Definitive Guide to Safe and Effective Lawn Fertilization

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It is time dear Texans to understand one of the most essential lawns maintenance aspects: lawn fertilization. Welcome to the most-detailed and user-friendly guide to lawn care and lawn fertilization.

We are answering lawn care questions every day for our clients. The following are the most often asked 21 questions and will create you a helpful stress-free guide for safe and effective lawn fertilization.

Common Grass Types in Houston

The most commonly grown grass types in Houston, Texas are:

  • Augustine grass
  • Zoysia grass
  • Bermuda grass

Here You can see the difference between these species.

Different Types of Common Lawn Grasses in Houston

Any time Bermuda start to grow in your St. Augustine grass, this is a sign of poor fertilization practices. Bermuda always takes over when the St. Augustine becomes weak.

  1. Which grass is better, Bermuda or St Augustine?

St. Augustine handles shade better while Bermuda grass thrives in constant sun and does not grow well in the shade.  Bermuda grass has a lot of strengths. It is well known for its drought tolerance, heat tolerance, deep rooting potential, durability, good recuperative potential, salinity tolerance, rapid establishment rate, and low disease potential. This is the most favourite grass by many professional gardeners.

  1. What are the benefits of  lawn fertilization? Is it necessary as lawn care?

The “why” is very important. The benefits come from the need itself. A lawn requires continuous nutrients. You job as a lawn owner to make sure that it is protected.

  • The protection of lawns from nutrient-deficiency.

Over time, many lawns will leech nutrients out of their soil. Most nutrients for your grass are water-soluble. Over time, whether through rain or irrigation, the water will carry these nutrients out of your lawn. How can You know if Your lawn is nutrient deficient? You will need to perform a soil test. It will tell You about the soil composition in detail, and then You can safely choose the right fertilizer. Then You can replenish the lost nutrients.

  • Lawn survival and health are dependent on 3 factors equally: sun, water, and nutrients.

This item emphasizes the 1st one. But it helps You to understand that fertilizer is not a “nice to have” but a must-have item in responsible gardener’s schedule. The same as You feed pets, Your lawn requires food too.

  • It encourages your grass to grow.

Let’s be honest. We are not a patient society. We all want our lawns to look green and beautiful today not tomorrow. Fertilizer comes to play here too. If You know when, how much and where to use, you can make your grass grow at a super-fast pace.

  • Organic fertilization helps your lawn absorb more water and nutrients.

You might be surprised to read this, but if you don’t fertilize your lawn – you might be struggling with watering it. Lawn fertilization is required for healthy soil. Better soil structure means better infiltration and water-holding capacity. That’s why so many residents across Houston, Texas, use lawn services to fertilize their lawns.

  • Trees, bushes, and other plants in Your yard will benefit from the fertilizer.

Sometimes if the soil is sandy, trees and brushes might require further fertilization. But the lawn fertilizer can help them survive a lot. 

  1. Should I fertilize or seed first?

Fertilize first. Most grass types need a starter fertilizer to increase initial growth. If fertilized incorrectly, then seeds will suffer from too much or too little fertilizer. Only a professional lawn service adviser can make sure that the amount used is just right. 

  1. What is killing my St Augustine lawn?

There could be different reasons. Most often its is either insect damage, turf diseases, or excessive irrigation and fertilization.

Lawn management calendar is required to keep the yard looking healthy. “When” are fundamental questions regarding lawn fertilization. 

  1. When should I fertilize my lawn in Houston, Texas?

We have written a great answer to this question here.

  1. When to fertilize Bermuda grass in Texas?

The same schedule applies to Bermuda grass.

  1. What time of day is best for lawn fertilization? Should I feed my lawn in the morning or evening?

There is an easy answer to this. The only time of day to fertilize is the late afternoon or early evening. Direct day sunlight + fertilizer = burnt grass. We do not recommend experimenting with other timings, no matter how busy You are.

  1. How long after fertilizing the lawn, is it safe for pets?

Safe fertilization is vital. You need to think about pets and kids that love being on the lawn. The common misconception about organic fertilizers is that because they are safe, there is no need for a time gap between fertilization and using the lawn. Some experts recommend 24 hours.

However, health and safety is our priority. To be absolutely sure that the grass is devoid of residual fertilizer, wait 48 hours to pass passed after the fertilizer application.

“How often” questions manage your schedule and expectation about adequate lawn fertilization. 

  1. How often should you fertilize grass?

The most usual advice tells is that You should only need to fertilize your grass an average of 2 a year. However, feeding your lawn 4 times a year will make it even healthier and more beautiful. Nutrient deficiency tests again help to make a more informed decision.

