Lawn care tips for May

New sod and patching bare spots

There is still time to put in new sod or fill in some bare spots. The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency offers variances from the Defined Irrigation Schedule to ensure new turf is adequately irrigated. However, be very careful that the area doesn’t become a swamp. Too much water is just as bad as too little. It’s also not too late to add compost or peat moss to yellowing patches of grass.

Establishing deep, dense lawns

Taller grass blades accomplish several things. First, they keep the ground cooler than the ambient temperature. They help hold in moisture…which means you need to water less. Weed seeds need sunlight to germinate. Taller grass blades shade the ground and discourage weed growth. Thus, don’t be afraid to set your mower height to the highest setting. Avoid scalping. Crew cutting St. Augustine or any other grass will shorten its life span and make them more vulnerable to insect damage and disease.

Fertilize

If you haven’t yet fertilized, you can do so now. Do not use “weed and feed” products. Instead, use a slow-release fertilizer with a 3-1-2, 4-1-2 or 6-2-4 ratio. These three numbers represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer. Instead of bagging grass clippings, use a mulching lawn mower. The grass clippings are high in nutrients and will help fertilize your lawn.