EXTENSION CONNECTION: Spring lawn problems require patience

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 06:52 PM.

Patience, warmer soil temperature and correct lawn maintenance will improve spring lawn problems common in North Florida.

Some dead spots in spring lawns arise from something that happened the previous growing season or winter. For example, late application of high-nitrogen fertilizer can decrease chances of winter survival.

Avoid fertilizing after September. If you insist on fertilizing a warm-season grass after September, use low-nitrogen fertilizer.

A late infestation of insects or disease during fall often goes unseen as the grass begins to go dormant.

Poor maintenance the previous growing season may contribute to declining, thinning areas in the lawn during spring. Over-watering, shallow watering — watering frequently for short periods — mowing too low, over-fertilizing and herbicide injury the year before can result in poor lawn performance the following spring.

Regardless of the cause, lawns’ problem areas are slow to recover in spring because of frequent cool night temperatures that keep the soil temperature or root zone cool.

Have patience with your lawn and follow effective maintenance practices this spring.

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