Welcome to our Lawn Care FAQs section, your go-to resource for expert advice on achieving lush, vibrant lawns that will make your neighbors green with envy. We specialize in lawn care products and services and are passionate about helping you cultivate a picture-perfect golf course lawn in your own backyard.
For homeowners and lawn care professionals, get all your lawn care questions answered right here. If you need more information on some of the terms below, be sure to check out our Lawn-Care Glossary to set you up for success.
We’ve organized this section into categories, so it’s easier to find answers to your lawn care questions quicker.
For more FREE lawn care tips and advice, visit Ron’s YouTube channel.
1. Weed Treatments for Lawns
Weeds can be a pain to deal with, and it’s even more frustrating when they’re persistent and out-competing your grass. Here are some common questions we get about dealing with weeds in your lawn.
How do I kill weeds without killing grass?
First, you can achieve long-term weed control by prioritizing the health of your lawn from the start. Nurturing a thriving turf through fertilizers, biostimulants, and soil moisture managers is the key to keeping weeds at bay. By adhering to regular mowing practices and maintaining the ideal height for your specific grass type, you naturally suppress weed growth as weeds struggle to compete for essential nutrients and resources.
But weeds can persist, and sometimes you might need to use herbicides. Remember, the key to this is to ensure the herbicides you choose are correct for your grass type and use the application rates on the label. For specific weed-killer recommendations, check out our blog post on this topic.
Can I apply fertilizer and herbicides on the same day?
Generally, yes. Fertilizer and herbicides perform different functions and typically don’t affect each other. Adding fertilizer to your lawn before applying herbicides is recommended, however. By prioritizing your fertilizer application, you can provide your grass with essential nutrients and promote its overall health and vigor. A well-nourished lawn can better withstand the potential stress caused by herbicides.
Fertilizer helps to strengthen turf roots and improve grass density. It creates a resilient foundation of key macronutrients that supports the growth and development of a lush, weed-resistant lawn. To find out which fertilizer you should use on your lawn, do a soil test to see what nutrients your grass lacks.
Also, doing your herbicide application after fertilization limits your exposure to herbicides.
What is the difference between pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides?
Pre-emergent herbicides are applied before weed seeds germinate, preventing their growth by creating a barrier in the soil. They target annual weeds and are effective in weed prevention. For best results, pre-emergent should be applied in spring and fall.
Post-emergent herbicides are applied to actively growing weeds, killing or controlling them. They work on annual and perennial weeds and are most effective against young, actively growing plants.
The main difference is in the application timing: pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed germination, while post-emergent herbicides target existing weeds. Choosing the right herbicide and following application instructions are crucial for effective weed control.
2. Lawn Fertilization
Using lawn fertilizer is crucial for providing the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy and vibrant turf. Proper use of fertilizers promotes dense and strong grass, enabling faster recovery from harsh weather, cost-savings on corrective lawn care products, and increased resistance to lawn diseases and weeds.
How often should I fertilize my lawn?
How often you fertilize your lawn depends on fertilizer selection, grass type, and environmental conditions. As a general guideline, we suggest fertilizing your lawn monthly during its active growth period (every 4-6 weeks). Begin with the first application in spring and continue with monthly applications from May to September. To encourage robust turf root growth before winter arrives, consider an additional application at the end of October or early November. Look at our 365-day lawn care schedule for more specific times and conditions to apply lawn fertilizer.
Should I use surfactant with fertilizer?
Surfactants, also known as spreaders or wetting agents, make foliar product applications more effective by improving the distribution and absorption of whatever is being applied. Although mixing surfactant with fertilizer can enhance nutrient uptake, it also increases the likelihood of fertilizer burn if the application rate isn’t reduced.
With this in mind, none of the liquid fertilizers we offer at the Golf Course Lawn Store require surfactants to be effective. Generally, surfactants aren’t necessary with liquid fertilizer applications, but they can be used to boost the effectiveness of herbicides and make them rainfast.
What are lawn biostimulants?
Biostimulants are substances or microorganisms that can be applied to plants, including grass, to boost nutrient efficiency and improve the plant's ability to withstand environmental stress. By supplementing grass health, biostimulants reduce reliance on lawn fertilizers and pesticides. Think of biostimulants as "vitamins" for your grass, providing an extra kick to specific processes, but remember — they are not a substitute for fertilizers.
