Spring is a time of new beginnings and a reminder to look on the positive, thankful side of life whenever possible. Most California lawns look great this spring with all the rain we got over the winter. Here are some tips to take care of your lawn this season:


Spring is a good time to do a thorough inspection of your irrigation system before the heat of summer stresses your lawn and garden. Look for broken heads, plugged drip emitters, partially blocked spray nozzles, overspray on sidewalks, and run-off from slopes. Addressing each of these problems is not always simple, but worth the effort. When we don’t properly maintain our irrigation system (or pay a professional to do so), then we live up to the maxim “Plants don’t waste water, people do!”


For all types of turf, apply an all-purpose fertilizer such as 21-7-14 in early spring. Repeat as needed every 6-10 weeks to attain the color you desire. There is one exception to this advice . . . do not apply high nitrogen fertilizer (such as 21-7-14) to Fescue turf in the heat of summer as it will increase your chances for disease.


Mow Fescue regularly depending on plant growth to remove less than 1/3 of the leaf blade. This avoids shocking the plant and piles of clippings on your lawn. Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses will be waking up from their winter slumber and gradually need more frequent mowing.

Broadleaf weeds

For dandelions, clover and other broadleaf weeds, apply a post-emergent (the weed has sprouted) broadleaf weed control.   This can be in granular form mixed with fertilizer (such as Scott’s Turf Builder plus Weed Control) or another option is to spot spray a liquid broadleaf weed control. As always, apply according to the label and avoid irrigation for 24 hours after application for maximum effectiveness.


Late Winter/Early Spring is a good time to apply a pre-emergent (prevents sprouting) crabgrass prevention. I have only had moderate success with pre-emergent crabgrass controls and usually end up pulling crabgrass by hand in the summer or applying a post-emergent crabgrass treatment.


Generally not a problem in the spring time.


Generally not a problem in the spring time.


Have a great spring in your yard and remember to think on the positive, thankful side!

Joel Addink
aka the Sod Father