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Fertilization View
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Grass Establishment (Seeding and Sodding) View
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Lawn Repair or Renovation View
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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 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 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 ....

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.  ....

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 ....

When is the best time to lay sod in Iowa?

Sod can be successfully installed from spring to fall.  However, spring (late April and May) and late summer/early fall (September and October) are the best times to install sod in Iowa.   ....

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 do I get rid of moss in my lawn?

Mosses in lawns are usually a sign of poor growing conditions.  Turfgrasses have a difficult time growing in heavy shade, compacted soils, or other poor sites.  However, mosses are adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions.  Mosses in lawns are usually associated with heavy shade, low fertility, poor drainage, ....

Are broadleaf herbicides effective when applied during dry weather?

Broadleaf herbicides are most effective when applied to weeds that are actively growing.  During prolonged periods of dry weather, some weeds are likely to curl up or wilt.  An application of a broadleaf herbicide to drought stressed weeds will likely be less effective as wilted foliage will absorb less herbicide ....

As the snow melted over the last few weeks, several narrow meandering pathways appeared in my lawn. What produced them? Will the grass recover?

The runways in the lawn were likely caused by the meadow vole.  The meadow vole is a small, brown, mouse-like animal.  Though common in Iowa, the meadow vole is secretive and seldom seen by most individuals.  Voles are herbivores.  They feed on grasses and other herbaceous plants.  They also eat seeds, ....

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