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The Community News • P.O. Box 1031 • 203 Pecan Dr. • Aledo, TX 76008 • 817-441-7661 • FAX: 817-441-5419

 

The grass is always greener... if you fertilize it

April 11, 2012 by Mother Nature

My lawn in Deer Creek during the Spring timeHere it is Easter weekend, the Easter bunny is coming to hide eggs in our lawn and it is bright green.

A closer look by a knowledgeable bunny will see that the bright green is not lush grass but prolific weeds that have been mowed close to the ground to prevent seeds heads from forming for a later influx of weeds.

The weed seed heads will germinate and choke out the grass plus take all the sunshine and moisture if you let them get too tall.

Now is the time to fertilize your lawn and flower beds.

I usually tell those that ask, “Do I need to fertilize?” Yes, having grass and flowers and not fertilizing it is like having an animal and not feeding it.

The pet may live but will have to forage for food and will not look healthy. So, yes, fertilize the lawn and flower beds now; but the question this year, with the abundant weeds, do I fertilize my weeds?

The first thing to remember is that we live in calcareous clay soils in most of Parker County. If you have sandy soil, I do not know how to help you with fertilizing since my expertise is with the awful clay soils.

Reading the fertilizer labelReading the fertilizer labelIf you will notice when you go to purchase your fertilizer there are 3 numbers on the front of the bag.

That is the determination of: 1st number is nitrogen, the 2nd number is phosphorus, and the 3rd is potassium or aka potash.

(Click on "continue reading" below to see the rest of this post)

Nitrogen makes the grass green, which we all want and is most important for having a beautiful lush lawn, healthy trees, and plants. Well, water is the most important and necessary.

Phosphorus helps the plant roots and the horticulturist have found that in our area, with clay soils, we have an overabundance of phosphorus in our soils, so this means we do not need to add more. Potassium/potash is like a vitamin for your grass lawn in that it keeps the resistance to cold, disease, drought, and wear, in check.

I bought bags of 28- 0-0 fertilizer. It is encapsulated, which means it is slow released. In cheaper quick release fertilizers the water dissolves the granules fast and the grass takes up the nutrients quickly and then it is hungry, faster.

A slow-release fertilizerA slow release fertilizer feeds the grass for a longer period of time and keeps you from having to fertilize as often. The very best fertilizer is ½ of the nitrogen in the bag being encapsulated. This means it has a coating on each granule; noticeably a bigger, color coated granule.

I only fertilize twice a year. I will do it again in mid-September. Fertilize your flower beds and trees at the same time you do your lawn with the very same fertilizer. Go do it now because it is never too late to feed your plants, just like your animals; better late than never.

As I am writing this, I come to the conclusion: actually this is a boring subject, but it is important. I will let you know if my weeds like my fertilizer. I do know that a well fed and healthy grass will compete with the weeds and the grass will win because grasses likes to be mowed and weeds do not. You will have a beautiful vista to look at the rest of the year if you mow often and IF we can water, this summer.

Information for those of you that water your landscape every day, you are over-watering your grass and it will be more susceptible to diseases, usually a fungus from too much water, plus you are stealing water from the rest of us that water responsibly-there is only one aquifer.

You have a perfect right to water every day but it is not the right thing to do for your grass. Roots of plants are opportunistic; they go to where the moisture is.

Water every day and the roots will be shallow and will dry out quicker, water when the grass gets dull looking and makes an imprint of your foot when you step on it and water for a longer amount of time. Then the roots will go deep and will be healthy plus you will not use as much water.

That way you will have more money to spend on plants.

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  • Aledo Girls Golf will compete in the State Tournament at Onion Creek GC in Austin.

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