Are you looking for ways to make your lawn healthier?
Lawn maintenance is sometimes challenging, especially if you are a beginner. One common way to make your lawn greener and more robust is to apply the right fertilizer.
Most grass species thrive when fed with nitrogen fertilizers. So, always purchase a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for your lawn. If your lawn has warm-season grasses, apply nitrogen fertilizer two months before frost.
Applying nitrogen fertilizer to grasses
Some of the most popular warm-season grasses are St. Augustine and Hybrid Bermuda. These warm-season grasses often become dormant during the late fall.
Experts advise applying lots of fertilizers during mid-September on warm season grasses. Doing this promotes strong and healthy growth of leaves and shoots.
It is crucial to give warm season grasses some time to harden before they go dormant. The new growth in warm season grasses is more vulnerable to damage from freezing.
Their shoots tend to get a common cool-season disease popularly known as a large patch. Applying nitrogen fertilizer to your plants during the late fall can foster the growth of weeds.
Winter annual weeds can grow bigger when you apply nitrogen fertilizer during late fall. Some of the most common weeds that grow during winter are chickweed and Shepherd’s Purse. They love growing when the desirable plants have stopped growing.
Right time to fertilize your warm season grasses
Gardening professionals usually recommend fertilizing your warm season grasses when they start breaking their dormancy. This usually happens from late winter to early spring. So, buy the right fertilizer to encourage a healthy lawn.
Also, when the temperatures during the day change to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, consider fertilizing your warm season grasses. The soil temperature should also be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily, identifying your daytime temperature is pretty simple.
If you have a smartphone, you can always determine your daytime temperatures. But how do you check your soil temperatures? There are many online tools to help you determine the soil temperature in your area. All you have to do is enter the zip code of your area.
Note that fertilizing warm season grasses too early will boost rapid and healthy shoot growth and prevent root growth. Consequently, this causes you to have weaker plants.
More often than not, it would be best if you fertilized warm season grasses about four times a year. Nevertheless, there are certain exceptions; Bahiagrass and Centipede grass require fertilization only during summer and spring.
Taking care of warm season grasses from March to May (Springtime)
Water the lawn:
If you want to grow a healthy lawn, consider watering the warm season grasses. Typically, lawns with warm season grasses require at least one inch of water per week. When watering, always ensure the water penetrates six to eight inches deep into the soil.
But avoid overwatering to prevent the soil from becoming soggy. Naturally, warm season grasses are highly resistant to drought. But they need watering. Watering warm season grasses makes your lawn look greener and aesthetically pleasing.
Repair and restore the lawn:
Spring is usually the best time to repair your lawn. If your lawn experienced some damage due to harsh climatic conditions, it’s now time to restore it. Repair the lawn before summer to prevent it from further damage from heat.
Dethatch and Aerate the lawn:
Consider aerating, dethatching and adding fertilizer to the lawn during spring. Aeration prevents soil compaction; hence nutrients and air will flow smoothly in the soil. Dethatching on the flip side helps you get rid of decayed plant material.
Consequently, this fosters good water retention and drainage properties in the soil. Nevertheless, note that the need to aerate the lawn utterly depends on the soil condition and not the warm season grass species.
Weeding the lawn:
Weeds can infest your lawn at any time of the year. Thus, it is crucial to incorporate the best weed control techniques that help you remove these unwanted plants from your garden. Apply pre-emergent herbicides during early spring to prevent the growth of weeds.
You can also use pre-emergent herbicides during fall to prevent weeds during winter. It is always advisable to use an organic herbicide. They are safer since they contain 100% natural ingredients.
Mow the lawn:
Cutting the lawn usually facilitates new healthy growth in the lawn. Begin cutting the lawn immediately after the warm season grass starts growing. This is usually when daytime temperatures reach 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When mowing the lawn, you have to maintain the recommended height of the grass depending on the species.
For example, Bermudagrass should stay at the height of 0.5 inches. However, avoid trimming more than a third of the grass. Doing this can leave the grass frail. After mowing the lawn, leave the grass clippings on the lawn to provide nitrogen at no cost.
Fertilize the lawn:
Start fertilizing the lawn in early April. It would be best to use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to provide nutrients to your plants. Use a broadcast spreader to apply the fertilizer. Moreover, ensure you follow all manufacturer’s instructions when using the fertilizer.
Benefits of slow-release nitrogen fertilizers on warm season grass
Have you noticed any yellowing or wilting in your lawn? Your lawn needs nitrogen fertilizer. Typically, all warm season grasses need nitrogen to grow well. Nitrogen fertilizers prevent your lawn from getting pests and diseases. Nonetheless, it is always advisable to use slow-release fertilizers.
These fertilizers gradually provide nutrients to the soil. Thus, you don’t need to conduct repeat applications. Besides, they will keep the soil nutritional content high for an extended period. Before purchasing any nitrogen fertilizer for your warm season grass, take time to analyze your lawn’s requirements.
Below are some of the benefits of applying nitrogen fertilizer to warm season grasses.
Nitrogen provides various nutrients to the soil that encourage healthy green growth in the lawn. So, you can always use nitrogen fertilizer to make your grass greener and prevent wilting. Ensure you apply enough fertilizer at the right time to promote healthy green growth in your lawn.
Applying nitrogen fertilizer prevents your lawn from getting pests and diseases. Typically, nitrogen fertilizer makes your plants stronger. Subsequently, your plants become more immune to rust, thread among other diseases that can affect your lawn.
Lower Risk of Salt Burn:
Another benefit of using a slow-release fertilizer is to prevent salt burn. Slow-release fertilizers keep your soil healthy for longer. As a result, the warm season grass becomes more immune to burns, especially in the event of overfertilization. You’ll always start noticing the results of nitrogen-based fertilizers after approximately one month.
Less Lawn Maintenance:
Unlike quick-release fertilizers, slow-release fertilizers gradually break down into the soil to provide nutrients for an extended period. These fertilizers prevent overgrowth and keep the lawn in good condition for weeks. On the other hand, quick-release fertilizers will force you to cut the lawn more often due to overgrowth.
Generally, slow-release fertilizers are more efficient. As a result, they’ll make lawn maintenance more manageable. Although slow-release fertilizers are expensive, they offer value for money.
Warm season grasses usually need nitrogen fertilizer to grow well. When applying fertilizer to warm season grasses, always conduct the process during early spring. At this time, most warm season grasses are breaking their winter dormancy.
So, applying fertilizer would encourage new healthy plant growth. Besides, there are other maintenance techniques that help you boost the health of warm season grasses. Some of them include mowing, dethatching, mowing, weeding, and watering.