KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It’s time to fertilize warm-season grass like Bermuda and zoysia, and cool-weather grass like bluegrass and fescue should be getting a second application, a University of Tennessee plant soil specialist said Monday.
Dr. John R. Jared says fescue and bluegrass need fertilizer March 15 and May 1. These two grasses, which grow best in the spring and fall, also need applications on Sept. 1 and Oct. 15, he said.
Persons just now making the season’s first application should wait 4-6 weeks before applying more, Jared said.
A complete fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium should be used for cooler-season grasses in September, he said. Only nitrogen should be applied at the other times.
Zoysia, Bermuda and similar grasses which can stand summer heat should have nitrogen fertilizer around April 15, June 1, and July 15, he said. A complete fertilizer should be applied
Cooler-than-normal temperatures in recent weeks have slowed sprouting weeds, but it is too late to use a ‘weed and feed’
pre-emergent to prevent weeds like dandelions on most lawns, he said.
”In some cases, these late freezes and late frosts have set things like crabgrass back. If you put a pre-emergent out there now it might help some, but generally speaking, it’s too late for that now,” Jared said.
Herbicides can be used any time during the year that weeds appear, but care must be taken not to let broadleaf herbicides drift onto ornamental shrubs, he said.
Properly fertilized lawns withstand stress from drought, weeds, cold and traffic better than lawns with a nutrient deficiency, Jared said.