Fertilizing a Bermuda Lawn
There are many brands and many types of fertilizers you can use on your Bermudagrass lawn and each uses a slightly different blend of nutrients.
How often does a Bermuda lawn need to be fed?
Bermudagrass is typically a heavy feeder. How often you feed it can depend on several factors, including rainfall and the type of fertilizer you use. If rainfall has been at or above average, or you have an irrigation system, fertilizer applications may need to be more frequent in order to keep your Bermudagrass healthy and a dark shade of green.
What type of fertilizer should I apply to my Bermuda lawn?
Before starting on any lawn fertilization program, it's best to have a soil test done. Test results can show you what nutrients are deficient and the pH of your soil. Saint Augustine thrives in a wide range of soil pH from 6.5 to 8.0. If your soil pH is outside of this range adjusments will be necessary. Most nursery and garden centers sell testing kits or you can buy a soil testing kit online here. Your local extension service might also provide soil testing services.
Once your soil has been adjusted properly, you can then begin with a lawn fertilization program consisting of several applications of fertilizer per year.
The type of fertilizer you use will vary depending on the condition of your soil and the time of year. Soil types also influence fertilizer needs. Soil tests are required to determine phosphorus, potassium, calcium and other nutrient deficiencies.
Here's some general fertilization guidelines and recommendations for Bermuda grass lawns...
The First Application (Spring)
Bermuda grass goes dormant during the winter months. When your grass has geened up by 50% or more in the early spring, it's time for the first application of fertilizer. For this first application, a fertilizer high in nitrogen is usually recommended. Nitrogen is the first number in fertilizer.
Second Application (Summer)
About 6 to 8 weeks after the spring application you can apply another dose of fertilizer. If rainfall has been average, or if you have an irrigation system, you may again apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. Otherwise, consider using a slow-release fertilizer or one lower in nitrogen.
Third Application - (Fall)
In early fall, you’ll want to apply a fall feed/winterizer fertilizer. This fertilizer will be low in nitrogen but high in potassium and phosphorus. Potassium and phosphorus will help to build up the root system, helping to protect you grass from the harsh winter. The idea is to get the fertilizer down and watered in before the grass goes back into dormancy.
Several fertilizer brands out there mix in weed control products with the lawn fertilizer. This way you can kill two bugs with one stone, pun intended:-) Whatever nursery and garden center you do business with, it’s likely you’ll find fertilizers that contain a weed control product.
Lawn Fertilization & Weed Control Program
Many local nursery and garden centers offer a do-it-yourself lawn care program. I'm not talking about the big box stores and Scotts brand products. That I am aware of, not a golf course in my area uses Scotts fertilizers. In my opinion, there are many better products on the market which are also less expensive.
Click here if you would like to see a Lawn Fertilization & Weed Control Program for a Bermuda lawn that we provide to our customers at Wilson Bros. Nursery in mid-Georgia. The program uses golf-course grade Lebanon Pro Fertilizers.