Cool-Season Grass Species Vs. Warm-Season Grass Species

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When Is It the Best Time to Fertilize Your Grass?

Before you start fertilizing your turfgrass, you should determine which type of grass you own. Lawn grasses are commonly organized into two major groups: cool-season and warm-season.

Cool Season Grasses

Cool season species “green up” in mid-spring and keep their green longer into the fall, before going dormant and turning brown in late fall. However, they will go dormant in the hot temperatures of summer if there is not enough water. To grow healthy, these grasses need at least a half to three-quarters a day of full sun exposure.

Cool-season grassesBentgrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescues, and Ryegrasses are often called “northern grasses” because they grow best in cold winter climates.

Fertilize cool season grasses in the fall and spring, before vigorous growth starts. If you live in an area that has frigid winters, avoid fertilizing in spring until the grass is “greening-up” and has begun to grow. Generally, don’t do summer feeding as it weakens the grass and promotes disease.

Warm Season Grasses

The species that fall into this group are in active growth beginning in late spring and go dormant in early to mid-fall. That means that they achieve a greener look in late spring when the nights start to warm and go brown in mid-fall (late September-October). These grasses are very intolerant of shade. The more sun, the better.

Warm-season grassesSt Augustine grass, Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Carpetgrass, Centipedegrass, and Zoysiagrass are also called ‘‘southern grasses’’ because they adjust the best to hot summer areas.

Apply fertilizer from spring through summer and, in some southernmost areas, into fall. These species should not be fertilized before the active growth starts in spring or late into the fall.

Need help deterring which nutrients you need to fertilize your lawn? Reach out to the experts from Secure Lawn. Or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

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