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Core Aeration View
Disease Control View
Fertilization View
General Topics View
Grass Establishment (Seeding and Sodding) View
Insect Control View
Lawn Repair or Renovation View
Mowing View
Thatch Control View
Turfgrasses for Iowa View
Watering View
Weed Control View

FAQs

How do I control dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in my lawn?

In small areas, some weeds can be controlled by pulling and digging.  This method is best accomplished after a soaking rain or deep watering.  Unfortunately, pulling and digging is often ineffective on deep-rooted weeds.  In many situations, herbicides are the only practical method of weed control.  Effective broadleaf herbicides ....

How do I control creeping Charlie in my lawn?

Ground ivy (“creeping Charlie”) in lawns can be controlled with broadleaf herbicides.  Products that contain 2,4-D or triclopyr are most effective.  2,4-D is an active ingredient in many broadleaf herbicide products.  Triclopyr can be found in Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed, Clover, and Oxalis Killer for Lawns and a few other products.  ....

Do I need to remove the leaves on my lawn?

Turfgrass plants utilize light, water, and nutrients to manufacture food.  In fall, lawn areas beneath large trees are often completely covered with leaves.  The leaf debris prevents the turfgrass plants from manufacturing and storing food prior to winter.  A thick layer of leaves (little or no grass is visible) will ....

How can I control violets in my lawn?

Violets (Viola species) are native to Iowa.  Native habitats vary from dry, rocky prairies to moist woodlands.  Violets are also found in lawns, especially in shady areas.  Violets are difficult to control in turfgrass areas.  Digging up the plants is an option for home gardeners with a small infestation of violets.  ....

How do I control white clover in my lawn?

White clover (Trifolium repens) is a creeping perennial.  It is a common plant in many Iowa lawns because it is a prolific seed producer and adapts well to mowing and other lawn care practices.  Its presence is often a sign of low nitrogen fertility.  White clover in lawns can ....

Which turfgrass species grow best in shady areas?

A key to successfully growing grass in shady areas is to select the proper turfgrass species for the site.  Kentucky bluegrass is the most widely grown turfgrass in Iowa.  However, most Kentucky bluegrass varieties do not perform well in shady areas.  The fine-leaf fescues (creeping red fescue, hard fescue, chewings ....

There are areas in my lawn where the grass is rather sparse. How do I fix these areas?

The thin areas can be repaired by overseeding.  Overseeding is the sowing of grass seed into an existing lawn.  In Iowa, late summer (mid-August to mid-September) is the best time to overseed a lawn.  Good site preparation is necessary for successful overseeding.  Small areas can be prepared by gently raking the ....

What is thatch?

Thatch is the layer of dead and living plant material that forms between the soil surface and green vegetation.  It is composed of shoots, crowns, and roots.  Thatch, to some degree, is present in all lawns.  However, when thatch is present in amounts greater than ½ inch, it is usually ....

How do you remove thatch?

The most effective way to remove a thatch layer of ½ inch or greater is with a vertical mower or power rake.  Late summer (September) is the best time to dethatch lawns in Iowa.  Late summer dethatching gives the turfgrass several weeks of good growing weather in which to recover.  ....

How often should I fertilize my lawn?

In Iowa, Kentucky bluegrass lawns can be fertilized in spring (April or May), mid-September, and late October/early November.  The number of fertilizer applications is largely determined by an individual’s desires or expectations for their lawn.  Three applications of fertilizer (the first in spring, the second in mid-September, and third in late ....

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