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Hot Springs, Ark. – Proper fertilization is necessary to produce a healthy, high-quality, attractive
lawn. The first step in fertilizing your home lawn is to obtain a soil test before
applying any nutrients. A soil test provides key information including soil pH, potassium
and phosphorus levels. Soil testing is free through county Cooperative Extension
Collect soil samples in a bucket from the upper 4 to 6 inches of soil from ten or
more locations around the lawn. Remove any vegetative material such as stems and leaves
and air dry and mix the samples thoroughly. Take about 1 pint of the mixture to your
county Extension office for analysis. Soil can be sampled any time of the year, but
sampling lawns in late fall or winter will make sure the results will be available
before fertilizer is needed in the spring.
Calculating Your Lawn Area
The next key step in fertilizing your lawn is to determine the size. This will aid
in calculating how much fertilizer and other materials you will need to maintain your
lawn. The best way to do this is to divide your lawn into several squares, rectangles
or circles. Calculate the area of these smaller shapes and then add them together
to determine the total size of the lawn.
The Fertilizer Label
The two most important pieces of information on the fertilizer label are the analysis
and the type(s) of nitrogen fertilizer. The fertilizer analysis is a series of three
numbers which provides information on the three most important nutrients for plant
growth (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). The numbers in the fertilizer analysis
express the nutrients as the percentage N, available P2O5 and soluble K2O.
The amount of nitrogen fertilizer required by turf depends on species and various
management and environmental/management factors. Never apply more than 1.0 lb N/1,000
ft2 in any one application unless 50 percent or more of the nitrogen is slow-release.
Do not apply fertilizer more frequently than once monthly unless you are establishing
a new lawn.
The timing of N fertilizer applications depends on the lawn species. Warm-season turfgrasses such as bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass should be fertilized
in the summer months when they are actively growing. Cool-season turfgrass species such as tall fescue should be fertilized mainly in the autumn.
A fertilization in September, November and an application in the spring after the
flush of growth (April or May) will result in a healthy turf. Avoid fertilizing tall
fescue in the summer months because of increased risk of the disease brown patch.
Lawns damaged during summer months and newly seeded lawns may need an additional N
fertilizer application in October to help with recovery and establishment. Regardless
of species, turf should only be fertilized when it is actively growing. Therefore,
do not fertilize lawns during winter months on warmseason turf and during drought
with any species.
For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703,
email Jimmy Driggers at email@example.com, or visit our website: www.uaex.uada.edu.
Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest
volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information,
you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge. You may also call the Extension
office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email email@example.com.
We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.
For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office
at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
By Allen Bates County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Allen Bates County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension
office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible
persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national
origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information,
or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity