New England Lawn Care Tips
The New England states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island have specific regional characteristics that influence lawn care principles such as fertilization and disease control. Gardeners in these states can keep their New England turf vigorous and healthy by taking such characteristics into consideration, whether they're planting a new turf or maintaining an established lawn.
Certain grass species grow better in New England than others. Generally, gardeners should select a cool-season grass. Warm-season grasses like zoysiagrass turn brown in New England's climate, according to the University of Vermont. The university recommends any Kentucky bluegrass-red fescue mixture, which are available from most garden stores and nurseries. For sunny New England lawns, select a mix with more bluegrass. For shadier lawns, a mixture with a greater percentage of red fescue is ideal.
Regular fertilization with any standard lawn fertilizer (e.g. 4-1-2 or 5-1-2 fertilizers), available from all garden stores and nurseries, will keep your lawn growing dense and green. A healthy, dense turf is less susceptible to lawn problems like weed invasions or fungal diseases. In New England, fertilize your grass once in May and again in September, according to the University of Connecticut. Due to regional weather, the university says that New England lawns shouldn't be fertilized before April or after October.
New England lawns only need an inch of water per week, according to the University of New Hampshire. Gardeners can determine how much water they're using by placing an empty tuna can or plastic container in the middle of the lawn. As the sprinkler runs, the container will begin to fill up. The water should be turned off when an inch of water is in the bottom of the container or can.
Several diseases afflict New England lawns more than others. Powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis) is one of the most common, and typically appears in the late summer. It will disappear when excess moisture in the lawn dissipates; watering early in the morning so the water burns off in the sun can help prevent the disease. Rust (Puccinia spp.) is also relatively common. Standard fungicides can control it. Patience also works; the disease almost never survives New England's winters, according to the University of Rhode Island.
- "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
- University of New Hampshire: Home Lawns
- University of Connecticut: Lawn Care the Environmentally-Friendly Way
- University of Rhode Island: Lawn Diseases