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Saturday, June 15, 2013

When Do I Fertilize My Lawn and With What?

Q. What are the magic dates for fertilizing fescue and bermuda lawns that you had in the 9/30/2012 column?

A. The magic dates, easy to remember, for fescue is Labor Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving, the last one for keeping it green through the low temperatures of winter.

For Bermudagrass it is Labor Day, Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Use a slow release high nitrogen fertilizer made for lawns and mow with a recycling mower... one that mulches the clippings back into the lawn.

The best ratio of nitrogen to phophorus to potassium (the big NPK numbers on the bag) is approximately 3:1:2 or 4:1:2 or higher in potassium (the last number like even a 4:1:4). They do  not need to be a perfect ratio but close. The number should be HIGH:Low:Medium to High. What you DONT want to use a fertilizer high in phosphorus, the middle number.

Examples include 21:7:14; 12-4-8; 16-6-12; 15-5-15; etc.

the best type of  nitrogen is slow release nitrogen such as sulfur coated urea, ureaform, etc. At least half of the bag's nitrogen should be slow release. The best fertilizers I have used on turfgrass have been composted manures or vericompost. But they are expensive.

Good luck!

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