Is It Better To Fertilize Before Or After Rain
Dont wait too long after a heavy rainfall to apply fertilizer. When the top two inches of soil have dried, the benefit of good distribution of the fertilizer in the root-zone area may be reduced. It is for such reasons that we suggest soil moisture should be at good levels just before a fertilizer application.
Using A Handheld Broadcast Spreader
A handheld broadcast spreader works well for fertilizing small lawn areas. Walk evenly and slowly, and be sure to overlap distribution patterns slightly with each pass. A small spreader like this also works really well when you have shady areas in your lawn that require a different fertilizer rate than the sunny sections. Some fertilizers combine an herbicide with the lawn food. These products are sold as weed-and-feed lawn care products and are applied using a lawn spreader.
When And How To Fertilize New Grass
If you’re starting a new lawn from seed, sod or plugs or you’re doing bare lawn spot repair a starter fertilizer helps grass get the perfect start. Unlike established lawns, new grass benefits from extra phosphorus, an essential plant nutrient that supports strong, deep roots. Some states only allow phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers on new grass, so check with your county extension office if you’re unsure.
On fertilizer products, phosphorus is the middle number in the N-P-K ratio usually “0” in normal lawn fertilizers. But with Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4, you get an ideal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, plus other essential lawn nutrients, including iron for deep green color. This premium fertilizer blend starts feeding new grass immediately and keeps feeding it for up to three months.
Always follow guidelines for the best time to plant grass seed for your region and grass type, then fertilize accordingly. For seed or plugs, apply fertilizer with a regular lawn spreader before you plant. If you’re starting a lawn with sod, fertilize after your sod is in place.
With any new lawn area, avoid using crabgrass preventer fertilizers or weed & feed fertilizers within four weeks before planting time. After seeding, wait until your new grass gets established and you’ve mowed your lawn at least three times.
Weed & feed fertilizers kill tough weeds and feed your lawn.
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Want To Feed And Weed At Same Time
Main manufacturers of weed and feed products claim they kill as many as 175 weeds, including dandelions, clover, chickweed, knotweed, thistle and many broadleaf weeds. These products also encourage grass greening and can extend nitrogen feeding.
Some combination products target crabgrass. To avoid fertilizing done too early but still manage crabgrass, purchase a product only meant for crabgrass control. Pre-emergent herbicides must go on before crabgrass seeds germinate. Not everyone needs crabgrass control, however. Thick lawns reduce light penetration to the soil surface, shading crabgrass seeds and preventing their germination.
To be effective, granules of weed-and-feed products must stick to the leaves of the weeds. That step requires moisture. The perfect time to apply, therefore, is an early morning when theres a heavy dew on the lawn. Whether using a granular weed-and-feed or spraying a liquid broadleaf weed killer, the weeds must be well watered and actively growing for the chemical to work.
When To Use Compost
Compost does more than feed grass it also builds and feeds soil. Compost contains microorganisms, micronutrients and organic matter items that nourish soil and foster a healthy underground environment in your lawn. When should you use compost? Spread a thin layer over lawns in early spring to fuel strong growth. Any time you plan to aerate, spread compost after aerating to improve soil and give roots a boost. It’s also a good idea to apply compost before overseeding thin turf. Add compost to a lawn by the shovelful in several places.
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How Do I Prepare My Lawn For Spring
How to Prepare Your Lawn & Garden for Spring in 6 Simple Steps Do some cleaning. The first step to prepping your lawn for spring is to clean up the leaves, twigs and other debris that have gathered over the winter. Apply fertilizer, pre-emergent and weed killer. Mow early, mow often. Pick a good, heavy mulch. Trim the trees. Dont seed until fall.
What Happens If I Over
Along with fertilize burn, over-fertilizing can cause damage to your turfs root structure, as well. Some fertilizers contain high levels of nitrogen, which if absorbed in large amounts can become harmful. What mainly causes the dreaded burn, however, is an abundant accumulation of soluble salts.
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Feeding The Lawn In The Summer And Fall
Warm-season grasses thrive in the heat of the summer and can be fertilized throughout the growing season. However, cool-season grasses are in a survival mode during the heat of the summer. Refrain from applying fertilizer to a lawn in mid- or late-summer if you live in a climate where cool-season grasses are in your lawn seed mix. A cool-season lawn should need nothing other than water and pest management until September.
