Water Wise It ™ – Creating a Water-Wise Lawn!
How often should I apply fertilizer to my landscape to keep it green?
It actually depends on what kind of lawn you want, but if you want a Water-Wise lawn then 2 times should be enough for a perfectly green lawn. The fall application of fertilizer is absolutely essential for the greenness of your lawn. If you apply fertilizer late in the Fall (sometime around Halloween) you should be able to wait until late May before you fertilize again. Then in the spring all you will have to worry about is weed control. Apply approximately 3-4# of nitrogen per 1,000 Square Feet per year to keep your lawn healthy.
Late fall is by far the best time to fertilize in cool season environments, regardless of the type of maintenance program the lawn falls under. Research has shown the benefits of this late fall fertilization after grass growth has slowed but the lawn is not yet dormant, because roots continue to grow after winter sets in. Spring applications are suggested around the end of May.
Fertilizing too often or using too much fertilizer increases the likelihood of harmful chemicals running off into streams or seeping into groundwater. The combination of over-watering and over-fertilizing can be dangerous to plants, animals, and people. Fertilize as sparingly as your lawn allows.
Chanshare Sod Farm’s Fertilizing_and_Watering Guide can be downloaded here.
There are three main nutrients that are recommended for every lawn: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). Nitrogen is the key nutrient that aids in photosynthesis, but too much and your lawn will experience heavy top growth. On any fertilizer bag, Nitrogen is the first number listed followed by Phosphorous and then Potassium. For example a 24-6-12 fertilizer contains 24% nitrogen. Industry recommended ratios for fertilizer is 4:1:2 for mid season applications. Fall applications should be balanced with a higher Potassium content (i.e., 16-16-16).
Before installing turf it’s best recommended to till two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet into the top 4 inches of soil prior to installation
No fertilizer is needed for the months from November through May, as long as you apply fertilizer late in the fall.
As you can see in the above graphic the best time to affect the root growth of your lawn is in the middle of the spring and the fall. Don’t apply fertilizer when temperatures are higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit as this will promote unnatural growth and could cause the lawn to burn.
Over-fertilizing can cause excessive growth, seed development, and can be harmful to the environment, causing serious damage to the ecosystem.
For more Care Tips for your lawn or to learn how to Water-Wise It™ download our lawn care guide at www.chanshare.com or send specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.