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Valentine’s Day is Time To Fertilize

goodlawn[1] Of course, you know, I’m talking about nurturing a drought-resistant lawn that is beautiful year round, right? The three times to fertilize a Tall Fescue lawn are the beginning of September (with seeding), Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day. The first two are most important as they aim at stimulating good, downward root formation. The Valentine’s Day fertilization promotes a hearty top half of the plant. Fertilizing once the weather is warm is a recipe to creating a lawn that grows too fast and requires too much water to live.

In order to fertilize, one needs to evenly put the adequate amounts of fertilizer down. The rules of thumb around here are 75 lbs of limestone per 1000 feet (to bring pH around these pines and azaleas up), 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 feet, and 6lbs of tall fescue see per 1000 feet (if seeding, but remember that seed placed in the spring never has the chance to grow downward, and will therefore have to be watered all summer).

In order to fertilize correctly, measure the square footage of the lawn. Then look at the fertilizer offered in the store. There are three numbers XX-YY-ZZ, and the first (XX) is the nitrogen. Divide 100 by this amount, and multiply that resulting number by the number of thousands of the lawn’s square feet. This will result in the correct number of pounds of fertilizer to use.

For example:

  • 18 -24-6 fertilizer is available, and the lawn is 12 K square feet.
  • 100/ 18 =5.5 lbs per 1,000 sq ft x 12 = 67 lbs of this fertilizer is appropriate for a 12K foot lawn.

Fertilizers with pre-emergent weed killer are most useful for this application during the year, unless one is also seeding (the pre-emergent will kill the budding grass plants).

Hint: Remember that not many pre-emergents will kill the Chickweed that appears for the month of March. Don’t worry about it, as it will die off as April rolls around.

Finally, this is the time to start thinking about getting the lawnmower’s annual service. Spark plugs should be replaced and blades should be sharpened so as to create a clean cut that minimizes grass plant damage. Injured lawns require more water, so it helps to have a well-running mower.

By following these recommendations that were originally set forth by turf grass researchers in Wake County, one should be able to sustain a beautiful, year-round Tall Fescue lawn that only needs minor supplemental watering during a two week period in September, and most importantly, none during the summer’s hottest months.

  • https://triangleexplorer.wordpress.com/ John

    Good tips Dana. I usually fertilize on or Valentine’s day as well. I am considering waiting another week or two this year though due to the colder than normal temps and the heavy precipitation we have been getting. I don’t want to put down the nutrients before the grass needs it and certainly don’t want a 1″ downpour the next day that will wash most of the fertilizer away. I hope the weather gets back to normal soon.

    I’m also a big fan of putting down crabgrass pre-emergent down around this time and then again in May to catch the second wave of crabgrass. If you don’t get that stuff down before the forsythia bloom then it is already to late. Good luck with your healthy lawn.

  • OTB & lovin’ it

    Your lawn looks beautiful! Any suggestions for those of us who have Bermuda or Centipede?

  • peio revuelta

    I am a farmer and growing vegetables to sell. For more efficency i use fertilizers but while using them it is important to
    keep it healthy because some fertilizers contain corruptive elements so i try to read everything about fertilizers and try
    to keep my product healthy. I am grateful for those who gives information about fertilizers and anyone who
    uses fertilizers should read about it, i also found another good guide which should be read too i think;


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