The Q&A Archives: When to fertilize new sod

Question: I put BOB Sod in about 3 weeks ago and it is doing great. I have the water schedule right, but I need to know when throughout the year and how soon I need to start fertilizing.

Answer: There are two main types of grass grown here in the low desert: a warm-season grass, which is Bermuda. St. Augustine, Zoysia and Buffalograss are other warm season choices, but they are not commonly planted here. If you want a winter lawn, Bermuda is overseeded for the cool-season with ryegrass. There is no grass species that can survive both temperature extremes here. Nor is there one that will thrive in shade. If you have shady areas, realize that grass will never look good there and it's better to plant something else, such as a groundcover. Also, many people install the Bermuda grass for the warm months and then let it go dormant in the winter. It's usually brown from about Thanksgiving until temps. warm up in the spring. Ryegrass does not get seeded by itself; in other words, you overseed Bermuda with rye, but rye can't be the only grass. BOB sod is a type of Bermuda.

Bermuda that is not overseeded is fertilized monthly from April through October. It is not fertilized during winter dormancy. However, if you overseed with ryegrass, the lawn is fertilized monthly from December through August. Don?t fertilize in September 4 to 6 weeks before overseeding. Also, don?t fertilize before the first mowing of ryegrass.

For newly sodded lawns, apply fertilizer every 2 weeks for the first month, then switch to monthly. Good luck with your lawn!

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