June: the time to jump on “The Schedule”

The first week of June is the official start of hurricane season, something you probably know from all the media focus.

The start of June is also the best time to jump on my lawn fertilization schedule. If every TV station and news outlet devoted as much attention to it as they do the year’s storm predictions, we could all have the most beautiful city and suburban yards.

Whether you’ve been a longtime follower, just moved into your first home, or have not done anything at all in 2020, now’s the time to get on board.

It doesn’t matter if you follow the standard schedule or the organic version, June is a critically important time to fertilize. We really need our lawn fertilizer to do its magic now, so it’s already working when we get to the heat of July and August. Plus, if it’s done correctly, you won’t have to think about lawn fertilizing again until we get to our fall feeding or “winterizer.”

I realize I’m probably preaching to the choir if you know the schedule by heart. But I’m hoping this message reaches people who are new to lawn care or are unaware that this schedule even exists. And that it works so well for Gulf Coast lawns. Meanwhile, judging from emails and Facebook posts I’m seeing, I need to clarify some points:

  • It’s always best to get fertilizers down right before a rain, because the pH of Mother Nature’s water works perfectly with my recommendations.
  • Never, ever, ever, ever double the dose of any fertilizer because you’ve had lots of rain. One application in early summer should suffice, unless there’s a genuine flood.
  • If in fact, you do get lots and lots of rain within the first 72 hours of fertilizing, you can re-apply, but only at half the dose.
  • Otherwise, always be sure 60-90 days have passed since your previous fertilization.
  • If you’ve recently done a core aeration followed by a compost top-dress, organic fertilizers will work hand-in-hand with the organic compost.
  • You’ll never find the settings for your fertilizer spreader listed on a bag of fertilizer. So, see my Spreader Settings tip sheet.
  • Always opt for a “broadcast” spreader, not a “drop” spreader.
  • Here are some fertilizers I recommend:
  • Nurseries, garden centers, feed stores and hardware stores carry just about every product on my schedule … but not big box stores.
  • National fertilizer brands were not developed for our St. Augustine, zoysia and Bermuda lawns. They are mostly intended for Kentucky bluegrasses and fescues
  • Mow tall on St. Augustine and wide-bladed zoysia. Mow short for Bermuda and thin-bladed zoysia
  • If you have not done the May pre-emergent herbicide application, remember that “It’s Never Too Late to Do the Right Thing!”

If you have any other questions about the schedule, please call the GardenLine radio show this weekend at 713-212-KTRH.

And one final note: Since we were shut out of our usual spring GardenLine appearances and book signings by COVID-19, I’m going to try and make up for them in a small way at The Arbor Gate on June 20 – the day before Father’s Day. This is a big outdoor garden center where we will have plenty of room to socially distance, and we’ll take all precautions possible. This will be a good opportunity to bring me samples and pictures of gardening issues you have. Come talk with me and let me get a “pair of eyes” on your problems. This will also be an opportunity to get a signed copy of my new book, “New Decade Gardening – A Gulf Coast Guide.” If you want one for yourself, that’s great. But if you know a dad who’s a fan of GardenLine, a signed copy would make a super personalized gift. So, it’s a book signing, a Q&A session, and they’ll have frozen Bellinis to keep you cool. Jus’ sayin’!

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