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Do My Own Lawn Care - How to Fertilize Cool Season Grass

By DoMyOwn staff

As spring starts to make roll in, it means that it is time to wake up the lawn. For cool season lawns coming out of winter dormancy, you want to give it a good dose of nitrogen.

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Video Transcript

It's starting to happen! We're starting to see some green up in the front!

Nothing says spring in Georgia like a nice dusting of pollen over everything.

And just to give you an update and give you a follow up on that last application of post emergents that I did in the back yard. It did an awesome job of kicking the crap out of the weeds back here. So it's on to phase two of getting this back yard to look good, and that's what the subject of this video is all about, fertilizing cool season grasses.

It was really thick and green back here with the fescue and the weeds but all those weeds have started to yellow, wilt and die off. So all we really have left back here is a few weeds that were pretty hard to control in the fescue. And one of those weeds is this right here. We have some Poa Annua sprinkled through out the whole back yard here. So we're going to have to tackle that in the near future.

So right here's a really good example of what I'm talking about. A lot of the weeds back here, look like this little guy right here. They're yellowing. Kind of got a whitish color to them. They're wilting and they're dying. Right there. Got some right here. Right in there. Just, that's what the whole story is in the back yard.

Alright, as usual, before we crack open our bag and get to doing what the lawn nuts refer to as throwing it down, let's chat.

So let's talk about how to fertilize cool season grasses. The first thing that you need to know is they should be fertilized when they start to roll out of winter dormancy and turn lush green again. If you have an established lawn you generally only need nitrogen to put back into the yard, and that's going to be the first number on your fertilizer bag. And the reason we say you generally only need nitrogen, coming out of winter dormancy, that turf is really starved for it, so, that's what it needs the most of.

When you go to choose your fertilizer, we recommend getting something that is slow release. And the reasons for that, number one, it's just better for the environment and number two, it's going to feed your yard for a much longer period than a traditional fertilizer.

For all you folks up north that are finally seeing the light at the end of the winter tunnel and starting to see spring on the horizon, if you know that you've had crabgrass in the past, or it's been a huge problem for you last year, we recommend that you get a pre emergent with your fertilizer to put down in the yard.

If you need to get pointed in the right direction as far as what products you need, I'll leave a link in the description box below so you can click over to Do My Own dot com and see what we have to offer.

As far as a calendar or a time line is concerned when putting fertilizer down in a cool season lawn, your window of opportunity, your going to be looking at September first to about May 15th. We really don't recommend fertilizing with a synthetic fertilizer after May 15th, and here's why.

First of all between September first and May 15th, that's peak growing season for cool season lawns. After May 15th, that's really the end of the growing season and your cool season lawns are in survival mode because they're stressed out by the summer heat.

And so because we're out of the growing season, if we put a lot of nitrogen down in the yard, we're going to encourage some problems. One of which, is brown patch.

If that's you, if you do have a brown patch problem going on in the yard from too much nitrogen, there's a couple of different ways that you can lower that brown patch activity.

Number one, you can put down a liquid iron application or, tow, simply just switch to an all natural fertilizer. One of those two things, like I said, are going to help get that brown patch under control or at least lower it's activity.

If you want to know all the finer details on the fertilizer I'm putting down today, I'll leave that in the description box below. But basically it's a 32, 3, 8, slow release nitrogen fertilizer.

So we have a 32 percent nitrogen, we have a 3 percent phosphate, we have an 8 percent soluble potash, and it also has 3 percent iron in it as well. So it's going to be really good to get it looking nice, healthy and green.

Before doing this, I checked with in the customer service staff to figure out how much I need to put down in the back and on the side with the Bradford pears where I'm trying to get the fescue to grow.

They recommended that I go about 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. So, the back and the side makes up about 4,000 square feet that I need to tackle. So that means I need about 20 pounds of the fertilizer in my spreader.

Now I wasn't very scientific about it. That's a 50 pound bag of fertilizer that I have, so I kind of just poured it out to where it felt like I got almost half, not quite, in my spreader. Got about 20 pounds in there, calibrated my spreader accordingly so we're ready to get to doing what most lawn care nuts refer to as throwing it down!

Ain't no school like the old school! This sprinkler right here, has done me well!

On the product label of this fertilizer, it recommends that you water it in immediately after application, so that's what I'm doing. I got my old school sprinkler going. I'll move it around the yard, letting it hit each area for about 10 to 15 minutes, making sure to over lap here and there, so that I make sure we water in this fertilizer so that it can go to work.

Another thing your going to want to do if your spreader didn't have an edge guard like mine does, if you got any on concrete patios or sidewalks or on the driveway, make sure to go back and blow or sweep that back into the yard.

Like I mentioned earlier I leave a link the in description box below so you can click over to Do My Own dot com to read more about the fertilizer I used. If there's anything I missed or if you have any other further questions, leave those in the comments section below, email the customer service staff, or pick up the phone, give us a call!

And if you're not already, click this button right here to subscribe to the channel, you can click this play list to see all the videos in the Do My Own Lawn Care series, and click this play list to see all the videos in the Do My Own Gardening Series.

And as always, thanks for watching!