Dr. Huber’s Prescription for Spring Lawn Care
In White River Township, we love our green lawns and always look for ways to keep them lush and weed free; but we also want low maintenance lawns. Let me introduce Master Gardener and lawn care expert, Dick Huber. He teaches the techniques that will help you achieve the best lawn. Last month Huber gave his talk, “Spring Lawn Care Tips for Do-It-Yourselfers” at the Greenwood Public Library, and he is sharing those tips with us.
Dr. Huber agrees with the advice found in James A. Fizzell’s book, “Month to Month Gardening in Indiana.” “Much of the dissatisfaction with lawns comes from not doing the right things at the right time.” For example, Huber says that if you had a problem with crabgrass last year, you need to apply a pre-emergent herbicide early in the spring before the crabgrass germinates.
If you have seeded your lawn and use one of the 4 Step programs to fertilize, do not apply any with the crabgrass preventers; it will prevent germination of your grass. Another “right thing at the right time” tip is that fall is the ideal time to fertilize and to treat perennial weeds like dandelions.
At his talks, Huber has handouts on weeds. One recaps the types and their life cycles and when treatments are effective. Another has charts on which herbicides are effective on the various lawn weeds. In addition, he recommends a number of online resources: for turf grasses, he recommends this Purdue site, bit.ly/cgcn_turfgrasses. If it is plants and pests that you are trying to control, visit bit.ly/cgnl_plant_pest. Finally check out ortho.com for help with controlling weeds and bugs.
A local resource is Sarah Hanson, Johnson County Purdue Extension educator, at 484 N Morgan St., Franklin. You can stop in at the office, call 317-736-3724 or email Sarah at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your lawn care questions or problems. The Cooperative Extension Service (CES) is one of the nation’s largest providers of scientific research-based information and education. It’s a network of colleges, universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America. The Purdue University CES program areas are Agriculture and Natural Resources, Health and Human Sciences, Economic and Community Development and 4-H Youth Development. Purdue CES has many free publications online.
An example of the publications available is this one on getting rid of sedges in your lawn: Turfgrass Management: Yellow Nutsedge Control (Purdue Extension publication AY-19-W). “This publication describes the life cycle and identification of yellow nutsedge and recommends cultural and chemical management options for homeowners.” (bit.ly/cgcn_control_nutsedge) I read this publication and realized that we have this weed in the flower gardens at my church. We have been pulling this weed out and now I know that we need to be digging it out if we want to get the tubers and the plant.
Dr. Huber teaches the lawn care course that is part of the Master Gardener program at the Johnson County Extension. He will be giving his talks on lawn care at several libraries; you will want to attend his talk in the fall when he brings in weeds to help in identification and proper treatment. Huber recaps the goal for spring lawn care: “Use proper mowing, apply crabgrass preventer the first two weeks of April and do not fertilize before mid-May.”