Fertilization Tips and Schedule

Compare Fertilized and Unfertilized Sod

FERTILIZATION PROGRAM IS KEY

A proper fertilization program is key for a healthy lawn. When homeowners consider the amount of fertilizer brought in with new sod, the ppm of fertilizer will be very low.  Additional fertilizer is vital in establishing a beautiful well kept landscape.

FERTILIZE ON TOP OF SOD INSTALLATION

You should fertilize on top of newly installed sod using a pre-emergent fertilizer to help prevent weeds from germinating and growing.  Weed seeds are brought to the surface during ground preparation activities and will begin to grow when watering begins.  Weeds can cause you months of frustration while trying to enjoy a new landscape.

DON’T FAIL FALL FERTILIZATION

“Fall fertilization of your lawn is the foundation for a successful turf grass fertility program. Winter survival and spring green-up depend on a sound fall fertilizer application, particularly when combined with timely cultural practices.

Across the country, fall fertilization has an important role. Fall fertilization is critical for cool-season grasses in the North and the West because the turf is trying to recover from summer stress while building carbohydrate (stored) energy to survive the winter and initiate spring growth. In a similar manner, warm-season grasses in the Southeast and Southwest need to store nutrients, particularly potassium, prior to going dormant,”  John S. Kruse, Ph.D, 

Basic fertilizing-a-lawn

HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD FERTILIZER

You should always use a balanced fertilizer.  We suggest that you use a fertilizer that contains an even amount (16-16-16) of the 3 main chemicals (N-P-K) needed by a lawn. The first number represents nitrogen content. Nitrogen will makes the green part of the grass or top grow thicker and faster. The second number is phosphate. Phosphates will make the roots grow stronger.  The third number is potassium. Potassium is for overall plant health.

WHAT ARE TRACE ELEMENTS

You should add trace elements once per year. Trace elements are important but needed in smaller amounts. Trace elements will last longer in the soil, therefore you will not need to add trace elements as often.

EASY FERTILIZATION SCHEDULE

We recommend that you use a fertilizing schedule for grass that starts out in March using your favorite brand of fertilizer, and continues monthly skipping July and begin again in late August through November. You should apply fertilizer monthly at 1/2 the recommended amount printed on the fertilizer container. Apply only when rain or watering is expected to help the fertilizer sink into the ground.  This helps you maintain an even growth pattern.  Pre-emergent fertilizer (weed and feed type) should be applied in March and June to prevent weeds from growing in your lawn.  Cool season grasses only need to be watered until the fall.

The last phase of the fertilizing schedule comes in late fall.  Usually in November grass has gone dormant or has stopped growing enough that lawns do not need to be mowed.  At this time you should apply the whole recommended amount listed on the fertilizer container to ensure nutrient uptake by the plant through the winter months.

EASY FERTILIZATION CHART

  1. March – Pre emergent fertilizer, full dosage
  2. April – Fertilizer with trace elements , 1/2 dosage
  3. May – Fertilizer with trace elements, 1/2 dosage
  4. June – Pre emergent Fertilizer, 1/2 dosage
  5. July – No Fertilization
  6. August – Fertilizer, 1/2 dosage
  7. September – Fertilizer, 1/2 dosage
  8. October – Fertilizer, Full dosage
  9. November – Ferilizer, 1/2 dosage (if weather permits)
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A healthy lawn is a well fed lawn

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