Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lawn fertilization and Insect control schedule for Southeast Texas

Before I begin ,please be aware that applying certain fertilizer without proper watering CAN damage or kill your lawn. Always read the directions before use.

First application is in February .If necessary you may apply a weed and feed.
Nitro-phos weed and feed with Atrazine, fertilome, or Scott's Bonus S with Atrazine. are all good brands. Stay away from the box stores fertilizer and weed and feed. As the the saying goes "you get what you pay for", and you may get a destroyed lawn using cheap fertilizer.
* Just a note...When applying a weed and feed with ATRAZINE, make sure you do not apply it into your flowerbeds or around fruit trees. Atrazine will kill not only weeds but flowers and trees as well...

Second application is in March(15).Apply a 3-1-2 ratio (like 15-5-10)
Again, Nitro-phos, Fertilome, and Scott's, are good for this area. If this is your first application you also can use a weed and feed. Weed and feeds can be used up until the first week in April or when the temperatures reach into the upper 80's. If you are going to use a weed and feed this late please be sure and water it in.
In late May you can apply the same ratio as earlier or apply ammonium nitrate 34-0-0 at a rate of 3lbs per square feet. Nitro-phos superturf fetilizer, Scott's Super turf builder. (Again water well after fertilizing) [The first number is Nitrogen for rapid growth of the grass blades]
June ,July,and August months are a time for pests. Chinchbugs, and in august grub worms. (Although I have seen only 1 case of grub worm damage in 25 years of doing this.)
Chinch bugs are a big problem in Southeast Texas. Especially in drought years. To tell if you have chinch bugs there is a simple test. If you have a old coffee can cut the bottom out of it, then get a water hose and apply the water inside the can on the edge of the infected area. If its chinchbugs they will float to the top.
Apply Nitro-phos' Bug out, Bayer's Advanced Lawn to the edges of the infected areas. Read the directions thoroughly
For grubs the only window open to have an effect on them would be applying the same in August. .During to the fall and winter months they become dormant and pesticides will not work.
To know if your lawn is damaged by grubworms, you will notice that the grass itself comes up in bunches (Like someone cut it from the roots.)
Brown patch is also a concern here late August and September. Brown patch is mainly caused by the cooler damp nights of fall.
Apply a granular or spray on fungicide.Note the spray ons may have to be redone after a decent rain.
Finally in October most local brands carry their own mixture of fertilizer for the fall and winter months to use. In Southeast Texas, it doesn't freeze enough to damage the grasses here, so we would apply a local blend of winterizer, such as Nitro-phos fall special, or fertiloam. Scotts Winter guard (In my opinion has a nitrogen content too high for our area and may cause brown patch to progress.)
January and February. (A pre emergent herbicide is good for this also, applied in December)

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