University of Maryland Extension

UMD Extension Lawn Fertilizer Schedule for Home Lawns

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                                                    (Amounts per 1,000 sq. ft.)

 

 
Grass Type

Sept.

Oct. - Nov. 15th

May - early June

June- July

Aug.

Max. Nitrogen
(Annually)

Tall fescue

0.7*-0.9lb**

0.7*–0.9lb**

0.5+-0.9lb**+

           0

0

2.7 lbs of N

Kentucky bluegrass

0.7*-0.9lb**

0.7*- 0.9lb**

 0.5+-0.9lb**+

0

0

2.7 lbs of N

Fine fescue

0.7*- 0.9lb**

 (any time before Nov. 15th)

0

0.5 lb+

0

0

1.4 lbs of N

Zoysiagrass

0

0

0.7* - 0.9 lb**

0.5+-0.9lb**+

 

0

1.8 lbs of N

Bermudagrass

0

0

0.7* - 0.9 lb**

0.7*- 0.9lb**

 

***

2.7 lbs of N

 * 0.7 if applying water soluble (not slow release) nitrogen, e.g. urea and ammonium sulfate.
** 0.9 if applying a combination of water soluble and a slow release fertilizer. Turf fertilizer products manufactured for use in Maryland must contain a minimum of 20% slow release nitrogen and if applied according to the label directions will apply no more than 0.9 lb. per 1,000 sq. ft.  of total nitrogen per application.
*** For Bermudagrass- Optional application: 0.5 -0.9 lb. by mid-August

 + Optional application- Consider optional application only if one of the following bullets applies, otherwise it is not necessary:

  • your lawn is newly established
  • it has poor color, density or vigor
  • clippings are removed
  • there is a history of a severe crabgrass problem
  • the lawn is heavily used
  • there has been pest, disease or other damage
  • the previous fall fertilization was missed                                                                      

 Important Points

  • Healthy lawns established about ten years or more may only need one nitrogen application per year.
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn to decompose naturally. This practice can generate up to 25% of your lawn's yearly nutrient needs and reduce the amount of time and money you spend fertilizing and bagging.
  • Newly established lawns less than 2 years old should receive the maximum amount of nitrogen fertilizer. In subsequent years the optional fertilizer application can be eliminated.
  • Lawn fertilizers formulated to be sold in Maryland comply with the stipulations put in place by the Fertilizer Use Act of 2011.
  • Corn gluten (CG) is a source of nitrogen and can be used to fertilize established lawns. When applied for weed control the amount of nitrogen exceeds the amount allowed by the Fertilizer Use Act of 2011 per application. Many manufacturers of CG indicate on the bag the rate of application for weed control and the lower rate for fertilizing.
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