Winter lawn care tips from Toby Tobin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This summer, Toby Tobin and Jeff Penner "Tobinized" Jeff's lawn. Jeff's been diligent and now has the best lawn on his block. But Toby said it's too soon to hang up those garden tools for the winter.

"Your lawn is spectacular and you believe it now, but fertilizer is the least expensive thing you can do to a lawn and have it improve quickly," said Toby.

Jeff fertilized just two times, but Toby recommends three fertilizations during the fall for a fantastic lawn next spring. Homeowners can fertilize once a month through January. Plus, now is the best time to control weeds.

Toby said, "All our winter weeds and spring annuals are up and this is a perfect time to control weeds. Use the new zone formulations of weed killer. They work in temperatures 35 degrees and up and one application is going to knock this out."

Toby said it is important to keep leaves off your lawn because leaves cover the grass and block sunlight. Homeowners don't have to rake... just mulch the leaves, bag them with a mower or blow them off. If you don't have good turf now, you can start dormant seeding after November 14.

"Seed that's planted November 14 will sprout three to four weeks quicker than seed that's planted January 1," said Toby. "So by dormant seeding in November, this seed is not going to sprout now but it's going to going to sprout in the spring a bit earlier."

The metro had great soaking of rain during the second week of November, but if temperatures stay warm, homeowners might have to water through December.

Toby recommends one inch per week until the ground freezes. Also mow at 2.5 inches until December and then mow one last time about 2 inches to keep snow and ice from causing winter diseases.

"It's amazing... proper mowing, watering and fertilization... that lawn thickens up and that's your best weed control," Toby told Jeff. "You've just raised the value of your home 10 percent and it's going to sell quicker, too!"

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