Fertilize Fescue in February

by Ann Barnes

Although we’ve had a stretch of cold, wet weather, the forecast for the rest of the week calls for mild temperatures. Why not take the time to fertilize your fescue lawn while it’s nice outside? Fescue is a cool season grass and should be fertilized in fall and winter. Using Valentine’s Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving as guidelines for when to fertilize may help you remember the optimal times for fertilizing. Don’t put it off until it’s warmer – fertilizing fescue in spring and summer can increase Brown Patch, a fungal disease.

If you have a recent soil test, fertilize according to the test results. Otherwise, use a fertilizer with the NPK rate of 4-1-2 or 4-1-3. The recommended amount of nitrogen for February application is 0.5 lb per 1000 square feet.

To apply 0.5 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft:

Divide 50 by the first number on the fertilizer bag to determine the amount of product to be used per 1,000 sq ft.

Example: A 10-10-10 fertilizer. 50 divided by 10 equals 5. Therefore, 5 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 sq ft will deliver 0.5 pound of nitrogen. (per http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu)

 For more information, please see http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/PDFFiles/004175/Carolina_Lawns.pdf