Lawn Care in Billings
Spring and summer lawn care in Billings
Memorial Day weekend typically kicks off the spring gardening season here in Billings and if you don’t do the road-trip thing, how about tending to your lawn. Late May is the ideal time for pruning evergreens and spring-flowering hedges, planting geraniums and fertilizing. It’s also the best time to start your lawn care program.
Late May or early June is the ideal time to apply your lawn’s first dose of fertilizer for the growing season. Then, you’ll want to do it again around Labor Day and again around October 10. The experts at Montana State University Extension suggest that you “apply two to four pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year.” Then, they go on to caution that you never want to apply more than 1.5 pounds of available nitrogen at one time.
Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?
Check this out: Suppose we want to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. We are using 26-5-10 fertilizer. To determine how much of this particular fertilizer to apply, divide 1.0 (the number of pounds of actual nitrogen desired) by the percentage of nitrogen in the bag, which in this case is 26 percent. The result is 3.8, which is how many pounds of fertilizer from this bag (per 1,000 square feet) to apply every time you fertilize the lawn. Easy peasy.
From now until the end of the season you should mow the lawn twice a week. “Sure,” you say, “I’ll get right on that.” The operative word in that instruction is “should.” Most of us don’t have the time to mow twice a week, so mow once a week. At least. Take the bag off the bag of the lawn mower and allow the clippings to remain on the lawn. They will add additional nitrogen to the soil as they decompose.
Help it breathe
You probably should’ve done this a few weeks ago, but if the lawn is still not actively growing, go ahead and do it now. I swear the reason golf course turf is go amazingly green is because of the spikes in golfer’s shoes that provide aeration. I may be wrong. . .
Thatch is a huge problem in lawns because it blocks water, air, sunlight and nutrients to its roots. I don’t have time to explain what thatch is in this blog post but these guys, at PennState do an awesome job. Rent a core aerator in Billings at A-1 Rentals (2001 Grand Ave.) or Home Depot (2784 King Ave West). You can also rent de-thatchers at Home Depot.