Want Green Grass like this?
Spring has sprung!
The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and your lawn is waking up from its long winter nap. Now is the best time to weed and feed your lawn to ensure it gets off to a healthy start. Having a professional lawn care service apply lawn treatments is outrageously expensive. With a $25 fertilizer spreader and a little know-how, you can have a picture-perfect, green-grass lawn at a fraction of the price.
Now is the time to get the first lawn application applied, so I searched online and through the Sunday ads to find the best deals. This week, Menards has their Crabgrass Preventer on sale for $6.99 (after a $3.00 rebate) for a 5,000 square foot coverage bag, which was the best deal I could find. Compare that to Scott’s Crabgrass Preventer for $23.99 for the same 5,000 square foot coverage, that comes out to three times more expensive!
I’m no master gardener, but I seriously doubt I get three times the benefit by using a premium brand name, like Scott’s.
Given an average sized lot is about 80 x 130, that amounts to 10,400 square feet. Take off a few thousand square feet for the house, garage, driveway, decks, shed, pool, etc., and that leaves you with about 7,000 square feet. So now you are going to have to decide if it’s worth it to get the second bag of fertilizer or just try to stretch the one bag a little farther. For me, I don’t skimp on the first application, crabgrass can do some major damage to your lawn and will end up costing you more in the long run by having to seed the bare spots from where the crabgrass killed off the grass.
Most lawn care specialists will tell you to treat your lawn with a weed and feed application about 6-7 times per year. I have found this to be overkill, plus you’ll have to cut your grass much more often. I’ve experimented over the years with how the lawn looks with varying amounts of lawn treatments. Now, the amount of rain has the biggest impact on how the grass looks, but I’ve tested enough to know what to expect with zero, one, two, three and five applications per year. I was looking for the right balance of a healthy lawn, minimal weeds, and a 7-10 day mowing schedule.
Zero: Obviously, with no fertilizer/weed killer, the grass looks thin and brown, with many bare-dirt patches in the lawn. The only green color in the lawn is the weeds and they are the only thing that the lawn mower blade will hit, because your grass barely grows. Let me tell you, it’s very annoying spending your precious weekend time mowing nothing but weeds.
Two: I was actually surprised that with just a spring and mid-summer application that the lawn looked decent most of the year. If you like to live your life by the 80/20 rule, I would definitely say two lawn applications per year is the Pareto Principle sweet spot.
Three: With the three treatments, I added a late fall “winterizer” application, and honestly, I never noticed any difference.
Five: The best my yard ever looked was when I put down five lawn treatments for several years in a row. The grass was thick and lush, with a deep green grass color and since it was so healthy and full, weeds were very minimal. To make the application schedule easy to remember, I would apply the treatments on or around the major holidays: I started with Easter, then Memorial Day, 4th of July was next, followed by Labor Day, and then around Halloween was the winterizer application.
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