Springtime Care for Your Lawn

Apr 7, 2017

As April showers kickoff spring weather across the state, flowers are beginning to bloom and grasses are starting to grow. Iowa State University Extension turfgrass specialist, Adam Thoms, shares some advice for how to establish and maintain healthy lawns.

Thoms advises that the next week is a good time to begin the pre-emergence weed control process.


“A lot of the problematic weeds that show up germinate in the spring, they live through the summer and die out in the fall with the frost. A good example of that is crabgrass. We always say to put out crabgrass preventer when soil temperatures are 55 degrees and above for three days.”


He warns against scalping the grass, or cutting it low to the ground. He says this depletes the grass of its carbohydrate reserves and effectively starves the grass of its needed nutrients.


“[Cool-season grasses] have a huge burst of growth in the spring months so we suggest keeping the grass around three and a half inches of height of cut and never removing more than one-third of the leaf tissue in one mowing.”


On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Thoms and ISU extension horticulturist, Richard Jauron. They discuss the ins and outs of healthy lawn care as well as answer questions from listeners.