Even though it is easier, in the long run it is imperative that you not employ a one-size-fits-all approach to your lawn fertilization in the spring. Bermuda and St. Augustine need the opposite treatment during this time of the year. What is good for Bermuda, could hurt St. Augustine, and what is good for St. Augustine can be ineffective for Bermuda. Why? Keep on reading to learn more than you ever wanted to know about Bermuda and St. Augustine and what you should be doing to create a healthy and lush lawn.
Bermuda grass loves a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer to feed its sudden flush of growth during this time of year (Village Green uses 25-0-0.) You need to apply a good pre-emergent for spring and summer weeds and if you see broad leaf weeds, treat them as much as you like because Bermuda is tough and can handle any treatment you give it.
St. Augustine is the exact opposite. Brown patch, a fungus that attacks St. Augustine in moderate spring weather, loves nitrogen. In fact you might not even realize you have brown patch, but if you apply high nitrogen fertilizer, it will explode across your lawn, living up to its name, resulting in big ugly brown patches across your lawn that you’ll live with until summer.
That is why we apply a low-nitrogen, high potassium fertilizer to our St. Augustine lawns (Village Green uses 5-10-31.) This produces great root growth, helping St. Augustine recover from any winter damage, without encouraging brown patch.
You also need to keep in mind that St. Augustine is much more sensitive to weed control products than Bermuda. In fact, each time you treat St. Augustine for weeds, you damage it. This is why it is an extremely bad idea to apply weed-n-feed (fertilizer combined with a broad-leaf weed killer) to St. Augustine. Sure, you’ll have fewer weeds, but you’ll also have less St. Augustine. At Village Green we skip the pre-emergent we use on Bermuda this time of year, and lightly spot treat any broad leaf weeds we see in our St. Augustine lawns.
Here’s the big question though. What do you do if your lawn has both St. Augustine and Bermuda?
What Village Green does is treat part of your lawn with one type of fertilizer and treat the other part with the other fertilizer.
It is lot more work than the one-size-fits-all approach, but in the end, our customers have a better lawn, and appreciate our attention to detail, which is why they hire us in the first place.