Did you fertilize your Tallahassee lawn too soon?

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It’s springtime in north Florida, and as the new season settles in for the next three months, our temperatures are beginning to rise. However, even though we are starting to see more 80-degree days doesn’t necessarily mean your lawn is ready to get fertilized.  

Every Spring, when our Leon County lawns begin wakening up, we’ll get calls, emails or Facebook questions asking one of our Dickerson lawn care specialists, “How early can I fertilize my lawn?” That’s a great question, and according to William Dickerson, the company owner, and 32-year veteran of lawn care maintenance, he recommends fertilizing by mid-April after the Azaleas and Dogwoods have finished blooming.

Furthermore, David W. Marshall who teaches environmental landscape management for the University of Florida, he states that fertilizer can be a good thing, but excessive or early fertilizing could ruin the health of your lawn. So, we must be diligent not to apply fertilizer nutrients that are not necessary and too soon.

What are the warning signs you fertilize too early?

When applying excessive amounts of fertilizer to your lawn, it does cause the salt levels and nitrogen in the ground to increase, which will damage or kill your grass. That occurrence, known as fertilizer-burn, exhibits signs of patches of dead grass or yellow to brown strips.

Quite often you’ll see these manifestations appear the day after an application. So, by fertilizing your lawn too early can stimulate new growth before temperatures remain warm enough for the fresh grass to survive. Wait until the turf comes out of hibernation and starts to grow on its own before fertilizing in the spring.

How to repair a damaged lawn from fertilizing too early?

Burned lawns will need special attention and care. To start, use a generous amount of water to get your turf back to green. It’s vital to water your lawn once you spot any patches of dead grass or brown to yellow patches. Doing so may prevent further damage and restore growth.

Do note: the crucial time to water is first thing in the morning. By soaking the damaged areas once a day for about a week you should be able to flush out the salt. Then monitor your lawn for a few weeks, and if the damage was minor, it should start turning green on its own.

However, those areas of your lawn not responding with new growth, then depending on your turf’s type of grass, you then must have it dug up and reseeded or replaced with new sod. But before you do that check with one of our Dickerson lawn care specialists and schedule a time for them to come out to assess all the damage. What they find, lets you know the next steps you’ll need to take.

And next season, you’ll know that using only a slow-release fertilizer after mid-April will reduce your lawn’s risk of fertilizer burn. Also, to guarantee, your lawn remains healthy throughout the year contact Dickerson Landscape and Lawn Care and have our lawn care specialists take that chore off your hands.

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