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Monday, December 19, 2011

Fertilize Lawn in the Winter?

Q. I remember you said to apply fertilizer to a lawn around Thanksgiving. But during that time it was cold and the fertilizer bag says to water frequently.

A. Fertilizing is different from seeding. I recommend fertilizing tall fescue with a high nitrogen fertilizer around Thanksgiving. This helps keep the lawn green through the winter months. Once the fertilizer is applied, it should be watered in with a single, normal irrigation. If you haven't done it yet, it may not be too late. Pick a warm, winter day and apply a high nitrogen fertilizer.

            Weekly waterings after that will be adequate to move the fertilizer into the soil and made available to plant roots. High nitrogen fertilizer applied just before cold weather helps keep lawn grasses green and better looking for a longer time into the winter.

            Watering once a week after you apply a fertilizer is adequate for fertilizer but not adequate for seed. This is not time to seed the lawn. That has to be done when temperatures are still relatively warm but not too hot; usually from September 15 through October 15 or thereabouts.

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