With the holidays right around the corner I’m sure everyone wants to spruce up their lawns to show off to family and friends, so I’m going to give you a few tips to help make that happen.

We have been pretty fortunate to not receive any frost yet which has allowed the ryegrass to really take hold and start to flourish.  If you’ve been following the overseed plan you should be seeing a good amount of growth and the color of the turf should be bright green.  If you’ve missed a couple fertilizer applications, now is going to be your chance to really catch up and get that color back before the holidays.

In the past I’ve discussed how difficult it is to get a good reaction out of a granular fertilizer during the colder winter month, but thanks to Mother Nature we still have time to make another application before a hard freeze happens.  In a normal year I would suggest just using a foliar fertilizer such as 7-7-7 at this time of the year, but since we’ve been granted a couple more weeks of fall let’s take full advantage and put down the Soil Burst 5-15-10.  This product is going to keep the heat in your plant for about 6-8 weeks and will allow you to have a dark green lawn.  This should be applied at a rate of 9 lbs/1000 SF.  This easy to use product comes in a 9 pound shake container so no measuring is necessary, just sprinkle and water the fertilizer in.  If you have some liquid fertilizer or will be purchasing some for the colder months they are great to apply.  Any of the three foliar Soil Burst products will keep you keep great color, but if you’re looking for more root growth use the 4-0-6.  The Soil Burst 16-0-4 will help promote shoot growth and color while the 7-7-7 is the perfect balanced fertilizer to help with roots and shoots all while providing essential micronutrients.

Watering during the winter months varies depending on the temperature, but with highs in the 80’s there is no reason to water more than two days per week for ryegrass.  Ryegrass holds a lot of water in its leaf tissue so combine that with cool temperatures and there is no need to water more than 15-20 minutes twice a week.  If you start to see some sodium buildup on the soil surface then I would flush your lawn by watering for 30-40 minutes once a month to leach the water through the profile.  If you can get away with watering one day per week it is a great way to establish your ryegrass and it also helps you get a clean mow on the lawn.

There are no major cultural practices that need to be done during the month of December, but it is never a bad month to aerify.  Ideally you would aerify one to two times per year and since we’re still getting good growth it will recover very quickly.  Standing water during a twenty minute water cycle is a good indicator that you need to aerify the soil and open up the soil profile.

For those of you that have a non overseeded lawn for the winter just sit back and relax.  Watering the lawn once per month to maintain soil moisture is plenty so save some money on your water bill.

Have a great holiday season!