May Lawn Care

Plant warm-season lawns and tall fescue this month. Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass and Kentucky Blue Grass get off to a fast start when planted in May. (Hold off until June to plant zoysia). Salt-tolerant Adalayd grass can also be planted this month. It’s too late to plant most cool-season grasses from seed, but tall fescues can be planted from sod. (Note that tall fescues use much more water than Bermuda or zoysia.)

Lawns can be planted in several ways: sown from seeds, plugged in from flats, or rolled out from sod like an instant carpet. Bermuda, zoysia, and Adalayd can also be planted from stolons. Whichever method you use, be sure to prepare the ground properly. Before beginning, decide whether to plant a warm- or cool-season lawn and choose a variety appropriate for your lawn needs.

Fertilize lawns. Continue to feed warm-season grasses this month, and in coastal zones apply fertilizer to cool-season lawns once more this month at the same rate as you have used during the winter. But in interior zones stop feeding cool-season lawns now, other than an occasional light application (one-fourth to one-half the normal dosage) applied only when necessary to maintain a healthy green color. Tests done by the University of California Division of Agriculture show that heavy feeding of cool-season grasses such as ryegrass, bluegrass, and fescue during the warm season of the year subjects them to unnecessary stress.

Check dichondra for flea beetles, and control them before they cause damage. These tiny black 1/25 inch long insects skeletonize leaves and cause brown areas that often are confused with dry spots or fertilizer burn. To look for the culprits get down on your hands and knees, put a piece of white paper on the lawn, and tap it. The beetles will jump on top and you’ll be able to see them.To Control,Contact Abby’s for a pesticide suggestion.