Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Demystified: Tips from the Pros

January 23, 2024
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Maintaining a green lawn in Oklahoma’s diverse climate can feel like a science experiment. Understanding the science behind your lawn’s fertilizer needs and timing your applications can ensure maximum impact. Don’s Lawn is here to help you crack the code and unlock the mysteries of the perfect lawn fertilizer schedule for your specific grass type.

Best Time to Fertilize Lawn

If you are thinking about the best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all. Oklahoma’s distinct seasons and grass types demand personalized fertilizer schedules. Grasses fall into two categories: warm-season and cool-season grasses, each with unique needs.

Warm-season grasses

Bermuda Grass

This sun-loving grass thrives in Oklahoma’s heat. Its rigid structure creates a dense, weed-resistant turf that withstands summer heat. Four feedings spaced a month apart from May ensure vibrant green through the growing season. Consider slow-release options and skip July and September applications for a low-maintenance lawn.

Zoysia Grass

This shade-tolerant grass can adapt to both sun and partial shade. Three applications spaced a month apart from May keep it healthy. Like Bermuda, slow-release options can help you skip July and September applications for a carefree lawn.

Buffalo Grass

Native to the prairies, Buffalo Grass is drought-tolerant. Its fine blades form a low-growing carpet that prospers with just two feedings, one in May and another in August. 

Cool-season grasses

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue, a cool-season turf, excels in Oklahoma’s shade and endures its hot, dry summers. Use a low-nitrogen mix with nutrients to fortify its roots.

Bluegrass

Kentucky Bluegrass boasts a cool emerald green hue that elevates any lawn. It forms a dense, soft layer perfect for bare feet, but its shallow root system requires consistent moisture and flourishes in shaded areas where soil temperatures are lower. Fertilize with low nitrogen. 

Perennial Ryegrass

This fast-growing grass establishes quickly, providing a lush green lawn in a flash. Its cold tolerance makes it ideal for early spring green, but it requires more frequent watering than warm season grasses. Rye is more tolerant to warm soil, however following and thinning will occur without a strict watering schedule. 

By following a lawn fertilizer schedule based on your grass type, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy lawn year-round!

When to Fertilize Your Lawn in the Summer

When Oklahoma’s summer heat sets in, take careful precautions and curate your lawn fertilizer schedule to ensure the proper care. 

Cool-season grasses like fescue and bluegrass prefer a break from fertilizer during the hotter months, focusing instead on consistent watering and weed control. Their shallow roots can become stressed by additional nutrients in the peak heat. 

However, warm-season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia need continued nourishment to fight summer challenges. Frequent feedings with slow-release fertilizers, spaced every 4-8 weeks, provide sustained support without burning in the sun. 

Less is often more when it comes to summer fertilization, so prioritize hydration and weed control for cool-season grasses and keep those warm-season grasses fueled for a lush, green lawn throughout the season.

When Should I Fertilize My Lawn in the Fall?

As the summer cools and autumn paints the landscape with gold, it’s time to shift your lawn fertilizer schedule to meet the needs of your lawn and prepare it for winter. 

Cool-season grasses, starting in fall, with a low nitrogen and pot-ash, build winter resilience and fuel that glorious spring green-up. 

Warm-season counterparts need a different approach. Skip fall fertilization altogether and replenish the nutrients that fertilizer depletes in the summer, add in a weed control to ensure a smooth transition into a weed free dormancy. 

More Tips to Consider

Combine these practical recommendations with your lawn fertilizer schedule to optimize your lawn care routine. Achieve a stunning, healthy landscape while prioritizing responsible resource management and environmental protection in Oklahoma.

Soil Test: 

  1. Before any fertilization, consider a soil test. 
  2. Conduct a soil test at least once every three years to establish a baseline for your lawn’s nutrient levels. 
  3. Maintain a record of your test results to monitor changes in fertility over time. 

More frequent testing may be advisable for problem areas or after significant nutrient applications. Understanding your lawn’s nutrient deficiencies and pH level ensures targeted fertilization, preventing over-application.

Choose Wisely: Opt for slow-release fertilizers tailored to your grass type and season. These provide consistent, controlled nutrient release, minimizing the risk of burning and maximizing long-term benefits for your lawn.

Water Wisely: Deep, infrequent watering practices promote strong root development, leading to a more resilient lawn with reduced dependence on frequent fertilization. This approach conserves water, minimizes nutrient runoff, and optimizes lawn health.

Mow High: Taller grass blades shade the soil, reducing evaporation and minimizing the need for frequent watering. A higher mowing height also discourages weed pressure and promotes thicker, more robust turf growth.

Revamp Your Lawn Care Routine with Don’s Lawn!

Stop deciphering confusing schedules and wondering, “When should I fertilize my lawn?”. If you need lawn fertilization in Oklahoma City,  contact us now to get a personalized quote and unlock expert guidance for your lawn’s needs.


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