March Lawn Care Tips

The snow is melting, the weather is warmer, and your lawn is beginning to green up. Fertilizing your lawn will help speed up this process and give you a head start on a healthy, green lawn throughout the year. You also might want to consider an aeration if you haven't done so within the past couple of years. Either way, if you keep these next few things in mind, you can transform your lawn from good to great!

Watering

Typically there is no need to water during this month. However, occasionally it may be necessary around the end of the month if there has been no precipitation for two weeks and the soil is dry.

How do I know if my soil is dry?

You can test this in two different ways. First, you can probe the soil with a screwdriver or a butter knife. If it is relatively hard to push in and moist soil doesn't stick to the probe, it's too dry. The second method requires you to look at your lawn itself to determine if it is a darker hue. Also examine the individual blades. If they don't spring back quickly when stepped on, this indicates dryness.

If you do water, do so deeply and infrequently only as needed. This will help the roots grow deep and strengthen your lawn.

Mowing

March is a great time to start mowing your lawn again. The first time you do, cut on the second lowest setting. This will trim off the brown winter damage, and allow your lawn to grow anew.

After this, cut on the second highest setting for the remainder of the year. This will allow your grass to absorb more sunlight and help it compete against new weeds, thus maintaining a fresh, green lushness.

Weeds

In March, the weeds in your lawn are mostly perennials such as Dandelions, Thistle or Mallow. The broad-leaf weeds can be sprayed with a selective herbicide. Any grassy weeds would need to be sprayed with a non-selective herbicide such as Roundup and the lawn replanted in that area.

  • Dandelions

  • Morning Glory

Crabgrass can often be mistaken for Orchard grass, however, there is no crabgrass growing during this time of year. It is a summer annual weed most commonly seen during July and August and begins to die as the temperatures fall below freezing. A pre-emergence in April or May will help prevent most of last years seeds from germinating again.

Insects

While we usually don't see any insects damaging lawns during this month, there are however, a few incidents in April of Cranberry Girdler or White Grub.

  • Cranberry Girdler

  • White Grub

How do I know if I have an insect problem?

As your lawn greens up you may notice some areas remaining brown. Pull on these areas with your whole hand. If insects are at fault, it will pull up like rug and you will see little white bugs on the soil.

How do I solve my insect problem?

To control the problem, apply insecticide directly to the affected areas and check back weekly for improvement. Repeat this until all signs of insect activity are gone.

Diseases

As the snow melts, the two most prevalent diseases are Snow Mold and Winter Damage. Both are simple to eliminate and will disappear as the grass grows.

Snow Mold

Snow Mold gives the appearance of a lawn after a ball has been left on it over the winter. Immediately after the snow melts, it will be slimy and either a gray or pinkish hue. With sunshine and fertilizer, the problem will disappear by the end of the month.

Winter Damage

Winter Damage makes your lawn look brown and is a direct result of freezing temperatures. Mowing on the second lowest setting will help to remove the damage. Fertilizer and mowing on the second highest setting will help give you a lush, green lawn for the rest of the year.