Now is right time to feed your fescue lawn

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

Most Polk County homes have lawns that are planted with cool season grasses like tall fescue.  The first fall application usually is spread in September.

Now it is the time to treat your cool season turfgrasses for a third feeding.

The final fertilization should be applied in mid-November. According to Dr. Art Bruneau, extension turfgrass specialist for North Carolina State University, the cool season turfgrasses need feeding near Valentine’s Day (February), Labor Day (September) and Veteran’s Day (November).

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The recommended rate of fertilizer for the November feeding is one pound of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. When you are using a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10, a homeowner would apply 10 pounds for every 1,000 square feet of lawn area.

If you used the special slowrelease “turf-type” fertilizer in September, you may be able to skip this third application. Read and follow the directions on the fertilizer bag.

When applying or spreading your fertilizer make certain that the turf is not wet. The grass foliage can be burned when fertilizer is placed on top of a wet lawn. On occasion some “specialty” turf fertilizers that also kill weeds in lawn will recommend an application on wet turf.

Please remember that most grasses thrive at a soil pH of 6.5. Native soils have a much lower pH.  In order to raise the pH, homeowners need to add lime to their lawn area.

To determine the soil pH, soil boxes for testing are available at the County Extension Center in Columbus. For more information contact a Polk County Master Gardener at 894-8218.

– article submitted by Sarah Gottfried