When to Fertilize Your Lawn in Oklahoma

Brendon Willis
Hands Holding Lawn Fertilizer

Proper fertilization is key to a thriving lawn. 

Giving your grass the nutrients it needs can help it stay healthy throughout the harsh and unpredictable Oklahoma seasons.

However, timing plays a vital role in successfully fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizing at the wrong time can be a waste of resources or even have negative side effects on the health of your grass.

Having a well-fortified lawn protects it from:

  • Weeds
  • Weather
  • Pests
  • Disease

This makes it easier for you to take care of and enjoy your lawn. 

In this post, you’ll learn the best time to fertilize your lawn in Oklahoma, so you can keep your grass healthy and looking its best.

How to Fertilize Warm-Season Grasses in Oklahoma

Warm-season grasses are those that do well in high temperatures with limited rainfall.

Bermuda grass is the most common warm-season grass in Oklahoma. 

It is capable of withstanding high heat and sunlight. It also doesn’t require as many supplemental nutrients as other warm-season species. 

However, supplying your Bermuda grass with the nutrients it requires is key to its overall health and longevity. According to television host Bob Villa, every 1,000 square feet of lawn should be fed 3 to 4 pounds of nitrogen-rich fertilizer each year.

When Should You Start Fertilizing Warm-Season Grass?

Begin fertilizing your warm-season grass in the spring, typically early April. 

You should generally use a monthly fertilization schedule. However, depending on the nutrients of your particular soil, you may not need it.

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service provides a monthly fertilization schedule for Oklahoma Bermuda grass

The growing season for Bermuda grass is April through August.  

How to Fertilize Cool-Season Grasses in Oklahoma

Cool-season grasses on Oklahoma lawns have grown in popularity in recent years. They are used in shaded and moist areas where they are protected from the harsh summer sun and heat. 

These grasses are able to thrive in areas where many warm-season grasses cannot. They are selected to provide a green lawn year-round. 

When you are certain of the species of grass you have, you can begin to understand the nutrients it needs. 

Selecting the species is right for your lawn can be tricky. There are several things to consider, such as:

  • The amount of sun
  • Drainage
  • Nutrients already in your topsoil

Oklahoma State University explains the differences in common species grown in Oklahoma.

When Should You Start Fertilizing Cool-Season Grasses?

The supplemental nutrients cool-season grasses require can be different from warm-season grasses. They may also need to be fertilized at different times during the year.

The majority of their annual fertilization can be done in the fall. 

Fescue’s growing season is typically March through May and September through October. It is important not to fertilize your cool-season grasses, like fescue, when it’s hot. 

Here is a monthly fertilization schedule for common Oklahoma cool-season grasses.

How to Apply Fertilizer to Your Lawn 

According to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet, fertilization done before spring green-up can be unsuccessful in aiding the growth and overall health of your lawn. 

It’s best to wait to fertilize your lawn about two weeks after spring green-up. 

When to Stop Fertilizing

It is also important to know when to cease fertilizing. It’s best not to apply fertilizer to Bermuda grass after September when it is preparing to go dormant for the winter. 

If you stimulate late growth, you can leave your lawn vulnerable to harsh fungal infection. This leads to spring dead spot disease.  

Slow-Release vs Quick-Release Fertilizers

Slow-release fertilizers can be used in the summer when your lawn doesn’t need an immediate boost in growth. It can be applied less frequently and at higher concentrations.

Quick-release, water-soluble fertilizers can quickly release nitrogen and other nutrients to your grass for a quick boost of lush green growth.

These fertilizers need to be watered immediately following fertilization. According to K-State Research and Extension, it’s best to use a slow-release fertilizer for the majority of your applications during the growing season.

Avoid Fertilizing a Wet Lawn

Avoid applying fertilizer to your lawn when it is wet or when it has recently rained heavily.

Do not apply fertilizer to cool-season grasses when it is hot. 

You should immediately water the fertilizer into your soil after you have applied it to avoid burning your lawn.

Why Is Fertilizing Your Lawn Important to Its Health?

The amount of fertilizer you need to apply to your lawn depends on the species of grass you have and the amount of nutrients in your yard’s topsoil.

Different species of turfgrass have different needs, so it is important to understand what additional nutrients your grass may need.

This ensures you aren’t wasting money or harming your lawn.

What Nutrients Does Grass Need?

To thrive and look its best, grass primarily needs nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. However, grass generally needs nitrogen more than any other nutrient. 

To figure out the nutrients your yard already has, you can obtain a soil test and acquire the pH of your soil.

When applying fertilizer, it’s crucial to research the products and understand how they will best benefit the lawn you have. 

Knowing the ratio of nutrients found in the products you use will help you avoid excessive leaching and harm to your grass. 

To understand what product your lawn may need, check out the Fertilizer Buying Guide from Lowe’s. 

Let Willis Lawn Services Help 

Fertilization is important for your grass because it can improve your lawn’s consistency, color, and hardiness.

This makes it easier for you to manage and take care of it. 

Willis Lawn Services provides a simple fertilization program for Bermuda grass that helps your lawn: 

  • Look its best
  • Be more manageable
  • Survive the changing seasons 

Willis uses the best products in the industry, while continually exploring innovative ways to reduce environmental impact and cost for their customers.

Using the right lawn service saves you the time and pain of researching products and keeping up with fertilizing your lawn yourself. And with Willis Lawn Services, you’re guaranteed to be happy with a lush, beautiful lawn, or you’ll get your money back.

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