Should I be concerned?

jlaak5April 9, 2008

Let me start by saying that last summer was my first year using organic fertilizers for my lawn. I used mainly SBM with an occasional dose of Milorginite.

The reason for my concern is this. We are in the early spring here in WI and my lawn is BROWN(it appears to be all matted down). Now I understand that the green up process is a gradual one, however; my neighbors lawns on both sides of me have begun to green up and take on a healthy look, the contrast is unbelievable. Should I be concerned that my lawn is not greening up?

I have not applied any fertilizers this spring as of yet(nor have my neighbors thus the reason for my concern)

Am I overreacting?


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I wouldn't be yet, especially since you are in WI and the ground is still making its way up the temperature ladder. The others might have already snuck a fertilizer dose (chemical) in while you weren't looking which jolt the lawn and green things up if the temps got into the upper 50's or more but would probably be detrimental overall. I know because I've seen people doing so already around here. Not real great since the grass here will probably prefer dormancy as the temps are forecast to be freezing in the night and only approaching the lower 40s in the coming days. You can't argue with nature and its schedule of coming back to life and the organic schedule is the way to let that grass do so on its own terms.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 11:49AM
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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

In a week or so I would put down some more Milorganite and perhaps some pre-emergent corn gluten. You should see a big difference in the next few weeks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Don't Panic! Your lawn may look browner, but it's busily going to grow really strong root systems. Your neighbors, seemingly already forced into a flush of top growth, aren't going to manage that level of density in the roots.

Come July yours will have the resources, health, and deep roots to better manage the summer (and thus look great in fall). Theirs won't, not without more struggle.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 3:16PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If there is anything greening up in your neighborhood, then it is not too early to apply organic fertilizer.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 5:03PM
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If everyone, not just your two neighbors, is greening up and you still are not, then I would be concerned. If there is a problem, it would not be attributed to organic fertilizer, but it just might be attributed to applying too much and smothering the lawn just before winter set in. Tell us what is going now just about a week later.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:23PM
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I wouldn't worry just yet. Im well south of you and there are still many many lawns that haven't greened yet at all. Early green up is nice but overrated in terms of being a predictor of lawn performance for the whole season. I'd trade a healthy lawn that needs less watering in July/August over an April green up %100 of the time.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:38AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Early green up is nice but overrated in terms of being a predictor of lawn performance for the whole season.

Good point worth reiterating. My lawn is not always the first to green up.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 7:57PM
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