LawnMasters Lawn and Landscape     Paris, TN
February Lawn Care Tips                        Puryear, TN
It's Still Winter Time

Even though it's still winter time, it is getting closer to the time to get ready
to get busy! In our area of the US, (North West Tennessee) on Ky. Lake, we
usually start getting cabin fever around this time. The first week or two of
Feb will usually bring a few days where the temperatures get up into the 60's.
This brings everyone outside to start taking measure of what will need to be
done to start bringing the Lawn and Landscape back to life.  

One of the most important things is to get all the leaves up. Either rake
them, mow and vacuum them or blow them off. It doesn't matter how you get
rid of them, just get them off the lawn. If leaves stay on the grass for a few
weeks and get thick enough to totally block out the light, they will kill the

We have had several customers over the years that hired us to seed the lawn
in the fall, we get them a great stand of grass, and in Oct. the last  time I see
the property the grass looks great, then in spring they get the leaves up and
there is no grass under them.  

We leave explicit instructions with everyone on how to take care of a new
lawn after we seed, sod or sprig it, some people just don't follow directions
and wind up with a bare lawn. So, this is what can happen if you don't get the
leaves up off the lawn.

It is better to mow and mulch them a little bit at a time through the fall and
winter than to come in all at once and try to mulch them when they are thick.
This leaves too much leaf material on the ground and this material itself can
smother the grass. If you see your is going to have so much leaf material that
it will cover the grass, then you will need to remove the leaves.

So just understand that if you have a deep cover of leaves that you left out
over the winter, you may want to look at our page on reseeding
Reseeding A

If you do have a lot of leaves on the lawn your Ph will be going to the acid
side which means you will need lime. Fall and Spring are the best times to
apply lime but you can put it down anytime of the year.

I like to use the Dolomitic lime, or Pelletized lime, as some call it. It is a
brown colored granule and flows out of a fertilizer spreader easier than the
old fashioned white powdery ag lime. That stuff will stop up a spreader, its
hard to get it out, and it coats every thing with a white powder, including you
when spreading it, so use the granules.  

If you have a pretty thick cover of trees that are putting down a lot of leaves
each year, and you are mulching them, you will need a minimum of one 40#
bag of lime per thousand square feet of lawn area. If you have moss growing
on the surface you will need two bags per K.

Usually the lawn is in such an acidic state if it hasn't had regular lime
applications that it will need lime, but if you want you can have a soil test
done. But let me just say, If you have a bunch of trees.....You need lime! Also
if you happen to be in an area like we are in Northwest Tennessee, that has
an abundance of rocks and clay soil, you will need lime.

Also, mulching the leaves leads to another problem, loss of nitrogen from the
soil. The leaves are a high carbon material which requires a lot of nitrogen to
break them down and decompose, so along with the lime applications a dose
of 15-15-15 will go a long way towards keeping the lawn looking good. 6 # of
this per K sq. ft. is the usual rate if you are putting down 1# of N -P - K per
thousand sq. ft. of lawn area.
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