How to Feed a Warm Season Lawn

Whether you have St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass, Carpet grass, Zoysia grass, Centipede, Bahia or Buffalo grass, you will need to know how to feed a warm-season lawn in order to keep it looking greener longer and growing adequately. This will hold true regardless of if you started your lawn with seeds, plugs or sod.

Steps

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    Run a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient level of your yard. Contact your local extension office for assistance if you need help.
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    Apply nonselective chemicals before you plant the grass to avoid weeds. These can include glufosinate or glyphosate, but you want to make sure that your temperature is warm enough so that the chemicals translocate to the existing plants.
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    Add lime if your soil tests indicated a need for it. Apply the lime or other indicated chemical before you till so that it gets mixed into your soil.
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    Till your soil using a tiller or a shovel to a depth of around 4 to 6 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) before you seed your lawn. If you have not prepared the ground well enough, seed that sits directly on the surface does nothing more than feed the birds.
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    Add a starter fertilizer that has phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.
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    Apply your seeds, then rake the seeds and area lightly to make appropriate contact of seed to soil.
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    Create a fertility program of chemicals once your grass has gone through a full spring green. This usually happens for established grass after the soil temperature has exceeded 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for around 3 to 4 weeks.
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    Develop a fertilizer program in the spring that includes a weed and feed treatment with a preemergent herbicide carried as part of the fertilizer mixture. This will take care of crabgrass that is trying to emerge. Make sure that the product you use is low in nitrogen so that you don't damage the root system.
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    Apply a product with iron to speed up your green. The color can be short-lived, but you can also implement nutrients that have magnesium and sulfur to also give you a greener yard. Only apply such chemicals, though, as dictated by the results of your soil test.
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    Improve the oxygen levels in your grass throughout the summer by aerating it after it has finished its spring growth. Ideally, wait at least 4 to 6 weeks after you apply your herbicide treatment.
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    Use a herbicide treatment on your lawn through the summer in order to remove emerging threats to the lawn. This allows for weed control without harming your grass.

Tips

  • Add insecticides and other biological controls to help keep away insects that are detrimental to your grass.

Warnings

  • Be prepared for your warm-season lawn to turn brown over the winter unless you plan to overseed it with ryegrass for the winter.

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care