March Warm Season Lawn Tips for 2024

Not much going on in this department since most Bermuda, Zoysia, and Centipede lawns are mostly still dormant. In the warmest regions of AL, GA, NC, and SC, your lawns have started waking up and may be in full swing by the end of March (if you don't get another frost).

If you didn't apply pre-emergent last September to control the winter weeds you're seeing now, you'll want to scroll down to read the section about weeding.

Fertilizing Tips for Warm Season Lawns

Since lawns are greening up in warmer regions (such as on the coastal plain), a "what not to do" section about fertilizing is appropriate to reinforce how important it is that you don't do anything to your Bermuda, Centipede, or Zoysia lawn yet. Hang tight because soon enough - probably by late April or early May - most lawns will be greened up and ready to be fertilized. We'll let you know when it's time!

  • Whatever you do, don't apply nitrogen in March when your warm season lawn is partially or fully dormant. It's still rest time until your lawn has greened up all over. Avoid "weed and feed" and "winterizer" product marketing - these products usually contain nitrogen and nitrogen will push growth during a time that can cause cold damage to your lawn. 
  • Likewise, hold off aerating warm season lawns until they fully green up in the spring.

Weeding Tips for Warm Season Lawns

Winter weeds are getting big and will be flowering and going to seed soon. Learn about other common lawn weeds and how to stop them in our Weed Profiles.

  • Right now, the best solution for winter weeds is pulling them by hand. This may not be what you want to hear. Happily, there is hope for preventing a weedy infestation next winter and Clare explains the steps in Tackling Winter Weeds.
  • If you have a bad infestation and don't want this to happen again, sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll mail you pre-emergent herbicide in September to prevent winter weeds from germinating next year.

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  • Mow your weeds. If you didn't apply pre-emergent in September to stop the weeds you're seeing now (such as bittercress, chickweed, and annual poa), mow those weeds down.  
  • Post-emergent herbicide: Weather permitting, you can apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now in established warm season lawns. These post-emergents work best above 65 degrees so they will work this month during warm spells, so pay close attention to your favorite weather station. As always, carefully read the label and follow the product instructions.
  • Pre-emergent herbicide: The next window for spreading pre-emergent herbicide will open again in April. We'll sound the trumpets in April when it's time again. FYI - There are three pre-emergent windows a year: September, February, and April. Signing up for Lawn Coach makes it easer to keep track of these windows.
  • Mulch suppresses winter weeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants. Rake/blow leaves off your lawn and into your beds and natural areas rather than bagging them.

Featured Weed - Annual Poa

Click here to learn all about annual poa grass and why I don't worry about my pup Rosie pilfering them from my weed pile and bounding away. She has a bit of a thieving nature - a playful trait I hear she inherited from the Golden Retriever side of her family.

Rosie poa annua

Mowing Tips for Warm Season Lawns

Nothing to mow this month, unless you need to mow any winter weeds that are thriving.

If you're eager to be out on your lawn bonding with it, you can at least wake up your mower.

  • Start by cleaning off plant debris from last year.
  • Change spark plug, oil, air filter, and fuel filter.
  • Did you drain the gas last fall? If not, you'll need to address getting your mower started again - if it won't start, now's a good time to take it to the shop for some carburetor work before everyone else takes in theirs.
  • If you have an electric mower, test the battery and make sure it wasn't drained by the polar blast before Christmas. You may need to buy a new battery.
  • Inspect your mower blades. Do they need sharpening? (They probably do.) You can take off the blades and take them to be sharpened or you can buy new ones if they're that bad.

Lay Dormant Sod in March - Go for it!

If bare spots are driving you crazy or you have made renovations, you can stop all that mud by laying dormant sod. No problem! Laying dormant sod is "a thing." It's about to wake up too!

We recommend you read our article on laying dormant sod for a few important tips.

Come back next month for April Lawn Tips for Warm Season lawns!

If you have a Tall Fescue lawn (the best cool season lawn for the Southeast), read our blog with March tips for Tall Fescue lawns.

Got questions? Leave a comment below!

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