The Q&A Archives: Fertilizer

Question: I live in Austin Tx and was wondering what kind of fertilizers I need for this soil in this area for my lawn and I have a Southern Magnolia that the new leaves are turning brown like they have gotten burned. The soil here is cleachy and rocky. I put Ironite on my lawn and it looks worse.
Thanks for any help I can get.

Answer: Jamie,

Southern magnolias really struggle in the high pH black clays of central Texas. You can try to help it with some acidifying fertilizers and a wide mulched area around the base but that may or may not be enough. Try to water enough during dry spells just to keep the ground moist not soggy around the tree.

Fertilize your lawn with no more than 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen in spring after you have mowed the grass twice, and again in fall (around late October). Apply a product with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients as this is roughly the ratio of nutrients grass takes in. So, for example, if you purchased a 15-5-10 fertilizer (15% nitrogen), you would apply about 7 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .15 = about 7). If you purchased a 21-7-14 fertilizer (21 % nitrogen), you would apply about 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .21 = about 5).

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