5. Fertilization of Established Stands
Wise use of nitrogen applied to perennial grasses can reduce nutrient management problems. Perennial grass must have a sufficient source of nitrogen in order to generate acceptable yields, the source can be either inorganic or organic in form. Current recommendations are to apply no more than 225 lbs of actual nitrogen to perennial grass stands [GIS-15]. Although grass will respond to more N than 225 lbs, it does so at decreasing efficiency, potentially resulting in unacceptable losses of N into the environment.
Cool-season grasses perform optimally at a soil pH between 6 and 7; pH should be corrected prior to seeding grass. A factsheet is available that discusses nutrient management planning in general [FS-33]. Several factsheets are available that discuss nitrogen sources [FS-44, FS-45]. There are also factsheets dealing with N fertilizer management of teff [FS-46] and sorghum-sudangrass [FS-26].
Fertilize at spring green-up, before grass reaches this stage.