Lawn Care

In our part of Alabama the growing season can be 240 days long. Most of the lawns in Rockford are improved Bermuda grass, which can take advantage of this long growing season. Though it is a hybrid whose seed is not viable, improved Bermuda grass spreads rapidly along runners. It is a fast-growing, warm-weather, very shade-intolerant, hard-wearing, fine-textured, invasive grass. In our area, it needs about 2 inches of water per week during the growing season. If rain is insufficient, two waterings of 1 inch in a week works, the earlier in the AM, the better (just before sunrise, if you can get up that early). Rainfalls or waterings of under on-half inch do not get down to the roots sufficiently.

Improved Bermuda grass should be mowed to a height of one-half to 1 inch, and it has to be mowed frequently because of its fast growth. It has a medium to high need for fertilizer, iron helps it green up, slow release fertilizer keeps feeding it all month, and it grows best with pH is 6.0 - 6.5. Adding gypsum helps loosen our clay soils. (Always follow package directions carefully for amount of application, watering, etc. in connection with fertilizer or herbicide; over-application is dangerous.)

The following is a care schedule, which several of your neighbors have found useful. Timing is important.

Aug 15"Weed and feed" fertilizer for fall bluegrass and crabgrass control.
Sep 15Fertilizer plus iron.
Oct 15Winterizer
Nov 15Pre-emergent for crabgrass/bluegrass control; also, 20 pounds of lime per 1000 square feet.
Feb 1Scalp lawn before February 15 pre-emergent.
Feb 15Fertilizer with pre-emergent to control early spring weeds.
Mar 15Slow release fertilizer plus iron.
Apr 15Slow release fertilizer plus iron.
May 1Aerate and add gypsum (at least add gypsum).
May 15Fertilizer and pre-emergent for crabgrass/bluegrass control.
Jun 15Slow release fertilizer plus iron.
Jul 15Slow release fertilizer plus iron.

Please have your clippings bagged after mowing.