Memorial Day lawn care

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.      

Although the official start of summer is a month away, if the weather forecast for next week comes true, it’s sure going to feel like summer. The Memorial Day weekend (May 29-31) is usually a good calendar reminder to consider a fertilizer application for the lawn. If you fertilized earlier this spring, there’s a good chance the turf has burned through that fertilizer already, and as June approaches sustaining the growth and quality of your lawn will likely rely on another fertilizer application. For this application, look for slow release fertilizer products such as coated ureas, methylene ureas or natural organics. Avoid single, heavy dose applications of water-soluble fertilizers such as urea, they’ll give you that quick response, but may result in reduced drought hardiness and increased susceptibility to diseases.

If you have an in-ground irrigation system, now would be a great time to check out all the heads to make sure everything is functioning. You may think this was an early spring activity, which it should have been, but depending on the rainfall pattern in your area many of these systems may not have had a lot of use yet this spring.

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