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Caring for Your Lawn

Properly maintained fescue grass makes a beautiful and inviting lawn.

Caring For Your Lawn

Cool season grasses such as fescue and Kentucky bluegrass should only be fertilized in February, September, and November. A good way to remember this is to fertilize on heart day, labor day, and turkey day. Applying fertilizer during warmer months can lead to disease and excess stress problems.

Always complete a soil test first. Excess nutrients can damage the waters of NC through run-off. Get a free soil test from N.C. Cooperative Extension – Henderson County Center. Results will tell you how much phosphorus, potassium, and lime you need. Soil tests should be completed at least every 3 years.

Fertilizer facts – Fertilizer labels always display the three numbers in the same order (i.e. 10-6-4). These numbers represent the percent by weight of three important nutrients.

Nitrogen (N) – for leafy green growth

Phosphorus (P) – for root and bud growth

Potassium (K) – promotes disease tolerance and drought resistance.

A typical lawn feeding is 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Here are some common lawn fertilizer formulations and the amount of each needed for 1 pound of nitrogen.

Bag labeled   Amt. for 1 lb. N

6-2-0               17 lbs.

10-10-10          10 lbs.

14-3-6               7 lbs.

35-3-5               3 lbs.

For other formulations, divide 1 (1 lb N per 1,000 sq. feet) by the first number on the bag (% N).

Ex. 24-6-6 1 ÷ .24 = 4.17

This is a little more than 4 lbs. of product.

Lawn area is 5,000 square feet.

4 X 5 = 20 lb. bag to cover lawn.

Written By

Photo of John Dorner, IVJohn Dorner, IVArea Agent, Information Management (828) 290-9876 john_dorner@ncsu.eduMadison County, North Carolina
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