A website from UGA Cooperative Extension

Warm-Season Lawn Tips for January

Warm-season lawns include bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass

  • January to March is the best time to apply lime to get soil to the appropriate pH range. Your soil test results will tell you exactly how much lime to apply and when. The ideal pH for bermudagrass is 5.5-6.5, and 6.0-7.0 for zoysiagrass.
  • If you haven’t already, blow or rake fallen leaves off your lawn. Leaves trap moisture and reduce airflow, which can increase diseases. You can always blow/rake leaves onto your flower beds or into a compost pile!
  • Apply post-emergent herbicides for broadleaf winter weeds, like chickweed, wild violet, dandelion, henbit, and speedwell. Keep in mind, most post-emergents work better in warmer temperatures, so time your applications to weeks with warmer weather. Always follow the label instructions for how and when to apply herbicides.
  • Prepare to apply pre-emergent herbicides for spring and summer weeds beginning in February.
  • It’s not ideal to lay new sod during the winter, but it is possible. If you do install dormant sod, make sure to water it regularly. This means keeping it moist for 30 days. If you can wait, the best time to lay warm-season sod in Georgia is May through August.
  • Remember: don’t fertilize or aerate warm-season lawns in the winter! Wait to fertilize when your lawn begins to green up in the spring. This includes “weed and feed” products. Anything that claims to “feed” your lawn likely contains nitrogen, which will kickstart the growing process. This is a surefire way to damage your warm season lawn.

Cool-Season Lawn Tips for January

Cool-season lawns include tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, and ryegrass

  • Now through March, apply lime per your soil test recommendations to get soil to an appropriate pH range. The ideal pH for tall fescue is 5.5-6.5.
  • Continue mowing to a height of 2”-3”. Never remove more than 1/3 of the total height at one time.
  • Now through March is the best time to take inventory of common weeds and decide on an herbicide product, if using. Apply post-emergent herbicides for broadleaf winter weeds now and prepare to apply pre-emergent herbicides for spring and summer weeds beginning in February.
  • As with warm-season lawns, rake or blow fallen leaves from your lawn to reduce disease.
  • Although not ideal due to the super-cold weather, you can still core aerate your cool-season lawn in January. If possible, wait until March or April to aerate.
  • Get ready: February is the best time to lay tall fescue sod. Seeding is also possible in February in March. Whether you’re seeding or sodding, start doing your research and shopping around for a reputable producer.

If you have questions about your lawn, don’t hesitate to contact us at one of our offices.

Learn More

Bermudagrass Lawn Calendar
Zoysiagrass Lawn Calendar
Centipedegrass Lawn Calendar
St. Augustinegrass Lawn Calendar
Tall Fescue Lawn Calendar

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