Do you find yourself looking out your windows at your neighbor’s green, dandelion free, lawn? You don’t have to be a victim of lawn envy if you follow a few turfgrass management steps. You don’t have to look any further than the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. They provide free regional information geared to our area’s specific needs.
We are a little late to start a proper turfgrass management program; however, better late than never. Most service programs have already applied their pre-emergent/fertilizer steps by now. They are usually best applied toward the end of April or the first part of May, depending on the weather, of course.
As you can see from the Kentucky Bluegrass Management Calendar provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office, we should be on our second fertilizer application, applied in June. The third fertilizer application will occur around Labor Day, as our temperatures start too cool.
The fourth, and final, application, arguably the most important, is in the fall. The bluegrass will continue to grow until the ground freezes. This fourth application gives your turf an excellent start in the spring as the lawn comes back to life.
Water management is important also for proper management. The best practice for watering is to water less often and apply 1 inch of water per week. This inch doesn’t have to be all at once. For instance, I have my sprinkler system set to run once every three days. This produces about a 1/2 inch each time. Not sure how long to run your sprinklers to get a 1/2 inch? Collect clean tin cans (tuna works best, but anything between 3 & 6 inch diameter will work as long as they are all the same). If you are using a hose and sprinkler, place your cans equidistant from the sprinkler to the edge of the sprinkler coverage. If you have an in-ground system place the cans evenly throughout the irrigated area. Turn on your sprinklers for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the water and use a ruler to measure the water in each can. Next, find the average depth by adding all the totals up and dividing by the number of cans you used. Multiply that number by 4 to get the irrigation total per hour. This will tell you how long you need to run water in each area of your lawn. Clear as mud? Find more information about this here.
We’ll talk about weed control in my next article.
Rob George is an Associate Broker with Don Peterson & Associates Real Estate Company. His office is located at 100 E. 6th, Fremont, NE.