Is it safe to fertilize a fescue lawn in December?
December where? Florida, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania? Probably dependent on where you are? Is the ground frozen? Is the grass growing? Good chance it would just wash off if frozen.
Thanks TJDM. I'm in eastern TN (zone 6 as posted). I fertilized early (September) and the grass is looking distressed now. We have (since posting) had a few light snow falls but I don't think the ground is frozen. I'm not looking for growth (of course) but to maintain.
Ah eacollie, I'm middle TN.
Quite honestly it will be a waste of your money at this time. That grass is mostly likely looking stressed due to the cold. With the grass in semi-sleep mode, you will probably get little if any uptake, especially if your looking at the same temps we are looking at for the next week.
Now is the time to take a break and get ready for the spring. Soil test and start your plan for the spring. Pre-emergent to start in mid-March or so.
Thanks TNJDM. Soil test now or wait until March?
As long as you can pull some cores out of the ground, now is fine eacollie.
What type of testing should be done and any idea where I can get it done? Knoxville
That really depends on how much you plan on doing to develop the lawn. Much depends if you want to use synthetic fertilizers (i.e. Scotts, etc.) or go organic with Milorganite (some don't consider this "totally" organic), Soybean Meal, Alfalfa pellets, etc. With Organics, it's more expensive but your developing the the organic matter in the soil, versus synthetic where your feeding the grass.
Before I went organic, I used UT's facility in Nashville
You can actually mail your soil sample to them. They will come back with a basic plan on what, and how much, stuff to apply. The forms tell you what to do on this site.
You could also ask your local county extension
They could also give guideance on where to get a soil test and may handle it for you.
If you are thinking of going Organic and work on building the soil food web, google organic lawn fertilizing and you will find a host of Info on it. When I started going organic, I had a test done by Logan Labs in Ohio ($20 for the basic) and posted it on another site which has some great guys giving advice (my lawn has never looked better). Not sure if I am allowed to post that site here, so I'll defer that for now.
Start there and let us know how you make out
Thank you so much TNJDM! Organic sounds a little overwhelming right now but I'll certainly look into it.