[Image: Gary Stockton, Parish Chair and County Agent]
This article originally ran in the Ruston Daily Leader on April 13th, 2010.
The most common question that I get now is “Can I go ahead and fertilize my lawn?” Fertilizers feed nutrients to what is growing in your yard to make it healthy and strong. What’s growing in our yards right now? We have some early spring weeds growing very well right now; therefore any fertilizers that are used now would greatly benefit those weeds. I don’t think that most of us really want to make our weeds healthy right now. However when I tell people to hold off and wait until they have mowed their lawns 3 or 4 times before they fertilize to give the grass an opportunity to be actively growing so that it will utilize the nutrients of the fertilizers, they give me the same look my children did when they were young and wanted to play with something and I told them they had to wait. The LSU AgCenter recommends not fertilizing your lawn until mid-spring when growth of the grass is actually initiated.
After people think about it and realize the logic to the fertilization timing, they can usually gather their patience and wait the few weeks to fertilize. But that’s when this biological obsession with yard work takes us over again and the decision is made to go to war against the weeds. So we pull out our combat gear, the pump up sprayer, and march to the county agents' office prepared to receive orders on what chemical weapon to use against the weeds. Maybe now isn’t really the time to get the most efficient use out of chemical control of weeds in the lawn. Just consider using a lawn mower to mow the weeds. Think about this, many of these weeds are early spring weeds that have grown and their life cycle is nearing an end, so why spend money and time on chemical control of these right now?
For more information about this or other topics feel free to contact Gary Stockton.