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Fertilizing Home Lawns:

Empire, Meyer, Zorro and Diamond Zoysia:

Zoysia grasses do better with less rather than more fertilizer. It tends to form a layer of thatch under the green grass, if too much fertilizer is used. Spread fertilizer in spring, when Zoysia is at least 50% green and repeat in midsummer. Use any brand of turf fertilizer that contains slow release nitrogen, apply at the recommended rate. A September application of a winterizing fertilizer such as 3-9-18 will help the lawn survive the winter without damage.

Centipede:

Centipede does not require a lot of fertilization. Typical Centipede fertilizer is 15-0-15 with 6 pounds of fertilizer per 1000 square feet in May, after the grass has turned green and repeat in July. A September application of a winterizing fertilizer such as 3-9-18 will help the lawn survive the winter without damage.

Palmetto St. Augustine:

Generally Palmetto requires 3-fertilizer applications/year: spring, summer and fall. Avoid disease and insect inducing growth flushes by reducing Nitrogen rates. Improve color and limit growth surges, especially in summer, by utilizing Iron sources. Higher Nitrogen rates should only be applied in the spring, for injury recovery, or for planned “peaking’ of Palmetto. Apply balanced, slow-release fertilizers with lower rates of Nitrogen in the summer and fall. Recommended fertilizers are balanced, time released fertilizers, such as 16-4-8, for most uses. Iron can be used in lieu of Nitrogen for improved color.

419 Bermuda and Tifgrand Bermuda:

Fertilize Bermuda sod after it has turned 50% green in the spring. Apply after danger of frost with balanced fertilizer such as 16-4-8. Slow release Nitrogen is very beneficial in the growing quality of Bermuda. Fertilize every 4 to 8 weeks during the summer with a well balanced fertilizer. Please note that too much Nitrogen can cause excessive thatch buildup. A September application of a winterizing fertilizer such as 3-9-18 will help the lawn survive the winter without damage.

Common Mistakes:

The lack of good fertility actually promotes weed development over sod development; because weeds exist at lower fertility levels without fertilizer the sod is not able to compete and take over.