Planning Ahead: How Nitrogen Can Help Your Lawn in the Fall

Predicting the weather in Texas is next to impossible, but it’s smart to prepare for when things get rough. Fall is the best time to invest a little extra care and attention for your commercial lawn in preparation for the winter’s first freezing periods. Generally, our climate is warm with winters reaching average records of 46 degrees in Texas. While this isn’t exactly freezing, it’s definitely close. As history has taught us, never underestimate the weather!

A lack of preparation can result in serious damage to your lawn. We can help prevent this.

What Your Commercial Lawn May be Missing

It’s possible that your lawn has sufficient levels of phosphorus or potassium. These elements help make it vibrant and healthy. A surprising fact many don’t know is that their lawn could be lacking nitrogen.

Nitrogen is one of the most important elements in plant growth. It stimulates healthy growth, improves the overall thickness of grass and gives it a vibrant color. However, be aware that using too much nitrogen can also cause damage as it increases the possibility of plant diseases, weed growth and may also harm our environment when used excessively.

Nitrogen is a macronutrient that all plants need because it works like a protein for growth. It is present in the chloroplasts of the plant that allow photosynthesis (making food within itself) to occur. Using nitrogen in lawn care at higher dosages than regular fertilizer can add an extra pump of nutrients and proteins that plants (or grass) need to sustain health.

Tips on Using Nitrogen for Your Lawn

According to a study conducted by Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture, managing your nitrogen usage can give a clear understanding on how it should be applied to your lawn. Never apply more than one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, and always apply it evenly.

Secondly, nitrogen applications are best used after the top growth stops. This is about 10 days after your last lawn cut, and also within daily temperatures below 50°F. Organic nitrogen sources alone are not a good choice for fall as they require microbial action in warm soils.

Lastly, fertilize less when grass clippings are left on the lawn or when your lawn is growing in a shady area. These areas generally need less fertilization since sunlight has a lower potential for damage.

One Time Treatments Versus Ongoing Fertilization

The best thing to do in the fall is fertilize cool-season grasses like ryegrass, fescue and bluegrass with one-time fertilizers and applying a nitrogen treatment. Caring for warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Bahia, Centipede, St. Augustine and Zoysia entails applying a light winterizing fertilizer formula that contains a higher amount of potassium than regular fertilizer. This will give your lawn the extra boost it needs to withstand cold temperatures.

Keep it Green this Fall

Texas whether usually allows for some wiggle room when keeping up with your lawn in the fall and winter seasons. Winter storms may not be an issue in places like San Antonio, but if you’re looking to keep your commercial lawn in top shape year-round, make sure to fertilize and nitrogenize. Contact TLC Total Lawn Care LLC at 800.796.8087 to get more info about keeping your lawn healthy.

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