A Couple Questions Answered

Can I turn on my sprinklers yet?

-No, and yes. If you hire someone to do it, and don’t feel comfortable messing with them after they are started up, then no. We had a few clients want theirs on early last season, rightfully so considering we were incredibly dry. Unfortunately, we had a late April freeze and they had some breaks. Luckily, it was only the bonnet/poppet assembly inside of the backflow. The parts are pricey for what they are, about $50, but that’s minor. IF, the backflow housing broke, the metal and copper parts, you are looking into the hundreds in parts, and possibly a plumber.
-And yes. Are you astute with your irrigation system? Then start it up. We are dry, period. Not our snowpack, but down here in the metro area lawns could use some water. That being said, only set the system to water TWICE a week at most, probably all the way through May. That’s what I recommend so the lawn doesn’t grow out of control. HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART! IF we get a freeze, be prepared. This is where you need to go in your basement and shut off the system. Then go back out to your backflow, find the little parts where you can fit in a flathead screwdriver, and open the two smaller valves so it can breath. Not the two large handle or gate valves, these ones are little. If you see a little squirt or drop of water you probably did it right. Then, go back into the basement where you shut it off and drain it back by opening the little petcock. Water should flow back. This will pull water out of your backflow so the plastic parts inside don’t freeze. The rest of your system, the majority of it such as valves, manifold, lines and heads, are all underground and won’t freeze quick enough this time of year.

Is it too late to aerate?
-No. Typically you can aerate into May, but we don’t like to aerate far into May. It’s all dependent on soil temperatures and air temperatures and the rate at which the turf can dry out. It’s okay in May because the sprinkler system is hopefully started up and can automatically water the lawn. However, I recommend aerating in April.

Should I fertilize now?
-Yes. You can fertilize year round. In fact, winter fertilizing even helps. It will help your lawn start the season strong. I talked with my mom’s neighbor the other day and he said, “What the hell did you do to her lawn?!” It was a dark, healthy green. I just said good fertilizer, and one in the winter. I joked about the Denver water commercials chastising people for green lawns for “over-watering” but with hers it’s simply a case of good fertilization. Fertilize now and reap the benefits!

Should I start mowing?
-Ok, I have only heard this once because the answer is what you think it is. If your lawn is ready and growing do it. Period.

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