Bermuda grass is a common lawn in hot desert areas. It takes heat and foot traffic well. Bermuda comes in several hybrid varieties. All are dormant, turning brown, for the cooler winter months from December to March. Bermuda grass starts greening up again when the night time temperature stays above 50 degrees. Fertilize your Bermuda grass on a regular basis for a lush green lawn.
Water the grass with at least 1 inch of water. Set straight-sided cups or glasses out onto the lawn area at various places. Turn the sprinkler, or irrigation system, on and time how long it takes to fill the cups to one inch.
Ask your university agricultural extension office if there is a recommended fertilizer for your soil type. Trace elements might be needed, or the soil might be deficient in iron and a chelated iron product should be used. Adding amendments that aren't required is a waste of money.
Use a fertilizer that includes all three elements of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium at least once a year on all soils. The numbers on the package indicate the weight by volume of the elements. So, a 21-0-0 fertilizer would contain 21% nitrogen and no phosphorous or potassium. If the soil is sandy, continue to use the complete fertilizer since sandy soils are often deficient in phosphorous and potassium. If the soil is not sandy, use a fertilizer high in nitrogen.
Fertilize every month during the summer at the rate of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Summer is defined as when the lawn is actively growing and may include the spring months of April and May and the fall months of September and October. The lawn fertilizer package will include directions on how to calculate the appropriate amount.
Spread the fertilizer using a mechanical spreader for the best results. However, small lawn areas may be broadcast with fertilizer by hand. Spread it evenly, walking the lawn first in one direction and then cross hatching in the other direction.
Water the grass with 1 inch of water after fertilizing.
Things You Will Need
- Sprinkler or irrigation system
- Lawn spreader
- Divide slow release fertilizers into three applications. Slow release is coated so that it dissolves over time every time the lawn is watered. Adding the entire growing season's fertilizer at one time will burn the lawn.
- Stop fertilizing when the nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees. The grass is going dormant.
- Wear goggles and gloves when handling fertilizers.
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