Late May is Good Time to Fertilize Lawns – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Late May is Good Time to Fertilize Lawns

The annual phase of rapid cool-season shoot growth of cool-season grasses is nearly complete, though it was diminished this year because of the dry and cool weather. It’s now time to consider fertilizing your lawn because fertilizer now will not dramatically increase vertical growth as long as moderate nitrogen rates are used and it will help your lawn retain its color and health into the summer. Apply 0.75 to 1.0 lbs. N/1000 sq. ft. with a product that contains 50% or more slow release fertilizer. Slow release N sources include sulfur- or polymer-coated urea, urea formaldehyde, methylenediurea, dimethylenetriurea or natural organic/biosolids. Try to schedule the application prior to a soaking rain or irrigate following application to move the fertilizers off the leaf blade and into the soil where it can be absorbed by the roots. If fertilizer was applied with a preemergence herbicide earlier in the spring, a fertilizer application is likely not needed unless your lawn is off-color/yellow or has low shoot density. If this is the case, 0.5-0.75 lbs N/1000 sq. ft. can be applied.

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