Lawn Care Now

Beautiful lawns require good care throughout out the year. This is a zoysia lawn.

Summer weeds that appear need to be controlled before they go to flower and seed.

Let’s face it, most of our lawns are neglected this time of the year except for watering when they need it. But, if you have not fertilized your Bermuda or zoysia lawn with a good lawn fertilizer this summer, do so now. While name brands can be expensive, those with a high nitrogen number are what you need (that is the first of the three numbers; N-P-K). I actually many times use 32-0-0 if I can find it, but it has to be watered in when you finish the application or it will burn the turf. If you have little experience fertilizing turf, then I suggest you buy a name brand turf fertilizer and follow the directions. Also, summer weed control is necessary. Even if you used a pre-emergent in spring, there is a good chance you have some weeds in your yard. I like to use the herbicide “Image” this time of the year because it is a broad spectrum turf herbicide that gets rid of most things except some of the tough weeds that might take a special herbicide. If “Image” did not get your weeds under control and you followed directions, I suggest you contact the Hanna Center at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and let them suggest a specific herbicide for that weed that will not injure your turf. Now don’t let your lawn get stressed from lack of water. Fall is also generally a dry time, and you do not want your turf going into the cold season stressed from lack of water. Currently I am watering mine 3 times a week for about 30 minutes each time.
One final note – wait until the night temperatures cool a bit in September before you apply pre-emergent weed control for Poa annua, to be the most effective. If your infestation was bad last year, I might consider two applications several weeks apart.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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