analysis will be done at a University of Kentucky soil test laboratory. You will receive research-based recommendations on lime and fertilizer requirements for the land use.
It's a good idea to collect core samples about the same time each year so you can compare results from year to year.
For more information on soil tests and other gardening topics, contact your Jessamine County Cooperative Extension Service.
The lab is busy this time of year, so I expect it will take up to two weeks to get your results, so please plan accordingly.
With spring coming, lawn maintenance time is near
Nothing signals springtime quite like the smell of fresh cut grass wafting through the neighborhood. With spring just around the corner, lawn care should begin creeping into your mind. In just a few short weeks, it will be time to clip the yard for the first time. Your most important annual lawn duties begin with that first mowing.
The first mowing makes the lawn look spring-like and very attractive. Subsequent regular mowing hardens the grass for drought and heat stresses later on. So when the first clump of grass grows above the mowing height, mow - even if a lot of the yard doesn't need to be mowed yet.
Not all grasses start growing at the same time. Grass on northern slopes, or in heavy clay soil, will start growing several days later than others. Grass that wasn't fertilized in the fall or early spring also has a delayed growth.
Following recommendations for mowing height and frequency will make your lawn care duties easier and result in a more attractive yard.
If your mower has a fixed, all-year height, set it at two and one-half inches.
However, if you can easily vary the height, set it at 1 1/2 to two inches for the first several times you mow this spring. The shorter mowing height will help remove a lot of the winter-burned, brown leaves. Exposing more dark green growth will transfigure your lawn into the most uniform, attractive one in the neighborhood.
Move the height up to 2 1/2 inches after you mow the grass several times.
To protect your grass from summer heat and drought injury, when summer arrives raise the mower height to three or 3 1/2 inches. However, remember that extra high grass, especially tall fescue, tends to fall over and mat down during hot summer weather causing increased summer disease problems.
Once you get the mowing under way, how often should the lawn be mowed?
Generally speaking, mow often enough to remove no more than one-third to one-half of the grass height.
If your mower is set for two inches, mow again when grass height reaches approximately three inches. Be sure not to scalp the lawn by mowing off most of the green leaves.
For tall fescue lawns, a rule of thumb is to mow at five-day intervals during the spring, and at seven-day intervals the rest of the year. If you have a Kentucky bluegrass lawn, a seven-day interval usually is sufficient at a mowing height of 2 1/2 inches. That interval can probably be expanded during hot, dry weather.