By: Rick BrassorSpring is just about ready to jump into action in our areas in Northern VT and NH. Some of you have already started in the Southern areas of New England. We have lots to do to prepare for the event; the reveal from Mother Nature. Will you be ready? Do you have a plan going forward? Believe it or not, some of you are just waking up. Allow me to make some suggestions for Spring Start Up Tips.
The cover, the protection of a snow cover can be your friend but it can also be your demise. Be sure to walk your areas of turf, or lawns, to observe what changes may or may not have occurred. Watch out for damage from frost/ice, which may require seeding. The more you observe the turf/lawns the better informed you will be as to what steps need to be taken immediately. Perhaps a good roll is necessary but I rarely ever advise it.
The first thing I suggest to my people is to aerate, being cautious as to the temperatures during your days and nights. One should not expose your roots to cold or the extreme heat (not so bad for the latter if one has irrigation). Aerate as many directions as you can, watch out for your irrigation lines and heads. The turf/lawns have been quietly at rest and a shot of oxygen to their roots will feel like a breath of fresh air.
If you are fortunate to have irrigation be sure to make note of your heads and be sure NOT to aerate so deeply you will puncture the supply lines.
The next step would be to gather soil samples to determine where your soil is weak and strong. This will aid you to determine the need for fertilizer, whether weed control is necessary or not should also be a consideration. Once you know where your pH levels are you can formulate a plan for Nitrogen and Potassium. We all know Phosphorus is highly questionable and most likely you are not able to apply if not growing in new stands of turf/lawns.
Over seeding is key for the Spring. We all know that weeds grow in open areas of turf/lawns so germinating seed can provide a barrier to the encroaching weeds. Keeping in mind that if you are using a pre/post emergent weed control fertilizer you must also manage the time frame for seeding. There are suggestions within the turf experts that Perennial Rye seed can withstand the impact of the pre/post emergent fertilizers but check your labels.
Over seeding at a rate of 5 lbs. to 8 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. of area is not unusual and most likely will provide a good stand of turf within a reasonable amount of time. This is all relevant to the supply of water of course. Be sure to watch the weather for rainfall if one does not have irrigation. Any water is better than none when it comes to germinating seed.
Next step, be sure to appreciate the job your doing. Make it a total commitment and you will enjoy those results. Have a great year and please reach out to Atlantic Golf and Turf with any questions.