As the days are getting warmer and we are itching to get outside and work in our yards, it’s so incredibly important to be patient.

This part of the state has been known to have a few “cold snaps” as late as April, so it really is beneficial to your turf grass to take things slowly for a little longer.

Let your grass wake up. In most of the lawns I’ve seen, turf grasses are still fairly dormant.

This is a critical time for the health of your lawn.

Root systems will begin new growth as the soil warms, so if it is fertilized too quickly, it can stress the grass and damage it.

Stimulating it now with quick-release fertilizer while new root systems are developing can cause the blades to grow too quickly for the immature roots to handle.

Instead, experts recommend homeowners wait until mid-April before fertilizing.

Hopefully by then the roots will be strong enough to support the new growth.

Also, slow-release nitrogen is recommended.

It may cost a little more, but in the end, a healthier lawn

means fewer weeds and it will come back stronger the next year.

Remember to water your lawn after putting down fertilizer, not before.

Putting fertilizer on wet blades can cause it to stick and leave burn spots.

One last note on fertilizer: Only put down what the grass needs. A soil test can reveal which nutrients need to be replaced.

Usually one is nitrogen.

The Bell County AgriLife agent can advise you on where to get the soil testing done. Call 254-933-5305 for more information. Because of the drought conditions over the last few years, it is so important to thoroughly water your turf grass.

When grass begins actively growing, deep watering is better than frequent watering, causing the roots to grow deep and have a better chance to survive during the heat and dry conditions of summer.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at

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