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Ask Burton: Q: I have a St. Augustine lawn which did not enjoy the drought this summer. The rain last week was wonderful! The turf is greening up nicely now, but there are patches of fresh growth that just seem a dull off-color, either light green or yellowing, not the rich green of the rest of the new growth. Should I fertilize?

Posted on August, 31

A: Maybe not! Or, at least, not as heavily. Generally, we recommend feeding the lawn in September, but the downpour of rain last week that was so desperately needed lasted so long that many St. Augustine lawns are showing fungal disease symptoms now.

Feed Bermuda, Zoysia, and healthy St. Augustine lawns normally. For St. Augustine lawns which are showing the first signs of distress, apply a lawn fungicide (Bonide Infuse or Scotts Disease Ex) at the preventive, lighter rate listed on the product. Consider feeding those lawns an organic lawn fertilizer later in September! Organic fertilizers will support the lawn’s healthy growth without a surge of excess nitrogen that can make a fungal infection worse.

And if you’d like to know precisely what your lawn needs to be fed this year, consider sending off a soil sample to the Texas A&M Extension Soil Testing Lab. It’s easy to do, inexpensive, and you’ll get an exact breakdown of the nutrients needed to feed your lawn properly after a hard summer.