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Past Soil/Fertilizer Workshops.
February 10, 2015 @12:00-1:00pm
Forsyth County Cooperative Extension
1450 Fairchild Rd
Winston Salem, NC 27105
January 29, 2015 @ 10:00am
Alamance County Cooperative Extension
209-C N. Graham-Hopedale Road Burlington, NC 27217
February 17,2015 2014 6:30pm
Randolph County Cooperative Extension
112 West Walker Avenue
Asheboro, NC 27203
February 17,2015-GC Cooperative Extension
February 23,2015 @ 6:30pm-Kathleen Clay Edwards
February 26,2015 @ 6:30pm –Bur-Mil Wildlife Center
March 1,2015 @ 4pm-Greensboro Arboretum
To register all (336) 641-2400
Cooperative Extension,3309 Burlington Rd, GSO, NC
Kathleen Clay Edwards Library, 1420 Price Rd, GSO, NC
Bur-Mil Park Wildlife Center, 5834 Bur-Mil Club Rd, GSO, NC
Greensboro Arboretum, Ed Center, 401 Ashland Drive, GSO NC
Reading the label on commercial fertilizers can be confusing unless you understand what the numbers mean and when to use them. The three numbers, such as 4:1:2, represent the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer. Knowing which fertilizer to buy to fit your needs requires an understanding of what each component does and how it will benefit your yard or garden.
Applying fertilizers that are not balanced formulas, or over applying any fertilizer, carries the risk of damaging plants and inhibiting growth. Applying fertilizers heavy in one nutrient needs to be done at the proper time to produce the results you seek. Commercial fertilizers can burn young roots and leaves and depending on your soil type, they can build up in the soil.
Fertilizers are designed to provide any of a number of nutrients to plants, but, primarily, they are used to deliver the three nutrients that are most essential to plant growth: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). It is the different concentrations of each of these three essential nutrients that distinguish different types of fertilizer from one another.
A soil test should be performed at least every two to three years to determine the nutrients needed by your established lawn.* A complete fertilizer with an N-P-K (the concentration by weight of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the fertilizer) should have a ratio of 4:1:2 or 4:1:3 and can be used in lieu of a soil test, but it is a poor substitute.
Determine the amount of fertilizer, ratio of nutrients or fertilizer elements, and time of application based on the grasses being grown. In the Piedmont we grow both Cool season and Warm season grasses. The main types are Bermuda, zoysia and fescue.
Cool season grasses. Cool season grasses should be fertilized three (3) a year: once in Spetember, again in late November and last in late February early march. Avoid any nitrogen fertilization of cool-season grasses, such as tall fescue, after the spring application until September for the central piedmont.
If one additional application of nitrogen is made between these dates to improve the color, the rate should not exceed 0.5 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. This nitrogen should be applied in the central piedmont no later than April 15. This application will not improve the longevity of tall fescue but will enhance its green color.
The application of high rates or repeated low rates of nitrogen to cool-season grasses in the spring or sum¬mer greatly increases the severity of brown patch (Rhizoctonia species), which can kill the grass and should be avoided. If spring or summer nitrogen applications, or both, are applied to tall fescue, fungicide applications may be necessary to reduce disease symptoms.
Warm-season grasses. Avoid fall or winter applica¬tions of nitrogen to reduce winter injury.
*Take soil samples from the front yard and the backyard to determine soil pH and nutrient require¬ments. A single soil test may be all that is necessary if there are no obvious differences in soil texture, terrain, or troubled areas of the front yard and backyard. If the soils seem different, collect soil samples to a depth of 3 to 4 inches from several (10 to 15) locations and mix them together to produce a composite sample. Send approximately 1 cup of the air-dried soil sample to the NCDA & CS Agronomic Division Soil Testing Services, 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27607. Boxes and forms can be obtained at your county Cooperative Extension cen¬ter or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh. Allow several weeks for the results to be returned.