Winter is the perfect time to plan for yard projects, specifically lawn maintenance and lawn renovations. Several types of turf grow in piedmont North Carolina including cool season and warm season grasses. Tall fescue tends to be the most popular as well as the most maintenance intensive. Best management practices can help you maintain a healthy lawn. Best management classes include soil testing, watering, mowing and fertilizing. They vary depending on the type of lawn you have. Soil testing can be done at any time of the year, watering varies for the grass type and time of year, mowing varies on the turf type and fertilizing is dependent on your soil sample recommendations.
For lawn renovations you must plan ahead to amend the soil for the desirable lawn you are planting by first soil testing. Cool season grasses require watering during warmer months. Warm season grasses are dormant during the winter and can be drought tolerant during the warm summer months. Mowing is dependent upon the type of lawn and time of year. When planning a renovation you must consider seeding or sodding, plugs are available for some turf types as well. Fertilizing should be done when the grass is actively growing, cool season in the cool months and warm season in the warm months. Watering should be done in periods of little rain.
Seeding is less costly than sodding, both can be labor intensive. Most lawns can be seeded in the warmer months of the year. Warm season grasses such as Bermuda, zoysia, centipede and St. Augustine can be seeded April through May. Tall Fescue and other cool season grasses need to be seeded in the fall, mid-September through the beginning of October. Weed management can be lessened if a healthy lawn is established though best management practices. It is best to properly identify the weeds in question to come up with an integrated pest management plan. Planting the best-adapted grass for our area along with watering, mowing, and fertilizing properly will help create an integrated pest management for your lawn. Keeping the lawn healthy and dense prevents weed germination and creates a good habitat for beneficial organisms that help control pests.
For specific recommendations please refer to the Carolina Lawns Publication https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/carolina-lawns