You can thank me for the recent rains we've had in Tulsa. Sure enough, every time we send aout a mass letter to all of our lawncare customers in Tulsa about a drought and the need to irrigate their lawns, it rains a bunch by the time they actually recieve the letter. After a long, dry, and very cold winter, the March rains have been nice, with more in the forecast for next week. So with that, and some warmer weather, fescue lawns are perking up, trees are beginning to bud, and it's finally starting to feel like spring.
I've also seen some signs of green bermudagrass in warmer sections of the turf. That's a good sign, because part of the letter we sent to our customers was about the good possibility of some winterkill of bermudagrass this season. The verdict is still out, and we really will not know for sure until about May 1st. If all things work out well with mother nature (does that ever happen?) then Tulsa area bermudagrass lawns should be nice and green by then. So we shall see.
In the meatime, we've been encouraging our customers to keep soil moisture levels good, and the recent rains have sure helped with that. But it was very dry, cold, and often windy this past winter. So we will have some dead plants, particularly evegreen plants, newly established plants, and some that are on the northern fringe of their growing zone.
One good thing about the cool spring is that soil temperatures in Tulsa are below normal for this time of year. Therefore, there is still time to apply and have success with pre-emergent herbicide treatments
. We use Barricade, the best on the market, and will switch to Dimension in mid-April, as it will control newly germinatated crabgrass also. With all pre-emergents, rainfall is good, as they need to be watered into the soil to activate the product.
And while the warmer spring weather and rains after a long, cold winter may make a homeowner want to get out and work in the lawn, resist the urge to scalp your lawn for a few weeks. We can still have a late freeze, and that will harm grass that has been scalped too short. Leave it tall, or jsut take off the top of the turf to clean it up, but don't take it to the ground. Same thing goes with planting summer annual flowers. Don't let the pretty colors fool you as they sit in the garden centers. Be patient, and wait until it warms up some more before you put those into the ground.