Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Turf Type Tall Fescue - slow play in summer.
Low nitrogen, higher potash and lots of micronutrients. Bio-Stimulants are always good too.
Centipede and Bahia - slow play in summer. Low nitrogen and for sure higher potash and micros.
Bermuda, St Augustine, Zoysia - feel free to push harder with Nitrogen. Or you can slow play with more frequent, low N apps, but be sure to get potash and micros in there too.
Bio-stimulants are good for all warm-season turf year-round.
Next - some recommendations. Remember, in the last post, Best Lawn Fertilizer for Summer | Part 1, I recommended some store-bought options that you may want to try.
But for those of you who like to get more into the fun stuff, the stuff that adds goodness to your soil along with fertilization, here are are some great options.
For all grass types in summer, you cannot go wrong with XGN DIY (X-Green).
The analysis of this fert is 8-1-8.
The recommended rate (bag rate) is 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft which gives you .32 lbs/1,000 sq ft of nitrogen and potassium. It also contains 4% iron which adds a deeper, darker color.
If you want to get more out of it, you can go up to 6 lbs/1,000 sq ft and get .48 lbs of N and K but you should not need to go any harder than that.
This is the ultimate in slow play granular fertilizers. It is also loaded with the chicken manure infused biochar to add carbon to the soil, as well as laced with peptides to stimulate rooting.
You will not have to fear burning the lawn with it. Thrower Down!
For cool season grasses, you could apply this every 5-6 weeks and have nice color all season with enough potassium to help the lawn through stress.
Supplement in between applications with MicroGreene and bio-stimulants like RGS and Humic12 and you will be in peak shape through the hottest months. (still need to irrigate of course)
For Centipede and Bahia every 6 or 7 weeks would be fine, even stretched to 8 weeks with bio-stimulants in between as well.
For St Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia, you have some other options but if you like the slow play idea, you could apply bag rate of 8-1-8 every 4 weeks all summer and have nice color without growth spurts.
Use MicroGreene to darken things up in between or to scratch that itch you have to “throw down.”
Of course, if your lawn stays nice and green anyway, you can stretch out your XGN apps to 6 weeks too - it’s really up to you to “choose your own adventure” and understand how your lawn responds.
Turf is under stress in high heat. Kentucky Bluegrass is the least “heat tolerant” grass of all.
By nature, it has a more shallow root system and generally prefers temps in the high 70s.
However, even the most savage warm-season turf type, Bermuda, that LOVES high heat, is still feeling the stress.
Me for example, I love hot days. I grew up in Florida and prefer to work outside in the heat of the day.
I have grown used to it, but I still do notice myself moving much slower when it’s scorching outside. I like it, but I sure do feel it. Turf is much the same.
There are other stressors to consider too, the primary being mowing. When you mow the grass, you stress it.
I actually consider mowing to be good stress, like lifting weights to improve your muscle tone, but it’s still stress.
Sometimes in summer your turf is directly being stressed by insects and disease, or it may be recovering, like healing from an injury.
It’s all still stress and you can help mitigate some of that by adding potassium to the lawn.
The primary way that potassium aids the lawn in times of stress is by helping it to maintain Turgor Pressure, also referred to as “hydrostatic pressure” within cell walls.
Without reminding you of your 9th grade botany class too much here, a simple way to look at this with turf is that when the plant is “turgid” it’s got plenty of moisture inside each cell propping it up. This means the cell is in a “hypotonic” state.
The opposite of this is when the plant’s cells are “hypertonic” which means all the water is drawn out of the cell and the plant becomes wilted or even brown/dormant.
There is also an “in-between” state known as “Isotonic” and plants in this state will also appear “flaccid.”
For us, and our lawns, we want them turgid - which means good irrigation and plenty of potassium.
Summer Stress Options
We have come out with 2 summer formulas you may want to look at. Both are also excellent if you have a soil test that indicates you are low on potassium.
The first we call “Summer Stress Blend” and is in 20 lb bags that cover 6,666 sq ft at the recommended bag rate of 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft.
That means 3 lbs of product to be applied across each 1,000 sq ft of lawn area.
Summer Stress Blend contains 7% nitrogen to give a little green but not a hard push, but also has 20% potash which is higher than pretty much any fert you can find on store shelves.
We also had some micronutrients sprinkled in to round it out. These include boron, zinc, manganese, and iron.
Some of the nitrogen in this product comes from bio-solids (similar to Milorganite) so there is the slight smell of success but do NOT stick your nose in the bag - let the odor make itself known as you apply it.
You could apply this product every 4 weeks in summer for any grass type and with some bio-stimulants in between, and keep your lawn strong and turgid through all the stress the summer can throw at it.
Note: you still need to irrigate - this is not a substitute for good irrigation - but can help your lawn utilize the irrigation more efficiently.
In extremely hot conditions, this fert and Hydretain make an excellent combination.
The second option is from Carbon Earth Co, called STX DIY (StressX) and comes in 45 lb bags and will cover 15,000 sq ft at the recommended bag rate of 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft (we won’t have smaller bags for a quite a while on this one).
The analysis is a 4-0-25 so it will bring just a whiff of nitrogen but at 25% potash gives you a nice boost for summer stress.
It also picks up nicely in the “get it green” department with 4% iron.
As with all Carbon Earth products, you get a lot of good soil building properties here too because it’s base is the chicken manure infused bio-char and it is laced with peptides as a bio-stimulant.
Either one of these fertilizers would be great for any grass type in summer or to help you if your soil test calls for more potassium.
For my friends who like to go all liquid, I do not want to leave out the N-Ext Green Punch liquid fertilizer and the 7-0-0 Greene Effect liquid fertilizer.
These products will give nice color pops and are low Nitrogen by default.
Greene Punch has an analysis of 18-0-1 and is also loaded with bio-stimulants and some iron.
As with most products from the Greene County line, it has sea kelp and humic acid as bio-stims and just by following the labeled rates, you will be only applying 1/4lb of nitrogen so it won’t push too much growth.
It’s also got 1.5% iron to keep the deeper darker color we want.
If you add the 7-0-0 Greene Effect to your summer regimen, you are sure to like the results.
The 7-0-0 is a unique product in the line as it is the only one that has foliar intake upfront. It’s also very high in iron at 6%.
It is formulated with citric acid as an adjuvant which means plants can suck in the nutrients via their leaves rather than only through the soil (which they do with this product also).
This makes it take effect much faster.
With this one, you want to apply in a finer mist if you can and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before watering in.
Hose end sprayer application is ok too - but a finer mist just gives you more foliar intake faster.
Do not mix these two together - instead, use them back and forth. Apply the Greene punch every 4-5 weeks and apply the Greene Effect in between.
Just realize, both have iron and can stain sidewalks so be careful with you apply.
You could also build-a-box with one of each if you like.
Thanks for reading all the way through this email, I hope you have a great weekend and get to #EnjoyTheMow!
Don’t forget, we have a free app we just released as well (iPhone and Android) - and have already gotten a TON of great feedback for improvements.
This is only the beginning of what we have planned - I can’t wait to show you what’s next!
I’ll see you in the lawn!