Floyd Braun is a Landscape Professional residing in Eagle Butte S.D. since 2010.
Floyd has a Technical Certification in Landscaping from Clover Park Vocational College and is a graduate of the Washington State Master Gardener Program.
Greetings everyone, I am so happy that spring in South Dakota has arrived; after the longest winter in my memory.
Whether you are a garden enthusiast or a lover of a thick green lawn, I am hoping that you find some basic weekly tips helpful.
Let’s start with the hard stuff first so we can have some fun all summer long.
There is a long-standing idea that a beautiful lawn is an expensive lawn requiring the use of lots of chemicals that can harm our kids, pets and ourselves. Fortunately, even in our relatively short growing season here in South Dakota, this is not true as long as your idea of a nice lawn is also an environmentally friendly lawn.
Spring tips for your lawn.
1. Cut it down now to your desired height. The best height to help keep your lawn green, healthy, and a desirable area to spend your time is 2.5 inches to 3 inches. Adjust your lawn mower to this height. If you cut your lawn shorter, it will become stressed. It will require too much water and will require chemicals to keep the weeds out.
2. Cut your lawn every 7 to 10 days. If you let it grow higher, it will begin to go to seed. Once your lawn goes to seed, it will transfer more energy into going dormant that continuing to grow. A healthy lawn requires cutting all season, but if cut in the 7 to 10 day-period, it does not need to be an all-day chore.
3. If your lawn is thin and has a lot of weeds, do not worry — all is not lost. After your first cut, if you do these things, your lawn will be 75% nicer in just one year. Using a small garden trawl, pull out the largest of the weeds and replace them with grass seed and a mixture of garden soil. I prefer to just have a five-gallon bucket mixed with three gallons soil to one-gallon seed. Spread it with your hands about a quarter inch thick in the bare spot where the weeds were. You can also patch bare spots this way.
4. Fertilize your lawn. Like people, plants need to eat the right things at the right time. May and June are great for spring and summer feeding. In May, look for a 15-10-10 fertilizer, but without weed killer. 15 is nitrogen the good your lawn needs for healthy green leaves. The 10-10 numbers are phosphorous and potassium. These help with deep roots growth and disease resistance. Right now, in May, water once per week, but water deep. This means let the water reach at least 6 inches deep or an equivalent to one inche of water — to gauge this, use a cleaned runs can. Once the sprinkler fills it one inch, you’re done watering for the week. This can be one to four hours as a general rule, but every yard is different.
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips help. In next week’s paper I will go more into lawns and begin talking about your pots, flower beds and vegetable gardens. Soon to come will also be good on trees and shrubs.
N.C. Felt of An
N.D. Felt of An
The Pennington Seed Company