After some fairly cold temperatures and snowstorms this winter, persons are already enthusiastic about spring and getting exterior. Perhaps your lawn didn’t carry out as well as you’d have favored final year. Your plan is to get out there early with the fertilizer and get on the right track for lovely green grass this summer. Read along to be sure your plan is a fit together with your sort of grass, and make certain your time, money and efforts are spent properly.
Most people in the Sandhills have a warm season turfgrass. It could also be zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, or centipede grass. All these grasses go dormant within the winter, then inexperienced up within the spring and grow vigorously throughout the summer season. Not every heat season grass is treated the identical, however. Centipede grass is very common in our area. It is simple care, requiring mowing solely each two weeks or so, and little in the way in which of fertilizer. It even prefers a barely lower soil pH (pH is a measure of soil acidity which centipede prefers to be around 5.5 vs. 6.2 for zoysia and Bermuda grass). One positive hearth method to mess up your centipede grass? Fertilize within the spring. Centipede is finicky about when and the way much fertilizer is used. Fertilize with nitrogen just one time: at the end of Could or first week of June, after which with only a half-pound of nitrogen per thousand square ft (different grasses need rather more much nitrogen extra on that in a minute). When fertilizing, use a excessive potash, or potassium, fertilizer one thing with a 1:1:Three or 1:Zero:Three ratio of nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium (N-P-Ok). Look for something like a 5-5-15 or eight-0-24 fertilizer blend, somewhat than the typical 10-10-10. If the centipede grass still isn’t green enough to swimsuit you, strive a July application of iron, which may help green up your grass without adding a lot nitrogen.
Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass are more demanding turfgrasses that require more inputs and extra frequent consideration. Fertilize just a few weeks after green up (normally in late April or early May), providing a half-pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet using an entire fertilizer, something with a three-1-2 ratio comparable to 12-four-8. With zoysia grass, proceed to fertilize every four to six weeks with the complete fertilizer, applying not more than a half-pound of nitrogen each time. Zoysia shouldn’t receive more than 2 pounds of nitrogen total per rising season. Mid-August ought to be the most recent zoysia grass is fertilized with nitrogen for the 12 months. For Bermuda grass, after the initial fertilization of a half-pound of nitrogen per thousand square toes, apply a pound of nitrogen with your complete fertilizer by way of August, and then with only a half- pound of nitrogen in September, with a fertilizer with a high potash (potassium) ratio. Both centipede grass and zoysia grass will benefit from a September software of potash alone using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60), 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-zero-50), or 5 pounds of sul-po-magazine (zero-0-22) per 1,000 square feet. Potash is a crucial nutrient that helps plants manage water uptake, resist drought, and improves winter hardiness. Our sandy soils are naturally very low in potash, so don’t skip this important step.
Weeds are one among the biggest challenges in lawn care. Late February and early March is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for heat-season weeds akin to crabgrass; apply a put up-emergent herbicide in May (after inexperienced up) as necessary for clover, spurge, and other broadleaf weeds. Use a two- or three-way herbicide to improve management. Be sure the herbicide is labeled for zoysia and Bermuda, and observe label directions. Weed management in centipede is more difficult. Many common herbicides can injury centipede grass, reminiscent of 2,four-D and dicamba, so learn labels rigorously; usually the rate for centipede is half that for Bermuda, so make sure you are following the recommended price. Remember, one of the best ways to manage weeds is to have wholesome grass, so fertilize, mow and water (about one to one and a half inches of water per week if no rain) to ensure optimum growth.
When was the final time you soil examined your lawn? Fall is one of the best time to do this process, as, if lime is required, it takes 4 to six months for the lime to take effect. Nevertheless, remember that if the soil pH is simply too low, plants are unable to affectively uptake fertilizer, and is not going to carry out nicely.
For more data on managing your turfgrass, weed identification and more, contact the Richmond County Extension office at 123 Caroline St., Rockingham, or name 910-997-8255.
Paige Burns is assistant horticulture agent at the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Richmond County office.
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