Davis: Fertilizing in the fall

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, August 14, 2019

My dad used to tell me, “Time goes by when you’re having fun.”

I must be having a blast because I can’t believe that it is already August.

That means it is time to start thinking about fertilizing the lawn.

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Fertilizing the lawn in the fall is recommended because it promotes the winter survivability of the lawn, maximizes the benefit of the fertilizer application while minimizing mowing needs, and doesn’t increase the growth of spring and summer annual lawn weeds the way that a spring application of nitrogen fertilizer does.

September to November is an excellent window of opportunity to fertilize the lawn, but you should start making your plans now.

To fertilize your lawn in the fall, start with a soil test (at least one test every three years).

Soil testing takes the guesswork out of determining your lawn nutrient needs.

Soil testing is available through the Clark County Extension Service at no cost to Clark County residents.

Soil testing supplies are available to check out at no cost also.

If you have never taken a soil sample in your lawn, stop by to pick up the supplies, and we will teach you how.

You do need to submit your soil samples soon.

Due to ongoing renovations at the soil lab located in western Kentucky, processing time is expected to be slightly longer this fall than in other previous years.

Depending upon the desired look of your lawn, the amount of maintenance, and necessary inputs that you are willing to put into your lawn; one, two, or more than two fertilizer applications this fall may be recommended. Each soil test report gives recommendations from several different lawn management perspectives. Also, you can always ask questions, or have conversations with me once your soil test report comes back to see what recommendation will work best for you.

It is also good to do any needed over-seeding or renovation along with a fall fertilizer application. A soil test is a good start, but many of our Clark County residents have found a conversation with their Extension Agent to be very helpful next step to addressing individual issues with their lawns such as renovation or over-seeding. I want to encourage you to contact me at the Clark County Extension Service if you have any lawn care issues or questions that you would like to discuss further.

In addition to being available for a phone conversation, or office visit, anyone that would like to attend will also have an opportunity to learn about recommended lawn care practices at our upcoming Fall Lawn Care class. The lawn care class will be at the Winchester Clark County Public Library, 370 S. Burns Ave. in the large meeting room at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26.

If you would like to discuss your lawn issues, would like more information about fall lawn fertilization, or would like to register for the upcoming lawn care class, contact me at the Clark County Extension Service by calling 744-4682. You can also email me at david.davis@uky.edu.

David Davis is a Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources in Clark County. Clark County Cooperative Extension Service is in the Clark County Industrial Park at 1400 Fortune Drive in Winchester.