Our long snowy winter is finally over. As the weather is starting to turn warmer, many homeowners are trying to get a jump-start on having the best lawn in the neighborhood. Using our easy IFA 4Plus Lawn Care Program will help you get that deep green envy.
The IFA 4Plus Lawn Care Program
For a long time, the IFA 4-Step Program was the very best for lawns all across the Intermountain West. Now, it’s one step better. By combining our premium, locally-produced, seasonally optimized fertilizers and weed stoppers with soil amendments, wetting agents and insect preventing products, we have crafted the ultimate lawn care program.
Step 1 – Early Spring Applications
In most areas of Utah and throughout the Intermountain West, March to mid-April is the ideal time to begin the steps to a beautiful lawn (or late January to mid-February in St. George and Southern Utah).
An application of our early spring fertilizer IFA Step 1 Crabgrass Preventer + Lawn Food is step one to obtaining a beautiful weed-free lawn. The pre-emergent fertilizer provides a weed barrier, killing weeds as they germinate from the seeds that have lain dormant in your lawn all winter. If they are eliminated now, they won’t become a problem later this spring and summer.
As an added bonus, apply IFA Bountiful Earth Humate, an organic product mined in the mountains of Utah. It helps contribute to a darker green lawn since it has an increase of iron and other trace minerals. An application of Humate aides in holding nitrogen in the root zone longer. It also allows you to use less water by increasing the lawn’s water holding capacity — something everyone in Utah can benefit from.
Step 2 – Spring Applications
Around Mother’s Day in early May is the ideal time to apply step two in our lawn care program (approximately 4-6 weeks following your first application of IFA Step 1 Crabgrass Preventer + Lawn Food).
Your lawn is ready for its next feeding, and IFA Step 2 Weed & Feed is locally formulated to give your lawn exactly what it needs at the right time. The herbicide in IFA Step 2 Weed & Feed will kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds appearing in your lawn while giving it a much-needed application of iron. One difference in this step is you water first, and while the foliage is still wet, apply the weed & feed. Then wait 24 to 48 hours to water the fertilizer into the soil.
Now is also the time to get a head start on insect control. In the Intermountain West, grub worms normally hatch in June or July (earlier in the warmer regions) and start wreaking havoc shortly after. Don’t wait until those dreaded brown spots start appearing, but instead apply a protective layer of Bonide Insect & Grub Control to your lawn around the same time as the weed & feed. This kills both above and below ground pests within 24 hours and lasts for three months to prevent lawn damage from grub worms before it starts.
Step 3 – Spring & Summer Applications
Around the middle of June to the end of July is the best time to apply the third step in our lawn care program. This is one of the most important applications for your lawn. Applying IFA Step 3 Spring & Summer Lawn Food slow-release fertilizer with our proprietary Omnicote during the hot weather will help your lawn maintain a darker green color even under the stress of the summer months.
Because your lawn is working hard in the heat, it needs a slow, long-feeding fertilizer that is formulated locally for our unique soils and conditions.
We recommend using this fertilizer as step 3 in your IFA 4Plus lawn care program alongside a soil treatment like Revive or Aqua-Drive. These treatments improve the quality of your soil, allowing water and grass roots to penetrate deeper into the earth. This results in greener, healthier grass which not only survives, but thrives during our hot, dry months.
Step 4 – Fall & Winter Applications
Labor Day until late October is the time to apply the final applications of our four step lawn care program. IFA Step 4 Fall & Winter Lawn Food is the final step of the growing season. This is the most important lawn feeding of the year. Fertilizing in the fall produces extra greening and little top growth. Most of the lawn’s energy, supplied by the fertilizer, is stored in the roots to be utilized over the winter and provide next year’s early spring green-up power. Your lawn’s root system will remain active until the ground freezes, giving it time to recover from the summer heat in the now cooler soil.
This is also a good time to apply the second application of IFA Bountiful Earth Humate. Humate will help fortify the lawn for the winter months and aid in vigorous growth next spring. Applying in both the spring and fall will continuously improve soil quality for lush, healthy lawns every year.
Other Lawn Care Tips
Annual core aeration is a great practice to improve the performance of your lawn. Aeration will enhance fertilizer and water uptake, grow stronger roots and improve air exchange between the soil and atmosphere to reduce soil compaction.
Aerating should be done before your first fertilizer application in the spring, or to avoid the plugs on your lawn, aerate in the late fall.
Water When Needed
Water when water is needed. Water is usually applied too often and left on too long. Turf studies show that most lawns only need to be watered once every three or four days to stay healthy and green. A good practice is to water infrequently and deeply.
Often lawns don’t need any watering until mid to late April, depending on the spring rain and late snowstorms. It's important not to water by the calendar. Watering should be done by the needs of the lawn. Following these simple rules can save millions of gallons of water.
Mowing has a major impact on lawn appearance and health, and yet it is often overlooked in terms of importance. Homeowners need to follow a few simple guidelines to assure lawns are being mowed properly.
Don’t mow too short. For most lawns, a mowing height between two-and-a-half to three inches is suggested; the upper range is best for summer. Lawns mowed at higher levels tend to have deeper roots, fewer weed problems, and look much better, while saving water.
A height of two inches is fine when the grass is rapidly growing, but the height should be raised as growth decreases, stress increases, and when the lawn is in shade. A sharp blade will provide a clean-cut and not tear the grass as dull blades do, which often leaves unsightly dead tips on your grass.
Remember not to cut off more than one-third of the grass blade at once for best turf health, which might mean mowing twice per week when the grass is actively growing.
Revive During Summer
Sometimes in the hot summer months, dry areas may appear. This can be due to inefficient sprinkler systems, hard compacted soils, pet urine or just neglect. Damage during the hotter time of year can be difficult to turn around.
An application of Revive to those dry areas in summer will work wonders. Revive contains a special combination of surfactants that help re-wet hard-packed and dry areas. Revive’s organic nutrients will re-invigorate those dry lawn areas and make them lush and green again.
You can have your dream-come-true lawn with these easy steps and help from your local experts at any IFA Country Store. Stop by and talk with us about our 4 step lawn care program. It provides not only the lushest, deepest green, weed-free turf, but improved, insect-free soil that grows deeper, stronger roots. Overall, it grows a healthier lawn that requires less water and holds up better through heat and drought with consistent seasonal applications. With 23 locations ready to serve you, a beautiful lawn is just an application away.
Let Us Help
The health and beauty of your lawn is just as important to us as it is to you. Just grab any IFA team member the next time you’re walking down the fertilizer aisle at your local IFA Country Store and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.