Fertilization Tips for Bakersfield, CA

Fertilizing is crucial for any lawn, no matter where you live, but it is particularly vital in Bakersfield, California. Southern California isn’t known for having four seasons so your grass can face stress from extended periods of hot temperatures. Using a fertilizer on your lawn keeps your grass healthy and lush throughout the year.

Why You Need to Fertilize Your Lawn

When your lawn is discolored, slow-growing, or full of weeds, it may not be adequately fertilized. Fertilizer is necessary for healthy, vigorous plant growth.

Grass receives the required nutrients from the soil, so fertilization focuses on supplying the three primary nutrients to the earth for the grass to absorb. Turfgrass requires nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Nitrogen is the only nutrient that all grass types require on a regular basis. When you add nitrogen to your lawn, you will notice root and blade growth quickly increases. However, if you apply too much nitrogen, the blades will continue to grow, but the root growth will slow. That can leave turf vulnerable to problems.

When to Fertilize Based on Grass Types

Warm-Season Grass Types

Warm-season grasses should be fed for the first time when the lawn is entirely green in the spring. Then, you should fertilize in the summer into the fall. You’ll notice that these grass types retain their bright color longer in the cold weather if you fertilize during the fall.

The recommended months to fertilize warm-season grass types are:

  • April
  • May
  • September
  • October

Cool-Season Grass Types

Cool-season grass types growing in Bakersfield actively grow in the spring and fall, so those are the times when the grass needs to receive most of its fertilizer. You don’t want to fertilize during the hot months of summer.

The best months to fertilize cool-season grass types are:

  • March
  • May
  • October
  • November

How to Fertilize

Deeply water the grass the day before you apply any fertilizer. After you fertilize, make sure you water just enough to wash the fertilizer off the leaves and into the soil. Only apply fertilizer when the grass is actively growing, and be sure to follow the recommended rates listed on the package. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer to help to reduce leaching. Keep in mind you shouldn’t apply more than 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn at one time.

Use Grass Clippings

Some people prefer not to use chemical fertilizers on their lawn. Treating your yard with chemicals means that it might spread into the water system nearby, and can also be harmful to children and pets, and that is a problem many people prefer to avoid entirely. The solution is to use eco-friendly lawn fertilizers.

The easiest eco-friendly option is to leave your grass clippings on the lawn instead of bagging them up. Grass clippings decompose rapidly, releasing nitrogen into the turf. You can use a mulching mower afterward to chop the grass clippings into smaller pieces, which will quicken the decomposition speed. You can also reduce how often you need to fertilize by doing so.

Everyone wants a lovely, lush lawn, and if that’s your goal, fertilizing has to be one of your tasks. Remember first to identify the type of grass you have so that you can easily distinguish the proper times to feed your lawn. With regular fertilization applications, your grass will thrive.

Need help preparing your lawn? Visit our Bakersfield lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Bakersfield, we provide lawn care services in other California cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Riverside.