As spring approaches everything changes with our warm season lawns. A warm season lawn in great shape will slowly turn into a lovely green for the lucky homeowner. Many lawns will not look so lovely but might look like a jungle of various weeds and other unwelcome invaders. Weeds might invade small areas of the lawn initially, then spread to other parts of the entire lawn area. Catching up to a weed problem is not as simple as applying a weed and feed product from a garden center.

Our Clemson University HGIC site (Home and Garden Information Center) is filled with bulletins that can provide some direction on how to get weeds under control and restore your yard to a good turf. Bulletin HGIC 2310, Managing Weeds in Warm Season Lawns is a great homeowner information source. Good lawns require more than just mowing once per week during the warm months. Insect and disease can be troublesome if left unnoticed and untreated.

Some common problems that can negatively impact your lawns include insects, diseases, weed problems, shade issues and nutritional problems. Let’s take these items one at a time, starting with the last one, nutritional problems. The first step in providing correct nutrition to your lawn is looking at what nutrients are available in the soil with a soil test. You can stop by our office and pick up a soil sample bag, then follow the directions on the bag, or place the sample(s) in a zip-lock bag. You can also use a small plastic zip-lock bag to take different samples. Basically, take soil plugs 2-4 inches deep at 8-10 spots over the sample area in grass. If there are large differences across the lawn areas you should take several separate samples. You will need to know what turf you have to put on the form when you send it to the Clemson soil lab for analysis. If you don’t know you can bring in a small plug from the turf for ID. You can also pick up the weed bulletin mentioned above.

You can monitor for spring diseases that sometime affect our warm season turf. Typically, these are large areas within green grass that are slow to or not greening up. We have bulletins with fungicide treatments and management changes to help control these problems on the HGIC site.

Turf management

We have an upcoming program scheduled on home turf care listed below. Many people are now calling about turf problems and weed problems starting to show up. A good lawn is possible in our area, but regular management will improve your chances. Space is still available for the class so if your turf could use improvement, join us for the class. Call the number below to reserve a space.

The cost is $10 per person and includes bulletins and informational handouts. Pre-registering for all programs prior to class date is required to prepare handouts. Pay at the door. All programs held at the Extension Office at 105 N. Cambridge Ave.

Program date: Home Turf Management from 2-5 p.m. March 12.

Call our office to pre-register or with any questions at 864-223-3264.

James Hodges is a Clemson Extension agent in Greenwood County. He can be reached at 864-223-3264.