delware environmental institute

Lawn care: Livable Lawn program helps Delaware homeowners go green

Lawn care: Livable Lawn program helps Delaware homeowners go green

A lot of homeowners are clueless about the best ways to take care of turf. That’s why UD Cooperative Extension has joined forces with the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, the state Department of Resources and Environmental and Control (DNREC) and other partners to establish the Delaware Livable Lawns program.

"Most homeowners think they need to apply fertilizer in the spring. However, the best time to fertilize lawns is late summer and fall when grass plants put energy into root growth,” says Valann Budischak,a horticultural associate with University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, who also serves as executive director of the DNLA. “Early spring applications of nitrogen cause a surge of top growth in the plants. This makes the lawn look nice initially but it actually depletes the plants’ energy reserves, which causes the grass to weaken and be less apt to survive periods of stress in the summer,” she says. ”Lush green lawns from late spring or early summer fertilization are more susceptible to disease problems as we enter the hot summer months.”