Fertilize The Perimeter First And Work Your Way Inward
First, walk the spreader around the outside edge of your lawn. Walk at a slow, steady pace to ensure even coverage.
When youre done with the perimeter, walk the spreader back and forth across the lawn in straight lines, similar to the pattern you follow when you mow. Overlap a few inches on each pass so you dont miss any spots. Continue until youve covered the whole lawn.
Applying Fertilizer To Your Lawn
Choosing Your Spreader
There are two types of spreaders to choose from to apply your fertilizer, broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders. Broadcast spreaders are what I call no-brainers, they are easier to use, cover a wider area with each pass helping to complete the work faster and theres less of a chance of having skips in your yards caused by not overlapping your passes properly. They also cost less than drop spreaders.
A drop spreader can enable you to apply your fertilizer in windy conditions and apply products close to sensitive plants and areas without spreading the fertilizer where you dont want it to end up. You will need to be more precise when you make your applications and it will take you more time because you will need to make more passes and you should always apply in a criss cross pattern to reduce the chance of missing any spots.
If you prefer a certain brand of lawn fertilizer I highly recommend purchasing a spreader from that same brand. That way the settings the brand recommend on the bag will match the settings on the spreader. Just one way to take some of the guess work out of getting the right amount of fertilizer on your lawn.
Setting the Spreader
Cover the perimeter of the yard first, then fill in the middle.
Apply Fertilizer Evenly Over The Whole Lawn
Walk slowly across your lawn in straight lines, spraying from side to side across your body as you go. Pay attention to how far your sprayer reaches so you can pick up on the next pass where it leaves off.
Try not to miss any spots, and try not to overspray any spots. Applying liquid fertilizer evenly can be tricky if you dont know what youre doing. Many homeowners have found that liquid fertilizer results in a patchy lawn.
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Rotary Spreader With Fertilizer
Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
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Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient, and each type of grass demands different amounts to display peak growth and performance. How often you fertilize affects not only lawn appearance, but also maintenance level. The more you fertilize, the more you’ll have to mow, for instance.
Fertilizing At The Wrong Time
“Many homeowners don’t follow a lawn fertilizer schedule. They fertilize when they think their lawn needs it, when they have time or when the stuff is on sale.
Here’s when to fertilize lawn: If your lawn fertilizer schedule is once per year, apply it around Labor Day. Thats when your lawn is the hungriest and when it will respond best to the nutrients it receives. Fertilizing at this time will help replenish food reserves after a long, stressful year of growing and before the harshness of winter sets in.
If your lawn fertilizer schedule is twice per year, apply the second application about the middle of October. This acts like a second helping of much-needed food going into winter. A third application can be added in mid to late spring and can be combined with your crabgrass preventer. A fourth application, if you feel the need, can be added mid-summer. Watch the weather when applying midsummer fertilizers. Fertilizing during hot, humid weather can harm your lawn. An exception would be using an organic fertilizer. They are much more lawn friendly during the dog days of summer.
In the spring, apply just enough fertilizer to help green up your lawn. About half the normal amount will do. Even without fertilizer, your lawn naturally grows quickly as soon as temperatures become consistently higher. Have you ever noticed that grass grows fastest in the late spring and early summer? Why promote even more growth at this time by fertilizing?
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How Often Should I Fertilize A New Lawn
Dont fertilize a new lawn until the grass is actively growing and you have mowed the lawn at least three times. Then use a fertilizer that will promote strong roots without a surge in grass growth while keeping the lawn weeds at bay.
For U.S. based gardeners, fertilize your lawn with Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer .
U.K. gardeners should use a lawn fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn .
These fertilizers will slowly release nutrients into the lawn. You will only need to apply these once every 12 weeks while the lawn becomes established.
Its also worth mentioning that if you apply a crabgrass preemergent fertilizer or a regular weed and feed, ensure that you have waited four weeks before sowing your new grass seed.
How To Apply Lawn Fertilizer
There are several ways to apply lawn fertilizer. Using a spreader provides more even coverage than fertilizing by hand. Hand fertilizing often results in burns where the fertilizer is concentrated and pale areas that dont get as much fertilizer as they should.
Broadcast or rotary spreaders are easy to use and dont cause striping like drop spreaders. The advantage to drop spreaders is that there is no chance of overthrow getting fertilizer on streets, sidewalks, or driveways. With a drop spreader, you have to make two trips over the lawn at right angles. For example, if you make your first trip over the lawn in a north-south direction, the second trip should run east to west.
After applying the fertilizer, water the lawn thoroughly. Watering rinses the fertilizer off the grass blades so that they wont burn, and it allows the fertilizer to sink down into the soil so it can get to work. Keep kids and pets off the lawn for the amount of time recommended on the label, which is usually 24 to 48 hours.
