Starter Fertilizer – On Established Lawn

Q: Can I apply starter fertilizer to an established fescue lawn in February without hurting it?

A: Sure – fescue can’t read the label on your fertilizer bags…and I promise to keep your secret.

Typical “starter” fertilizers have a higher percentage of phosphorus (the middle number on the bag) than “maintenance” fertilizers. Even so, the bag contains plenty of nitrogen (the first number) which is the most important nutrient for turfgrass.

The timing of fertilizer applications is much more important to fescue than the label.

Since fescue does most of its growing from September through May, that’s when the majority of fertilizer needs to be applied.

I recommend four applications: September, November, February and April. The directions on the bag will tell you how much to put out each time.

If you stimulate vigorous growth during the cool season, fescue is less likely to have weed problems and is more likely to survive the summer months without thinning out.

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