Spring Cleanup – My Lawn Care Plan for 2022

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I was recently approached by Home Depot and Scott’s Lawn Care to become an ambassador for Scott’s.  Our first project was going to be overhauling, or let’s just say continuing the progress on the state of my yard.  To be fair, I live in the woods, in Missouri, with all four seasons (sometimes in one day.)  This means my yard has to survive A LOT.  I don’t have one of those fancy irrigation systems, but I have been working to get my yard in shape for a couple of years, this time, with the king of lawns Scotts.

Let’s skip the whole blogger intro junk and get straight to the recipe part of this article,

The Challenges

My yard is a zone 6 midwest yard with tall fescue with some areas of high sun and some of dappled sunlight.  I have been overseeding and fertilizing for 2 years but I was invaded by armyworms last year AND the moles and woodchucks have not been kind to my yard over the last 12 months.  I basically need to start over.  I also get a bunch of leaves all fall and winter and it does choke out my grass a bit no matter how much I blow leaves every year.  Additionally, the bottom of my hill is the confluence of three hills, resulting in a natural pond.  All of this runoff tends to wash out the topsoil and makes the root system somewhat weak.

The Plan

Step 1:

After the yard starts to warm up (we had snow AND a deep freeze in April!) and the grass starts to green up, apply Scott’s Turf Builder Thick’r Lawn Tall fescue & Triple Action fertilizer w/ weed control.  The Thick’r lawn mix is a great overseeding mix to clean up a patchy lawn, which I have while the Triple Action is a great starter fertilizer that also helps with crabgrass and weeds.

Before you spread the seed, make sure you break up any compacted soil in the particularly bad areas of your lawn, or if you really want good results, you can power rake the whole yard to dethatch AND you can spread some topsoil in these areas.  I also like to look at the forecast and find a week where there is going to be some moderate rain for a few days to help with watering the seed down (not heavy rain, as this, will often wash out your seed.)

To broadcast these I set my spreader to the appropriate number to ensure I go the appropriate amount of distribution across the yard without burning the yard with the fertilizer and weed preventative.  I am using Scott’s Elite spreader since I have 22 thousand square feet of the yard to cover but follow the directions on the bag to figure out the appropriate setting for you.  It is critically important through either the rain or the hose to keep your soil moist (watered) for 3 weeks to allow the seed to germinate and sprout. 

Lawn conditions after step 1…not bad

Step 2:

After 8 weeks of letting the yard get established and letting the season do its thing, in my case mid-May it is time to add a second round of Triple Action Built for Seeding fertilizer, but this time focusing on amping up that newly started seed.  This is really important for giving your new grass the boost that it needs to get strong enough to survive the summer without as much water.  I am going to spread the second round of fertilizer the same way that I spread the Triple action before, but now I don’t need to break up the compacted soil for the seed.  I do mow the grass about an inch lower than normal (I typically mow at 4 inches) to allow the product to penetrate that thick thatch of a spring yard.  It is still a good idea to keep your yard moist during this time to ensure the granules of fertilizer can spread evenly across the yard.  At this point, I also went around the yard with a sprayer and directly attacked some of the particularly resilient weeds with Ortho Weed B-Gon, which is only available at The Home Depot.

For my yard, and likely your yard too, this is a good time to treat bugs too.  This year, I used Ortho Bug B-gon granules (also only available at The Home Depot) to prevent any unwanted invasions, no armyworms for me this year.  Treating for bugs not only prevents things like the armyworm invasion of 2021 at my house, but also prevents moles by eliminating their food source, and those same grubs that will eat the root structures of your new grass.

Step 3:

Other than keeping the yard reasonably watered throughout the warm and dry season, it is also critical to do what you can to spot treat against tougher and spreading lawn weeds to allow your grass of choice to run the roost.  For this, I am going to be using Ortho Weed B-gon w/ crabgrass control (you guessed it, only at The Home Depot.)  There is nothing more embarrassing than having a fully lush green yard of CRABGRASS…

If you have any lingering resilient weeds this spot treatment is what not only gives you the perfect yard you always wanted, but also allows the grass to outcompete the invasive species (otherwise known as weeds) and gives you a stronger more resilient yard for years to come, and also…less work to keep up with it. 

Step 4:

Preventative maintenance and seasonal preparedness can make your yard continue to come back stronger and stronger year after year.  Around October, as the weather starts to cool, it is critical to provide the food your lawn will need throughout the winter with Scotts Winterguard weed and feed.  Your grass doesn’t die over the winter but is dormant and this treatment can help to keep the grass healthy through the bitter cold of winter. 

I am going to have update videos and social media posts as I progress through this plan, I will try to keep this post updated but I will also be posting updates on my YouTube channel and on Instagram, so please follow me there if you want to see how it all comes together.

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