Reader Interactions


  1. Kirk says

    Thank’s for this plan! Trying to decide whether to go with all liquid plan from LCN with N-Ext products or granular. I like your plan!

    • Mark says

      Thanks Kirk, both great plans! The LCN has great products, some of which are used in this program. Either way you go I think you’ll be very pleased.

  2. Sandy Stevens says

    Hello Mark, Thank You for your very informative articles on home landscaping. What type of thermometer do I buy to determine soil temperatures ? Is there a specific type for soil ?


  3. Lynn says

    I love your lawn care plan and have purchased your recommended products. I am watching the soil temp daily.
    I would love to see info on the grass cutting lengths through out the growing season. I imagine the temperature has a lot to do with what height we should be cutting our lawns.

    Thanks so much,

    • Mark says

      Happy to hear your enjoying the lawn plan Lynn. In terms of height of cut, it really depends on a couple of things. For cool season grass I’ve seen people maintain 4″ and I’ve seen more advanced people with rotary mowers maintain a 1″ or less height of cut. Think of a golf course, they their fairways and greens very tight but they mow everyday and their grades are very good. For most homeowners their lawns aren’t so smooth so cutting that low could scalp the lawn. Plus to maintain such a tight cut you’d have to mow every couple of days, or more during peak growth spurts. Personally I try to maintain a 3″ cut throughout the season, sometimes bumping up to 3.5″ during the heat of the summer. Overall I tend to recommend a higher cut for homeowners (3″-3.5″). Your lawn gets used to the length you normally cut it so do what you think works best for your lawn.

  4. Tracey says

    Two questions. Wouldn’t you want to use a stress blend to promote root growth in the first part of the year?

    Also I’m doing a fall lawn renovation. I noticed in the current lawn in Central KY I had weeds popping up a few weeks ago. Would a stand alone preemergent be a good idea I’m addition to the other two apps in early March?


    • Mark says

      Hi Tracey, The stress blend contains a lot of Potassium which is what you want when your lawn is stressed. It’s actually phosphorus that promotes root growth. This is important for new lawns which is why you see high levels of phosphorus in starter fertilizers. AS for the pre emergent I would definitely only stick to two apps in the spring, that should be more then enough for to keep you covered. If you’re seeing weeds be on the ready with your post emergent weed killer. Don’t forget, pre emergents won’t block perennial weeds such as clover and perennials. If these weeds are already in your lawn you will need to kill them with a post emergent.

  5. Ike says

    I have nutsedges in my Bermuda grass and looking like nothing I put down with kill it and it keep coming back.Any Answer

    • Mark says

      I would recommend a product called Sedgehammer. It is available online and you can get it in a concentrate or even a powder, both get mixed with water. I would add a little Surfactant (also available online) to the mix to help it stick to the nutsedge. You will need to be patient since this is a systemic herbicide and it needs the time to work through the weed. Also, you’ll likely need to re apply 30 days later. Lastly, apply 2 days after mowing and don’t mow for at least 2 days after.

  6. Gary Lussier says

    I just got the Milorganite along with the Scotts Elite Spreader but can’t seem to find what to set the spreader for? I am in Strafford, NH? I went with 11.5 but seemed like too much? I hope not…..

    • Mark says

      Hi Gary! I highly recommend you read this: In that post I talk about how the only real way to figure out your spreader settings is to break your lawn into small sections and do a test run over that area. For example if you want to apply 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 s/f the math would look like this Milorganite: 6-4-0 means 6% nitrogen so: 1lb/.06= 16.6 lbs of milorganite needs to be applied to 1000 s/f of lawn. To make things simple just call it 16 pounds. Now, a bag of milorganite is 32 pounds so that means one full bag of milorganite should do 2,000 s/f. See if you can measure out 2000 s/f somewhere in your lawn. Start with the spreader fairly closed (low setting) and do a couple of passes. Keep opening the spreader until you feel like it’s dispersing at rate that would take two passes over that section of lawn to get rid of all the miloragnite in the spreader. I say 2 passes because I recommend going over your lawn twice in opposite directions. Overall, just remember what you are trying to achieve. An equal spread of this product over your entire lawn. Once you do the math of how much product should go over your lawn you can then break your lawn into sections to make it more manageable. It won’t take long to figure out the best spreader setting. Lastly, I think the 11.5 setting is pretty accurate for Milorganite, but I would still make sure!

