The Q&A Archives: Fertilizing St. Augustine

Question: You gave me some excellent advice regarding the use of Nitrogen on the Lawn. Thanks for the advice. It looks great. Now my follow-up question is the need of, the time of application, and the name of an insecticide to use on that lawn. I've been told to use a generic insecticide in the Fall. I see lots of ants. We also all have lots of Palmetto bugs during this time of the year. Is there anything I should put on a St. Augestine lawn this time of the year?
Thanks again.

Answer: Glad we've been able to help! You're welcome to stop by anytime. Here's the schedule for feeding your St. Augustine lawn:

ST. Augustine Grass: 4-5 Total pounds of Nitrogen per thousand square feet, per year.

Late February-Early March - apply a simple 15-5-10 for an early green-up. Most companies that make slow-release fertilizers also make a mixed release 15-5-10 that provides for a quick two-week green up as well as a coating that delays release.

Late March-Early April - apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers. with 3% iron and 10% sulfur. The iron will help keep the lawn green, with the coming rains. The sulfur will help buffer the pH as well as slow the release of the product. Sulfur is also a great natural fungicide. (recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)

Late June-Early July - Again apply slow-release 3-1-2 ratio fertilizers, with 3% iron and 10% sulfur. (recommended formulations 19-5-9, 19-4-10, 18-4-6, 15-5-10.)

June-September - if turfgrass looks yellow (chlorosis) or necrotic, use an application of either granular or liquid iron. Once a year should be enough. Iron needs Nitrogen to work. You can use a fall fertilizer. Look for a 5-0-15 ratio with 10% Iron and 20% sulfur. The Low levels of nitrogen will not encourage fungal issues like brown patch, while the sulfur will buffer the pH and help strengthen the lawn against fungal issues.

October-November - apply winterizer formula high in phosphorus for winter hardiness. Phosphorus helps develop strong root systems. Ratios vary, but make sure they are "winter" or "fall" formulas designed for southern grasses.
(examples: 18-6-12, 8-12-16, 10-5-14) Will make lawns winter-hardy.

You can use carbaryl (Sevin) to control most lawn pests. Be sure to apply in amounts as listed on the label.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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