Lawn Programs

Apr 14, 2014

Lawn Programs – The basics

Most programs,  no matter the manufacturer, have the same basic steps.

A special note for the Capital District: Don’t apply lime to your lawn unless you’ve had your soil pH tested first. We do that for free.

  • First Step or Stage

Step one is a crabgrass preventer and fertilizer. This is a pre-emergent! If you’re using a Scotts program, Step 1 must go down before crabgrass germinates. If you’re using a Jonathan Green or Agway program be sure to apply before crabgrass has more than 3 leaves. If you have missed the window, use a crabgrass killer.

When to Apply! This is the #1 question we get about lawn programs.

Before Temps are regularly in the 80’s is the answer.

How to Apply

Apply when grass is dry. It doesn’t need to be watered in, but it’s good to get this down a day or two before a rainfall.

Don’t put down any new grass seed if you use a regular Step One! If you are doing any new seeding this season, you’ll need to get Step One for New Seeding.


  • Second Step or Stage

Weed killer and fertilizer or “Weed & Feed”. This controls 250 broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, chickweed and clover. It isn’t a pre-emergent so the weeds need to be up and visible because this works by sitting on the leaf of the weed. It also gives the lawn another feeding. Don’t do any seeding for a month after applying.

When to Apply – In late spring at least 30 days after applying Step one.

How to Apply – Moisten lawn before applying and don’t water for a day or two after. Don’t apply just before a period of rain as the formula needs to stick to and sit on the weed leaves for a day or two.


  • Third Step or Stage

Fertilizer. Feeding the grass during the most stressful time of year, when the grass and ground dry out quickly during periods of heat. Your lawn has used a lot of its stored energy by this time of the year, so feeding is a good thing.


Insect control and fertilizer. This controls most insects that invade lawns as the hot summer weather hits. Insects like ants, chinch bugs and ticks can pose a big problem in some instances. Not all programs include insect control in their third step. Also feeds the lawn.

When to Apply – Anytime you see insects in your lawn or anytime you want to feed the lawn. Mid-summer is a good time.

How to Apply – Apply to dry grass. watering in is a plus or apply right before rain.


  • Fourth Step or Stage

Winter Fertilizer. Promotes growth in the roots where your grass will need it in the winter. You will really notice a difference in the spring by feeding the grass in the fall. If you’re seeding at the same time, this fertlizer is fine to use.

When to Apply – after Labor Day

How to Apply – Apply to dry grass. watering in is a plus or apply right before rain.


The Jonathan Green company has provided this very handy reminder to give you the approximate times for applications. Thank you Jon Green!

Step # 1 – Easter
Step # 2 – Mothers day
Step # 3 – July 4th
Step # 4 – Labor Day.