  7. Jay says

    Hi Mark, love your site and appreciate the content you provide! I’m in NC and have a large yard (~15K sqft) and definitely a beginner and would like to start taking care of my fertilization throughout the year. I have plans on overseeding in the fall. With that said, I noticed you have two great articles, 1) Lawn care schedule using only 3 products and 2) Lawn care program for extra green grass. The first article was published in 2020, and the second in 2022…I know that over time better products are introduced and/or recommended — do you suggest I use one guide over the other? I’m asking because one plan uses 3 products, whereas the other uses 6-7 products, and I wasn’t sure if using the 3-product plan is outdated. I’m looking for ease/simplicity (which both plans offer), but if I could use the 3-product plan and have relatively the same results as the “extra green” plan, I would most likely opt for going that route due to the ease of purchasing locally. I’m good with either plan but would love to get your feedback.

    • Mark says

      Hi Jay! Happy to hear you’re enjoying the content and you ask a great question. I usually recommend the 3 product plan as a good beginner/1st year plan. After that I recommend switching to the Extra Green Grass Plan. If you can get the 3 products locally I would go with the 3 product plan this coming year. It should yield very similar results. The main reason I recommend switching to the extra green grass plan on year two is because it contains more potassium than phosphorus which is better for established lawns. It also allows you to do some more customizing. But yes, this year I’d go with the 3 product plan, just make sure you don’t put the third application of the Lesco down if seeding. It will block grass seed from growing. Instead use a starter fertilizer at time of seeding.

      • Jay says

        Excellent, that makes sense, thanks so much!! Also, I appreciate the simple formula for identifying the amount of fertilizer to put down based on Nitrogen (first number) instead of relying on spreader settings listed on the bag — game changer!

        Few additional questions regarding spreader settings and seeding/sod…

        1) When I overseed fall 2023 (Tall Fescue), should I spread the recommended amount of seed listed on the bag (6-8lb/1000 sqft.), or do you have a formula (similar to spreading fertilizer) you recommend? Also, I already have starter fertilizer (Lesco 18-24-12) from SiteOne. Is this ok to use this fall, or do you recommend YM 12-12-12 instead?

        2) This past fall (2022), I had sod installed on a small section (hit it with Lesco 18-24-12) and it’s looking great right now. However, sod was in high demand in my area at that time and my vendor could not get enough sod to complete the entire plot — until now. I still have a small area (~400 sqft.) that is currently bare. Since average soil temps are nearing 50 degrees here, is it ok to install new sod on the remaining bare 400 sqft. plot then hit ONLY this new section with starter fert (and water of course)? Simultaneously, can I apply the 1st application of Lesco 19-0-7 on the already established sod (installed this past fall), along with the rest of my lawn?

        I know, I know, a bunch of questions 🙂 but hopefully, what I’m asking makes sense. Thank you in advance for your responses!

  8. Mike says

    Hi Mark,

    Looking forward to trying out this plan on my lawn for the first time! When you say application rate of 3lbs/1k sqft (for the Flagship application for example) …are you saying 3lbs of Flagship per 1k or 3lbs nitrogen per 1k? Would be a big difference on how much product to use!


    • Mark says

      Great question Mike and I should clarify that on the post! I’m referring to the product. I never apply more than 1lb of nitrogen per 1k, and really no one should.

  9. John says

    Hi Mark,
    If I were to to follow this year 2 plan for extra green grass, could I substitute the pre-emergent / fertilizer combo Lesco 19-0-7 in place of the separate Flagship and Prodiamine applications in step 1, 2 & 5 or are the two separate applications critical?

    Also, when you use a liquid post emergent crabgrass killer, do you use the liquid bottle that you attach to the end of a hose and spray the whole lawn or do you just strictly spot spray??

    Thanks for your help.
    I look forward to your response.

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