Read our blog on biostimulants to find out more.
3. Lawn Leveling & Maintenance
Whether you're seeking guidance on how to fix uneven surfaces, revive bare patches, or maintain a healthy lawn, we have the answers you need here. Get stuck into expert advice, recommended tools, and proven techniques to transform your lawn into the envy of your neighborhood.
What should I use for lawn leveling? Sand or Compost?
Achieve optimal results by utilizing a top dressing mix that combines the strengths of sand and soil. Incorporating sand into the mixture gives soil structure, while soil contributes essential nutrients from organic matter. Our recommended choice is the Soil³ Level Mix, a blend comprising 70% silica-based sand for effortless spreading, and 30% Soil³ humus compost blend, which introduces beneficial bacteria to the soil. This exceptional lawn-care product serves the dual purpose of leveling your lawn surface and enriching the soil with organic matter.
When should I top-dress my lawn?
You should always top-dress your lawn when it’s actively growing, addressing uneven areas and ruts. It’s important to take action immediately when you notice these issues. For warm-season grass, April through to summer is best for top-dressing — especially in May, where grass grows quickly. Early fall is a good time to top-dress your lawn for cool-season grass.
For best results in your top-dressing project, core aeration is essential to alleviate soil compaction, improve airflow, and boosts nutrient and water uptake. Applying top dressing after aeration ensures better integration with the existing soil, yielding improved results.
When should I aerate my lawn?
Late March is generally the optimal period for core aerating your lawn for warm-season grass. This timing aligns with the end of its winter dormancy (when your lawn goes into a state of hibernation due to the cold weather). For cool-season grass, the best time is in early fall. Here are several indicators to help you:
- Ground condition: Ensure that the soil is unfrozen and not excessively hard.
- Consistent warmth: Look for sustained warm weather, with temperatures around 65°F.
- Active grass growth: Observe lighter green grass blades, signaling active growth.
- Budding of other plants: Notice the emergence of buds on plants in your yard or lawn.
If uncertain, identify your grass type and consult your local area's extension office to determine the most suitable time for core aerating your lawn.
How short should I mow my grass?
The ideal mowing height for your lawn depends on your grass type. Warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia thrive when mowed below 2”. On the other hand, grass varieties like Fescues and St. Augustine prefer to be mowed above 3”.
In the spring, proper mowing height is crucial for the development of strong and healthy roots in your lawn. If you're not using a reel mower, it's recommended to wait until your grass reaches a height of at least 2 to 2.5” before mowing. When mowing, remember to remove no more than one-third of the grass blade length, and aim to mow your lawn at least twice a week. For newly seeded lawns, avoid cutting the grass too short, as it needs time to establish itself.
In the summer, your grass will grow more rapidly due to increasing temperatures. During summertime, mow your grass in the mid-morning. By this time, the grass is usually dry, allowing for a cleaner and more precise cut. Avoid mowing during the early afternoon when the sun's heat is most intense, as this can add stress to the freshly cut turf. If you aim for a well-maintained lawn with cutting heights below ¾ of an inch, you may need to mow every other day during the summer. However, remove no more than one-third of the grass blade's length to promote healthy growth.
4. General Lawn Care Questions
Some questions don’t fit a specific lawn care category, but if they’re important to you, they’re important to us too. Read on to have your more obscure lawn care questions answered.
What happens if I over-apply/get lawn care product quantities wrong?
Using excessive amounts of fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides can harm the health of your grass, leading to issues such as burnt grass, yellowing, stunted growth, or even plant death. Additionally, it can result in environmental damage, as these excess chemicals may leach into nearby ecosystems.
To avoid these issues, it is crucial to carefully follow the recommended application rates and instructions provided by the manufacturer for each specific product. Consider factors like the size of your lawn, the condition of the grass, and the particular needs of your turfgrass species.
Which Bermuda grass is best for shade?
This is a trick question. Bermuda doesn’t like shade. It needs 8+ hours of direct sunlight to thrive.
Have you still got questions? Feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll try our best to help.