the grass you want. It is likely you will have some nimblewill come up later as some seeds or stolons may germinate or grow. The final suggestion is to use a chemical called Tenacity which will only kill the nimblewill plant. The plants will turn white and die. This weed killer is expensive and will cost around $60-70 for a small eight-ounce bottle which will cover one to two acres and can be used for spot treatment of affected areas. The chemical will damage Bermudagrass and Zoysia Grass, however. Always read and follow the label directions.

If you plan to reseed your lawn or parts of it do not apply Tenacity, crabgrass control products, or other weed killers like 2-4-D as they will kill the newly germinating grass seed. The best time to control weeds like dandelion, plantain, and other similar plants is in the fall when material applied will be translocated to the roots. Applying a liquid weed control product by spraying will normally give you better control than using dry granules as the granules will fall off the plants and onto the ground. Always spray on a calm day with little or no breeze to minimize spray drift and injuring non-target plants. Make it a rule never to allow pets on newly treated lawns until the spray material has dried.

I still see too many volcano mulch applications of six to eight inches around trees and shrubs. The layer of mulch should be two to four inches in depth. Mulch applied deeper than this can lead to less water infiltration around the roots of the plant and more roots of the plant growing in a circular pattern resulting in the plant being killed or weakened.

Greene County Farm Forum scholarships available

Greene CountyFarm Forum will award a total of $4,000 in scholarships divided between two deserving current year graduating high school students or college freshmen pursuing higher education in a field related to agriculture in 2023. Applications are due April 14 and can be obtained by contacting Farm Forum Scholarship Chair Jim Byrd at [email protected] or 937-429-1805. Applicants must be a resident of Greene County or have attended Greene County schools. Farm Forum is an organization promoting fellowship among citizens of Greene County with programs emphasizing topics pertinent to agriculture.

Tree and shrub sale

Each year, the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District offers tree and native shrub seedlings, as well as a few native perennials at discount prices. Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District is cooperating with this sale. This program gives landowners the opportunity to develop small areas of reforestation, provide habitat for wildlife enhancement, or native additions to home landscaping.

Most of the seedlings offered are 12 to 24 inch “whips.” Tree and shrub seedlings will be bare rooted, we dip the plants in a root preservative to help keep the roots from drying out and wrap them in a plastic bag. Most packets will be in a bag about the size of a grocery bag and can easily be placed in your car for pick up. Perennials are sold as “plugs.” The plugs we are offering are approximately two inches in diameter and a robust four and a half inches deep.

The plant sale website is now available. Visit https://store.clermontswcd.org/. Orders will be taken until May 2 or until stock runs out. Order early to guarantee availability.

Pick up dates are 12-6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4 and 12-4:30 p.m. Friday, May 5.

Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for Greene County. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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