February lawn chores include feeding turf grasses such as tall fescue

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

For most Polk County homeowners, their lawn is more than likely seeded with a cool season grass. Locally that means the lawn is tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass or a combination of both.

One chore that should be completed soon is the feeding of these turf grasses.

According to Art Bruneau, retired extension turf grass specialist at North Carolina State University, Valentine’s Day or mid-February is the first time cool season grasses should be fed.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In general, the February application uses a 1-pound feeding of nitrogen.  This can be obtained by spreading 10 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn area. Turf-type fertilizers also work well; follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bag.

“Fertilizing turf grasses like tall fescue should be completed in late winter,” said Polk County Extension Director John Vining. “Late fertilization (after April 1) could be unhealthy for your turf grasses. Fescue is a cool season grass and thus you want the most active growth when the weather conditions are cool.”

In addition to fertilization, pre-emergence herbicides for control of crabgrass should be applied early.

Timing is important. The recommended application should be put on when the forsythia or yellow bells are in full bloom, or just as their flowers begin to fade.

“Research has shown that the crabgrass seed germinates shortly after the forsythia blossoms have faded. If you wait until the dogwoods are in bloom, you have waited too late,” Vining said.


– article submitted
by John Vining