Usually beautiful, well-cared lawn is taken for granted — just until the moment when it starts looking stunted and bleak. No wonder — every plant, grass included, needs vitamins to grow properly. And if you’ve been lucky to have a good-looking yard without any extra effort… well, one day this luck finishes and you’ll need fertilizing. It’ s an important factor for a green, healthy lawn. Most probably, you have Bermuda grass — the most common, heat resistant, and easy-to-care type. How to pick and use a fertilizing solution for it? Easy, after you read this tutorial.
What will you need?
- Best Fertilizer.
- Lawn spreader.
- Soil testing kit.
- Best for: providing nutrition and growth of а sward; an old lawn nutrient deficiency treating
- Results: fast greensward growth; sward improvement
- Covers: 4,000 sq. ft.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How can you understand if the grass needs help?
Experienced gardeners usually check these signs of the deficit:
- yellow spots;
- overgrowth of weeds;
- slow growth;
- bald spots;
- bleak color.
Notice those signs? Probably, your soil is sick, which increases the risk of being attacked by pests. It’s good to use fertilizers in spring, but remove dry stems and leaves, preparing for the first procedure.
Pro tip: pieces of the mixture can stick to wet weeds and burn delicate green stems, so make sure the ground is dry while fertilizing.
How much fertilizing mix do I need?
You’ll find a wide range of fertilizers in shops. To buy the best one, look at the numbers on the label. They show the quantity of:
Nitrogen (N) causes leaf and stalks growth. Phosphorus (P) is necessary for the root system to develop properly. Potassium (K) helps to provide the ‘immune system’ of grass: it becomes resistant to poor weather conditions and diseases.
- 16-4-8 for treating nutrient deficiencies on old lawn;
- 24-25-4 to plant a new one.
Choose the nitrogen-rich mixes to help Bermuda grow well. But remaining elements are needed to support development as well. If you want to know the number of nutritional elements which will be used on every 1000 square feet, divide 100 by the first figure that appears in the fertilizer’s ratio. Let’s say, you have a 16-8-4 mix. Divide 100 by 16 and the result is 6.25 pounds of nitrogen in every 1000 square feet of the yard.
- Best for: planting a new grassplot; an old lawn recovery
- Results: development and continued growth
- Covers: 5,000 sq. ft.
How much will it cost to fertilize 300 acres of coastal Bermuda grass?
The calculations are not difficult. Nitrogen is the main element for growing the Bermuda grass. The more of it you want to grow, the more nitrogen-based mix you have to use. The simplest solution is urea, with 46% N (nitrogen) in its formula. Price for April 2020: $235 per 1 ton, Or $0.106 per 1 pound. If the lawn is 1,000 square feet, you need 5 pounds of 20% nitrogen-rich fertilizer to cover it. So, you need twice less urea for only 2.5 pounds. For the area in 300 acres, it’ll be 32670 pounds of urea with a cost of $0.106 per pound. The total amount will be $3,463.
When to apply fertilizers to Bermuda grass
Bermuda grows in warm periods of the year, so you must fertilize it in spring, specifically late May. The best time for fertilizer is 6 to 9 AM , in windless, calm weather.
When to do it in Texas (including north Texas)
The first application has to be finished in February or March. Perfect time for the next procedure: April or May. Pick the right number of nutrients based on the quality of your lawn. The schedule of fertilizing can be like this:
- February or March, if you plan to plant a new lawn;
- April, if fertilizers are applied together with seeding Bermuda grass;
- May and June for an existing old lawn;
- September, to strengthen the lawn before wintering.
You shouldn’t forget that cool-season grasses need a big dose of fertilizing solution in late fall and early winter. But Bermuda grass prefers warm weather, so it grows from March to September in every state, whether it’s Georgia, NC, Arizona, Alabama, Atlanta, North Carolina, Oklahoma, or others.
How many times to fertilize Bermuda grass?
Do you have strong or weak grass? If you think your lawn is healthy (check the signs of lack of nutrients ), you can use fertilizers twice a year: once in March and the next time in early fall. Fertilize a weakened lawn 3 times a year. Start in early spring and finish in September to provide a fast speed of growth for the grass.
- Best for: nutrition and growth providing
- Results: intense growth
- Covers: 3,200 sq. ft.
Step by step instruction
Step 1: Test the soil
Sounds like something new? Well, it means you’re a beginner in the lawn-growing because professionals know it for sure! First mistake of every newbie: not testing the soil. Not knowing how much nutrients are already in will lead to overfertilizing and actually damaging the plants, which is, I’m sure, not your intention. Use one of these test kits for soil:
- Atree Soil pH Meter;
- Sonkir Soil pH Meter MS02 or others.
There’s a panel on top of each device, showing the number of elements in the soil vs normal amount. Then test the pH of soil. Most grasses like soil with a range of 6.5 to 7.0 pH. If your lawn’s soil’s pH is too low or too high, grass can’t digest nutrients. But if the soil is ok, don’t fertilize it. Soils with low pH, like 5.5 or 6.0 need applications of lime to «sweeten» it. Soil pH values above 7.5 will need sulfur. Remember, your lawn needs a specific amount of minerals and vitamins. More isn’t always better.
Step 2: Fertilizer Application Tools
You’ll need a lawn spreader: it’s a convenient way that provides a gradual release of nutrients over time. If you want to see an immediate effect, use the lawn sprayers: they deliver vitamins to your grass in no time!
Step 3: Water your lawn
Three days before the procedure, water the lawn, using one inch of water for each zone. Before using fertilizer, the soil should be a bit moist to help it penetrate, but your grass must be dry.
Step 4: Fill the spreader
Read on the label how many grams you need to take. Measure and add them in the lawn spreader. The rate of fertilizer in granules will be about 20-40 pcs per square meter.
- Best for: nutrition and growth providing
- Results: support for durable growth
- Covers: 4,350 sq. ft.
Step 4.1. Use the mix
Spread your fertilizer first along the perimeter. Then do the same across it in two rounds. First, move from up to down, then go from side to side. So, the fertilizer will be applied evenly and the grass won’t be patchy.
Step 4.2. Fertilize with a liquid solution
Pick the right dose of fertilizer and pour it to the irrigator. To fertilize a small lawn, add it to a bucket of water. One bucket is enough to water about 6 square meters of area.
Step 5. Water the lawn
It’s a crucial step that shouldn’t be skipped after fertilizing: the digestion of the nutrients will become faster. How to determine the time for the next planned watering? Put your hand on the ground. If there is no moist soil under it, it’s time to moisturize the ground.
As you see, it’s really not difficult to fertilize Bermuda grass. Some equipment, some effort, and some patience — and your lawn is excellent, bright, and even! And, surely, there’s nothing better than having some great time outside and not being worried about your lawn’s look. I really hope you find this guide helpful! If you have any questions left, ask me in comments, and let’s discuss them! You can also send this tutorial to your friends, I am sure they’ll be happy to learn something new!