Oklahoma State University Turfgrass Science


June turf management tips



Justin Quetone Moss


Local television meteorologists sometimes recommend that viewers should fertilize their yards before a storm system moves across the state during the growing season.  While this strategy seems reasonable, it could result in off-site movement of fertilizers through leaching or runoff.  In addition, off-site movement of fertilizers due to heavy rainfall results in wasted time, effort, and money.  In order to ensure that lawn and landscape fertilizers stay on-site for plant use, follow these helpful tips:

  • Always base fertilizer applications on yearly soil test results
  • Based on soil test results, apply lower fertilizer rates more frequently rather than a single, high fertilizer rate, especially on sloped areas
  • Do not fertilize immediately before heavy rain or irrigation
  • Lightly water-in fertilizer applications with 0.25 inches of water
  • Use fertilizers with a high percentage of slow-release nitrogen
  • Sweep-up fertilizer that is accidently spread on impervious surfaces such as sidewalks or driveways
  • Maintain a non-fertilized buffer (15-25 ft) with higher cut turf or native grasses (>6 in) around water bodies such as creeks, streams, ponds, or lakes
  • Maintain and mow turf areas at the higher end of recommended mowing heights
  • Mulch landscape areas with a 3 inch layer of natural mulch
  • Fill-in bare soil areas with turf seed or sod
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