Caring for your Landscape: Fertilizing Ryegrass

Fertilizing Your Winter Lawn

Proper fertilization of your overseeded lawn is essential for healthy growth and good color during Arizona’s winter season. However, over-fertilization will increase your water bill and require more frequent mowing. The following tips will guide you on your way to a successful, and cost efficient, fertilization process.

Healthy Lawn After Fertilization

Fertilizing for Success

Ryegrass requires regular fertilization. During the winter months, apply a fertilizer, such as ammonium nitrate which is formulated for colder temperatures, to your lawn approximately every three to four weeks from November to February. The optimal time to fertilize your lawn is early in the morning when the dew is heavy. The dew causes you to leave tracks as you’re walking across the lawn and it’ll be easier to see where you’ve been. Also, there is less wind and the fertilizer is less likely to blow around. Always follow the directions on the package. Additionally, you may want to consider applying ferrous sulfate or iron chelates. These two products help keep grass green while reducing excess growth. All of the products mentioned above can be found at your local home improvement store or nursery.

A hand spreader is an essential tool for properly fertilizing your lawn.

Avoid Over-fertilization

When grass is over-fertilized, salt builds up and dries out the soil, eventually killing the grass. Often, we just put the fertilizer in the spreader and start. Resist the urge to skip over the package instructions. While having a plan in place and following a schedule can be helpful, nothing beats routine inspections. Regularly monitoring your lawn will help you pre-empt any issues that may arise due to over or under-fertilzation.

QUICK TIP FROM THE EXPERTS: If you notice the tips of grass blades turning brown, it is likely a sign of salt build up or over-fertilization. The best thing to do is to run a one-time extended irrigation cycle. This will help leach or push the salt buildup from over-fertilization down below the roots.

 

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