  1. Can I fertilize my lawn every 2 weeks?

It depends on the fertilizer that You use: slow-release or fast -release. You can reapply slow-release fertilizers every six to eight weeks, while a fast-release fertilizer can be reapplied every four weeks.

  1. Can you over-fertilize your lawn?

If You  see brown, yellow, or streaked grass after You fertilized Your lawn, then You most likely spilled too much fertilizer there. It happens, and it hurts Your lawn.

The accumulation of salts weakens both lawn health and soil structure. Excessive nutrients change the PH Balance of your soil.

Here are the main reasons why gardeners or lawn service providers over-fertilize the lawn:

The size of an area is miscalculated. It is crucial to get your figures right when fertilizing based on an area’s size. Always start with the outer dimensions. And even then, You can make mistakes. So remember to deduct non-lawn areas. They are your home, outbuildings, and driveways.

Guessing fertilizer quantities.  You must have a set of measuring cups that You devote to garden fertilizers. Bypassing them increases the risk of burn, especially when directly fertilizing individual plants.

Leaving the spreader hopper open when filling, stopping, or turning. Unless you close the hopper when you load, stop or set your spreader, fertilizer keeps coming out. Every pile of excess fertilizer is an opportunity for fertilizer burn.

Water and Weather Factors For Lawn Fertilization

Water and Weather Factors for Lawn Fertilization

Lawn service won’t be of much help if you don’t take care of the lawn and your sprinkles.  Water and fertilization are the best friends that help your lawn. So let’s see what you need to know about water power in the fertilization game. 

  1. What happens if it rains after I fertilize my lawn?

Water is a suitable activator of the fertilizer, so it’s a good thing.

  1. Is it OK to put fertilizer on wet grass? 

Apply fertilizer to a dry lawn. 

  1. Should I water my lawn after fertilizing?

Yes, You should water the lawn after fertilizing if there is no rain coming, especially if you use dry fertilizer. Want to prevent all the problems? Watering immediately after you spread fertilizer will help Yo avoid burns and other difficulties.

  1. Will fertilizer burn grass if not watered? 

The best way to avoid burnt grass is to water immediately.

  1. What amount of rain is too much after fertilizing?

It is always better to look at the weather forecast. If you see that heavy rain is on the way, delay applying fertilizer until after the showers are over.

Too much rain can definitely wash away the fertilizer before it has a chance to soak into the soil.

Temperature Factors for Lawn Fertilization

 Temperature Factors for Lawn Fertilization

 

  1. Is it OK to fertilize lawn in hot weather?

Hot weather creates big stress for lawn grass. 

  1. What temperature is the best for lawn fertilization?

The best time to fertilize your lawn is in the spring. Check the soil temperature—not the air temperature. It should reach 55º Fahrenheit.

  1. How do you bring back a dead St Augustine grass?

If it’s dead, it starts to form bare spots. Such damage is most usually not repairable. The only solution is tearing down the dead lawn.

Epsom Salt and Coffee grounds for Lawn Care

 Epsom Salts for Lawn Care

  1. Can you use Epsom salt on St Augustine grass?

You’re encouraged almost every spring to use Epsom Salts for blooms, better shrubs, greener grass, and even pest control. However, it’s not proven scientifically that it works. Epsom salts name itself is confusing for consumers. First of all, epsom salt is not a salt and is not related to table salt. Table salt is sodium chloride. Epsom Salts consists of sulfate (sulfur+oxygen) and magnesium.

 

  1. Are used coffee grounds good for grass?

Coffee grounds is an organic option for fertilization. Do not be confused; it is not the caffeine, but the nitrogen, phosphorus, and trace minerals coffee grounds contain that feeds the lawn.

These are the 21 questions that we often hear as local lawn care services providers. 

Precautions with lawn care

There are 3 important precautions that should be taken to make sure Your lawn is both safe and well-fertilized.

All fertilizers – organic and chemical may burn lawn grasses if improperly applied. It happens very often for the first time users. And the damage usually is irreversible.

Lawn care maintenance varies month by month.

Health dangers are also prominent when it comes to lawn care services. Almost 3 million tons of inorganic fertilizer are used on American lawns each year.

They become endocrine disruptors ammonia is mixed with urea and formaldehyde.

Healthy lawns that are also healthy for children and pets. That’s our goal.

Finally, Houston lawns may have particular conditions that require variations of a standard Texas fertilizer schedule. One example is intermittently supplementing nitrogen with iron to promote greening. It is done safely without wearying the grass.

Feel free to contact us today about Zodega TIS’s commercial lawn services in Houston or our residential lawn service in Houston.