Now isn’t the time to fertilize your lawn

Della King Contributing columnists

September 2, 2013

Question: What is the latest time I can fertilize my centipede lawn?

Answer: Even though it is still warm, it doesn’t mean you can continue to fertilize your lawn. Fertilizers are a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (potash), which are the major essential nutrients that most plants require. The percentage amounts of these nutrients depends on the blend of the fertilizer you purchase.

Nitrogen is needed for foliage growth and green color. Phosphorous promotes growth, and quality of seed, fruit, and flower production. Potassium helps plants overcome drought stress and improves winter hardiness.

During this time of year it’s helpful to make a potassium application to your lawn. Make applications after Sept.1, four to six weeks before the first expected frost. For Bermuda, centipede, and zoysia grasses, apply 1 pound of potassium per 1,000 square feet. Do not make any fertilizer applications to St. Augustine after Aug. 31.

Reminder: If you would like to learn more about Horticultural related topics, then join the “Sampson County Friends of Horticulture”. This program offers monthly “How To” Horticultural Seminars. Please call 910-592-7161 for more information. Please call the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center at 910-592-7161 with your horticultural questions and to register for any upcoming events. Be sure to check out the Ask An Expert Widget at for any questions you may have.

(Editor’s note: Della King, is agriculture extension agent and home horticulture agent for the Coopeative Extension Service in Sampson County.)