Lawn fertilization for Bermuda grass is not like for other lawns. Bermuda grass requires more nitrogen than other greens, but you repay the favor of a lush, abundant, grassy, resistant weed. Know when to fertilize the Bermuda grass, and how to take care of it through the seasons.
Soil Analysis For Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass grows best when the soil is very rich in nitrogen, consuming much more than other grass varieties. In the fall, reduce nitrogen in favor of a high-potassium fertilizer to help it resist the harmful effects of winter. With regular tests, you can see which nutrients your lawn consumes and enter a fertilization pattern.
Regular Lawn Fertilization for Bermuda Grass
During its time of increasing peak, Bermuda grass grows with constant fertilization. Growers claim that the lawn will survive without additional fertilization, but to maintain the thicker, lushest green coloration and maximum growth, keep fertilizing.
There is a dispute as to whether fertilizer application should be in effect every four weeks or every six to eight weeks, but it does not prove that has adverse impact on-fertilization, as long as you are providing enough of water. It is best to use a 50-50 fast and slow release nitrogen mixture, and water frequently.
The Temperature To Fertilize Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass must be fertilized in the spring when soil temperatures are at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, according to gardening expert Walter Reeves. Adding fertilizer to your Bermuda lawn before soil temperatures favor green-up promotes weed growth because weed seeds take advantage of nutrients in the soil that Bermuda grass is not ready to absorb.
Fertilize your Bermuda lawn when the soil is warming up in the winter or when 50 percent of the grass is out of dormancy. To measure your soil temperature, create a pilot hole 6 inches deep in your soil with a screwdriver to avoid breaking the soil thermometer. Measure the soil temperature in the morning and afternoon. Take an average of both temperatures to get an accurate reading.
Gardeners can tell when they should first apply the fertilizer in the spring by looking at their lawn. Wait to fertilize when at least 50 percent of the grass is green or is growing.
As a rule of thumb, Bermuda grass grows when the air temperatures are 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which occurs in late spring, depending on your area. Those living in the regions that receive mild winters can fertilize earlier in the season than those living in areas that experience frost.
Make sure the soil temperature is warm enough before applying the fertilizer.
Schedule Lawn Fertilization
Fertilize your Bermuda lawn every four to six weeks during the growing season. Spread the fertilizer in the morning before the hot afternoon heat to reduce the risk of burning the grass with nitrogen.
Nitrogen consists of salts, which dehydrate the grass when applied during hot or no water temperatures. Also, avoid fertilizing your Bermuda lawn with more than 1 1/2 lbs. of nitrogen per 1000 square feet to avoid burning grass blades.
Fertilizing The Bermuda Grass For Winter
In winter, use a high-potassium fertilizer, with or without weed control to stop the growth of your lawn and ensure that the roots can store essential nutrients during the season. Use a spreader and apply a winterizer, then water thoroughly one last time. Resume your summer system once the soil reaches 65 degrees F.
Fertilizing The Bermuda Grass During The Summer Months
Bermuda grass has a high value for its habit of vigorous growth, drought tolerance and the ability to set up quickly in the soil in multiple ways. The Bermuda grass spreads under the earth by spreading and colonizing rhizomes, on the ground by creeping stolons, and always producing large seed heads in the form of a profuse propeller. This growth habit makes it a heavy loader compared to turf standards.
The Bermuda grass should be treated with lawn fertilizer once a month throughout the summer, each year, according to Texas A & M University.
- Select a complete lawn fertilizer product with slow – release, fast release ingredients, and a guaranteed 22-2-2 assay or similar macronutrient ratio.
- Apply as directed by the product label for your specific area of Bermuda grass. Do not exceed an application rate each month of 1 1/2 lbs. Nitrogen per 1000 square feet, nor feed less than 1/2 pound per 1000 square feet.
- Spread the fertilizer on the lawn evenly with a spreading implement or by casting on the ground with a gloved hand.
- Water the compost into the soil well until the stubble and top 4 or 5 inches of soil and Bermuda grass roots are soaked with nutrient-rich water.
When Lawn Fertilization is not needed
Stop fertilizing your Bermuda grass in mid-September. Gardeners tempted to fertilize their lawns after mid-September risks injuring their Bermuda grass. Bermuda must be able to enter dormancy by the end of the summer. Gardeners notice their Bermuda grass going dormant when the grass turns brown.
The actively growing grass is damaged when the temperature drops. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, Bermuda stops growing for the season. If nitrogen gets applied to the grass before dipping temperatures, new growth is injured.