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Are There Are Alternatives To Chemical Lawn Fertilizers
There are organic alternatives to chemical lawn fertilizers but if you want to use a really sustainable approach, one way to feed a lawn is through mulching. Paul Hicks, Product Manager at STIHL , says: ‘One way to achieve a lush lawn is through regular fertilizing, however this doesnt just mean using chemical treatments as mulching is a great natural alternative. Mulching is basically the process of cutting the grass and chopping the clippings into tiny pieces, with one pass of the mower. These clippings are then returned to the turf containing all the essential nutrients the lawn needs for healthy growth.
‘Mulching can be achieved by using a special mower that has been designed to mulch. These mowers are often not able to collect grass and instead, they have a special profile in the cutter deck and a specially designed blade.
‘However, there are some mowers out there that offer the best of both worlds and can collect the clippings in a grass box but can also be converted into a mulching mower with an accessory kit.
Best Conditions To Fertilize Your Lawn
1. Wait until your soil temps are warm enough in early spring before applying. Fertilizer works best once the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees. Dont waste your time or money by applying too early.
To find average soil temps based on your specific location check out Green Cast Online. It takes about 10 seconds to find when soil temps usually approach 55 degrees in your region. This is when you want to apply your first treatment.
2. Fertilize your lawn when there is a light rain expected. Since fertilizer needs to be watered in to be effective, wait until the forecast calls for a light rain. Just be sure to avoid heavy rains that will cause the fertilizer to run off.
3. Avoid applying fertilizer during the heat of the day, hot spells, or periods of drought. This could cause your lawn to burn. Instead, apply in the morning or late afternoon and when your arent experiencing extreme weather conditions.
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Less Grass Fertilizer More Even Distribution
Dial back the rate of lawn fertilizer applications to 1/2, then make two passes with your spreader at right angles.
“I bet at least 3 out of every 5 homeowners use way more lawn fertilizer than they should.”
Many retailers promote a four-step lawn fertilizer schedule for homeowners. Fertilizing more than four times a year is overkill. In fact, most homeowners could get by with two every year. You can cut back on the amount of grass fertilizer you need by knowing when to fertilize lawn based on time of year. More on that later.
If you apply too much lawn fertilizer, especially in sandy soils, a good share of it will leach through the soil and make its way into our precious groundwater, lakes, streams and wetlands. Lawn grasses only need a certain amount of food. More isnt always better.
Unlike us humans, lawn grasses dont know how to stop eating when theyre full! This luxury consumption of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium actually makes the lawn grasses weak and more susceptible to disease. Excessive grass fertilizer will create too much thatch, which will ultimately choke out your lawn. Too much lawn fertilizer also means youll be mowing far more often than necessary. Too much mowing means excessive soil compaction, exhaust and noise pollution and excessive wear and tear on your mower.
When it comes to a lawn fertilizer schedule, applying more than four times a year is a waste. Save time and money by being more judicious in your use of lawn fertilizer.
Best Fertilizers To Use
The best fertilizers to use are slow release. When you use slow release fertilizers, the grass will get green without growing too quickly. In the spring, mixtures of 20-5-10 are suitable to use. You can also perform a soil pH test before you start the process. Then, you can base the mixture off of your results. For example, if your pH tests come back with high potassium results, you can look for a combination that is lower in that category.
Call 215.799.2016 or fill out the contact form on the bottom of this page. We can answer any of your questions or set up a fertilization plan to keep your lawn healthy and looking great.
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Fill And Prepare A Lawn Spreader
- Next, check the instructions on your fertilizer bag for the recommended setting to use on your lawn spreader. This determines the amount of fertilizer that will be distributed. The higher the setting, the larger the hole size in the hopper and thus, the more fertilizer spread on the lawn. Adjust the setting on the spreader accordingly.
- Before you fill the spreader with fertilizer, make sure the hopper hole is closed. Fill the hopper on a hard surface, such as a driveway or sidewalk. This will prevent a potential spill from damaging or saturating a spot on your lawn.
- Be careful not to overfill the hopper or the lawn spreader may become hard to maneuver. Your lawn spreader may come with an edging feature to help you avoid dispensing fertilizer onto your driveway, sidewalk or walkway. If so, turn it on before you begin fertilizing that area. Follow all other instructions provided by your manufacturer for operating your lawn spreader.
How Do You Fertilize Your Lawn With Beer
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. Accordingly, is beer a good fertilizer for grass?
Beer. Made from barley and hops, beer is a fantastic source of energy for your lawn. Rich in carbohydrates, beer provides an immediate source of energy for microbes in the soil, which then release energy for the grass to use.
does beer make your grass green? Green up your lawn in no timeProfessional gardeners suggest pouring beer on discolored areas. The brew’s acids kill fungus, while its fermented sugars feed the grass to stimulate healthy growth.
Correspondingly, how do you fertilize your lawn naturally?
