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Gardening in Sophisticated Woman Magazine

Keeping Weeds Out of Your Lawn

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Let’s talk about weeds. The best weed control is utilizing best practices for growing lush lawns: fertilizing, mowing, and watering.

Fertilizing

The first application of fertilizer is usually mid-April to mid-May. Tax day is a good benchmark. Look for 3-1-2 ratios of N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium). Those are the small numbers usually under the product name. Slow release fertilizer absorbs slowly and is less likely to run-off in storm drains and waterways. Conduct a soil test to know the exact needs of your soil. Contact your local LSU AgCenter agricultural parish agent or visit their website to learn how at LSUAgCenter.com.

Mowing

The most essential lawn care practice is mowing. Frequent mowing at consistent intervals ensures grass height is not too tall but no more than the top third should be removed at any one time. Sharpen blades twice or more during our long growing season — April through September. This practice benefits the equipment and grass. Sharp blades make less work on mowing components. Dull blades tear grass leaving jagged, unsightly brown edges. Your hairdresser would never use dull blades on your hair; the same goes for your grass.

Watering

Wait seven to ten days after the last thorough rain before considering irrigation. Then examine the grass and soil. If there is any moisture in the soil and grass is not excessively crunchy, it is best to wait a bit longer to water. Calibrate the sprinkler system to apply one half to one inch of water. 

A healthy turf with fewer weeds needs less herbicides and pesticides that could severely damage the lawn when applied incorrectly and potentially harm beneficial pollinators and insects, which could also affect bird populations. Happy growing!

2021 Northshore Garden and Plant Sale, May 28 & 29, 9am – 4pm, at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds located at 1301 N. Florida St., Covington, LA 70433. Adults $8/under 18 are Free. All Police, Fire & EMT are Free.

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