Time fall fertilizer applications based on goals for specific turf
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Time fall fertilizer applications based on goals for specific turf

Original Article

Both warm- and cool-season turfgrass can benefit from fall applications of nitrogen fertilizer, however it is important to understand the varying needs between types of turfgrass. If too much nitrogen is applied to warm-season grass in the fall, it can lead to the grass being more susceptible to damage. This is not true for cool-season turfgrass. Because cool-season grasses continue growing later in the fall, there is a continued need for nitrogen fertilizer applications. 

The benefits of fall fertilization for cool-season turf includes helping the turf repair and grow after the stresses of the summer season are over. This can be achieved by utilizing an early fall application of a polymer-coated sulfur coated urea (PCSCU), such as XCU® slow-release fertilizer from Koch Turf & Ornamental. A later fall application can lead to the benefits of winter hardiness, and extending turf color into the late fall months. It is important to consider the type of fertilizer you use in the fall. Plant uptake will slow as the temperature drops. A controlled-release fertilizer such as DURATION CR® fertilizer, or POLYON® fertilizer will also slow down the release of fertilizer as the temperature drops. This means that less nitrogen will be lost to volatilization, denitrification, and leaching.