Epsom Salt & AmmoniaMix one cup each of Epsom salts and ammonia in a bottle. Add two-three tablespoons of this mixture in a watering can and spread it over 200 square feet of grass. Alternatively, you can mix it with equal parts water to make a liquid fertilizer for covering your entire lawn.
Can I put beer on my plants?
Use a small amount of a flat beer just at the base of the plant. If you have a house with some roommates, and your yard is prone to ugly brown patches, you can pour flat beer on that too. The acids in beer kill off fungi and pests, and the fermented sugars feed the grass.
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Best Times To Fertilize A Lawn
The right time to fertilize your lawn is influenced by the type of grass you have. Much of the country has either cool-season or warm-season grass, with some areas combining the two types for a more versatile lawn. Its important to identify your grass type and plan your lawn care schedule around its needs. Below is a quick overview of which seasons are best for fertilization based on your lawn type.
When To Fertilize Lawn
Knowing when to fertilize your lawn depends on how often you plan to apply it. If you fertilize once a year, do it around Labor Day thats when lawns absorb the most nutrients. For biannual fertilizing, add a second application the middle of October.
There are exceptions to this timeline depending on climate and soil types, so adjust if your lawn is not retaining enough nutrients. In the spring, if you feel the need, spread a little fertilizer to help the greening process.
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Attach Or Fill Your Sprayer
Many liquid lawn fertilizers come in a ready-to-spray hose-end sprayer that attaches to your garden hose. You dont have to dilute these with water yourself because the hose will automatically do it for you. Just screw the bottle securely onto the hose and spray.
If your fertilizer doesnt come in a ready-to-spray bottle, youll have to mix it with water before using it. The product label will tell you the proper ratio of fertilizer to water. Once youve diluted the fertilizer, pour it into a handheld or backpack sprayer.
The Basics Of Lawn Fertilizer
Get to know what those three numbers on the label of the bag mean. These numbers are the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium in that order. they are the primary nutrients that feed your lawn and different brands provide varying amounts. So a bag of 12-12-12 will have 12 percent nitrogen, 12 percent phosphate, and 12 percent potassium, these are the major nutrients that your lawn needs. But just as important are the micro-nutrients that lawn fertilizer manufacturers add to the mixture.
Most commercially available lawn fertilizer is a blend of both primary, or major nutrients and micro-nutrients customized for common lawn grasses like bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass. Depending on your location you might even have a lawn using zoysia or bentgrass, and there are blends designed just for those grasses.
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What Type Of Fertilizer To Choose For Your Lawn
There are several varieties of fertilizer to choose from. The biggest variable is organic versus synthetic fertilizer.
That said, youll also hear fertilizer described as either quick-release or slow-release, but theres significant overlap between the two.
Organic fertilizers are natural and come from plant or animal sources.
Synthetic fertilizers are derived of components made in a lab.
Organic fertilizers are primarily slow release. In practical terms, slow-release fertilizers help develop your soil to grow your grass strong using its own capacities. Synthetic fertilizers are more potent, and they help your grass green up faster, but they dont help your soil.
In my experience, relying too much on synthetic fertilizers can weaken the soil so much your grass cant sustain itself without applications of synthetic fertilizer.
For me, thats a problem.
Its not sustainable, and its why I use organic, slow release fertilizers on my lawn.
That said, synthetic fertilizers have almost immediate results. If you want your grass green quick, its the option to go with, and I do recommend a quick-release starter fertilizer when starting a lawn from seed.
If you want long-term sustainability for your existing lawn, an organic slow release is a better choice, and my recommendation.
Theres also the option to apply a synthetic fertilizer as your first application, then apply organic fertilizer to strengthen your yard later in the season.
How Do You Know Your Lawn Needs Fertilization
When your plants start to wilt, you know that they need water, sun, or fertilizer. But grass is pretty hardy. It doesnt always show a lot of signs that it needs fertilizer, besides a general failure to thrive. Here are a few of the major signs your lawn might need fertilization:
- Your lawn is being taken over by weeds. If your weeds are growing much faster than your grass, it isnt just that weeds are hardier. It means that the weeds are taking over the grass because they have the nutrients to grow, but the grass does not. The grass will continue to lose ground until it is given the nutrients it needs to take over again.
- Your grass is turning yellow or red. Even given appropriate watering, your grass can start to discolor if its not being given enough nutrients. If youre certain that youre watering your grass enough, it could be that your grass is lacking in vital nutrients.
- Your grass has recently grown very tall. It happens to everyone. A few rainstorms and your grass is a foot high. But when you cut your grass very low, your grass has to put a lot of energy into growing again, without the solar energy it was used to. It may need some extra help.
In general, if your grass just isnt growing in the way you want it to, its probably an issue with either watering or fertilizer. Both of them are going to need to be fixed to give you and your family the lawn of your dreams.
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