After watering and mowing, the final step to a lush green lawn is fertilizer. Lawns require a regular program of high nitrogen fertilizer for leaf development. Fertilizers come in many different blends for many different purposes. Take a look at the fertilizer bag and find the numeric three digit code. The numbers represent what percentage of the product is nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium respectively. A lawn food should primarily consist of nitrogen and include some phosphorous and potassium. The Marathon All Season Fertilizer (27-5-5) consists of 27% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 5% potassium and is a good choice for maintenance lawn feedings.
Twice per year, in the spring and fall, fertilize with an all purpose fertilizer to promote root growth. General purpose fertilizers have a balanced blend of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Marathon Sod & Seed Starter is a balanced fertilizer that consists of 15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorous, 15% potassium. Using a general purpose fertilizer once in the spring and once in the fall will help insure phosphorous and potassium levels in the soil remain adequate.
A Word about Nitrogen:
Nitrogen is available in three forms; urea, ammoniacal, and nitrate. Nitrate nitrogen is available to the plant immediately and will green the lawn much more quickly than other forms of nitrogen. Only nitrate form nitrogen is useable by the lawn. Urea form and ammonia form nitrogen must first be broken down in the soil to the nitrate form before the lawn can use it. As a result, some fertilizers are faster acting than others, even with the same amount of total nitrogen. Marathon All Season Fertilizer is a fast acting lawn food because it has a high percentage of nitrate in the formulation.
Cool Season Varieties
Marathons, Ryeblue and Pureblue
Fertilize one month after installation and every month thereafter throughout the fall, winter, and spring. Avoid fertilizing during July and August. If your lawn is yellowish light green in color overall it is an indication that fertilizer is needed. For best results, be sure to use Marathon All-Season Lawn Fertilizer - nitrogen-rich for quick greening. We also recommend the use of Marathon Sod & Seed Starter, which promotes strong root structure and quicker establishment. If you did not use any pre-plant fertilizer during soil preparation, we recommend using Marathon Sod & Seed Starter one week after installation.
Warm Season Varieties
St. Augustine, Tifgreen and El Toro Zoysia
Fertilize every month during the warm season. Make the first application in the spring when your lawn begins to recover from dormancy. During the warm growing season (March-Nov.) the amount of clippings generated when mowing will be a "tip-off" to your lawn's fertilizer needs. If you find there are less clippings than previous mowing, your lawn has slowed its growth and fertilizer is probably necessary. Use Marathon All Season Fertilizer. Follow label directions using the higher rates recommended for Marathon.
Dichondra and Zoysia Tenuifolia
Fertilize every two months with Marathon All Season Fertilizer. Use the lower regular maintenance rates specified on the bag.