Best Practices for Turf Fertilization
It’s almost spring! For homeowners and avid gardeners, this means that it’s time to fertilize their turf. Spring is a good time to fertilize, just when the soil reaches 55 °F.
There are things that you can do to make sure that you have a healthy, hearty turf that is less susceptible to disease and weeds.
Southern Botanical, your Dallas residential landscaping experts, shares some easy-to-follow turf fertilization tips.
1. Your turf needs at least sixteen kinds of nutrient to grow and thrive. Generally, you will see three numbers on the fertilizer label, and they tell you the NPK ratio of the three primary nutrients (1) your lawn needs: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. A 20-5-10 mixture is great for spring fertilization.
2. There are five kinds of fertilizers you can use (2):
- Slow release – this kind of fertilizer is more costly, but you don’t need to fertilize as often.
- Fast release – with fast release fertilizers, you get faster results, but you need to fertilize more frequently. If you use this type of fertilizer, be sure to apply them sparingly. They have a tendency to draw the moisture out of the grass if you use too much, causing the grass to burn.
- Weed and feed – part fertilizer, part weed, this is designed to fertilize the turf and kill weeds in a single application. Use this with caution, the chemicals it contain can actually weaken the turf and make it susceptible to disease and pests.
- Organic materials – compost and manure are used. Some use grass clippings, leaves, or buried wood – any biodegradable material that enters the soil.
- Liquid fertilizers – requires more frequent, uniform application, so we don’t really recommend that you use this type, unless you are a professional landscaper.
Most gardeners prefer slow-release fertilizers. Depending on your watering, you can fertilize your turf every 6-8 weeks, instead of every month.
3. Don’t forget to water! Do this a day or two before applying fertilizer. This will ensure that your lawn has sufficient moisture. Apply fertilizer after the grass dries. After fertilizing, water your lawn again to ensure that the fertilizer goes into the soil.
To ensure that the job gets done right, it’s best to hire a professional. Before fertilizing, the soil has to be professionally tested. The soil test will provide essential information like the best kind of fertilizer to use and the frequency of application. Southern Botanical, your Dallas residential landscaping experts, has more than 25 years of experience in ensuring the health and beauty of Dallas’ landscapes all year round.
(1) “Turfgrass Fertilization: A Basic Guide for Professional Turfgrass Managers.” Penn State Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences, 10 Nov. 2016, https://extension.psu.edu/turfgrass-fertilization-a-basic-guide-for-professional-turfgrass-managers.
(2) Carroll, J. “Lawn Fertilizer Tips: When And How To Apply Lawn Fertilizer.” Gardening Know How, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/lgen/lawn-fertilizer-tips.htm.