Most lawn experts recommend a mild dose of a “turf-builder” fertilizer formulation in the early- to mid-fall, while the turf still has several weeks of active growth before dormancy. This application will help build robust root systems going into winter and restart the growing cycle in the spring. You are not looking to return your lawn to the green of summer. Heading into winter, you can expect a natural slowdown of your lawn’s growth and the loss of its green luster.
Fertilize For The Health Of Your Lawn
Fertilizing is a great lawn care tactic to get ahead of the curve and give your plants that extra boost. Knowing just when to fertilize your lawn may seem tricky if you have never done it before or have switched your grass, Chorbie has the experts on duty to help with any landscaping needs or lawn care tasks, give us a call today!
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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.
Applying Fertilizer In Spring
The first two applications of the year will have a fertilizer to boost the growth of the turf.
A post emergent to kill the weeds that have germinated, and also a pre-emergent to prevent the weeds from germinating in the summer.
These first two applications are the most important as they will set you up for success. If they are not properly applied, then you will not have very good results.
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Finally Apply Fertilizer In The Winter
The winter fertilizer application should you get one helps maintain color and health throughout the cold months.
Now, if you are a diehard do it yourself, you can apply the applications yourself.
However by the time you buy the needed fertilizers and chemicals and factor your time, the cost will be about the same.
Most people dont know this, but if you tackle it yourself, you should work with a good local supply company, such as your local CO-OP, or your locally owned lawn and garden shop. Heres why, typically these stores will have a more knowledgeable staff than the big box stores.
Late Summer To Late Fall
Between August and November, grass slows down and prepares for the winter months. At the same time, broadleaf weeds start active growth again. With Pennington UltraGreen Winterizer Plus Weed & Feed Fertilizer 22-0-14, you can feed your northern or southern lawn nutrients essential to its winter prep and spring green-up and kill broadleaf weeds. As a general rule, allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your first expected frost.
As with all fertilizer products, check the label and follow instructions for your specific grass type. If you’re overseeding, wait until next year for weed & feed. Instead, turn to Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 for the year’s final feeding.
Always sweep excess fertilizer off sidewalks and patios to avoid runoff.
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What Type Of Fertilizer To Use On Your Lawn
When picking fertilizers for your lawn, you have the option of liquid or granular, and synthetic or organic.
- Liquid: Fast and effective, but tough to spread and used mostly by professionals, may require the use of a backpack sprayer for large areas.
- Granular: Easiest to spread, the best option for home gardening.
- Synthetic: Made out of synthetic components, release their nutrition fast.
- Organic: Organic fertilizers for lawns are made from plants and animals, and are usually of the slow-release type. This means their effect will last longer.
When To Fertilize Warm
When to fertilize depends on what kind of grass you have. You want to time fertilizing so it occurs just before grass enters its peak growing phase. If you live in southern areas where lawns feature warm-season grasses, fertilize turf in late spring or early summer, just before grass kicks into high gear. Make a second application in late summer. If your warm-season lawn goes dormant in winter, don’t fertilize after the first of September.
Warm season grass types include bahia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, centipede and zoysia. Warm season grasses typically thrive in frost-free areas and grow best at temps of 75 degrees to 90 degrees.
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Understanding Whats In Your Lawn Fertilizer
When choosing a fertilizer, youll need a basic understanding of the fertilizers NPK rating.
NPK rating is the fertilizers levels of:
- Phosphorous, and
- Potassium .
For a standard lawn, a good choice for your first application of the season is around a 20-5-10 NPK rating.
That means the fertilizer is comprised of 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Those three are the primary nutrients for grass, similar to how people need a proper balance of macro nutrients to thrive.
- Nitrogen makes your lawn grow and green quickly, and its essential throughout the season.
- Phosphorous promotes healthy root development. Thats why its recommended to apply high phosphorous fertilizers early in the season to help your grass develop strong roots early. If you water regularly and well, your lawns roots will be able to withstand drought and dryness in the hottest part of summer. However, Phosphorous in high concentrations is bad for the environment, so more places are regulating the allowed amounts or banning it altogether.
- Potassium promotes overall grass growth for a healthy, balanced lawn.
Synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have higher NPK ratings, while organic fertilizers have lower ratings.
The higher potency of synthetic fertilizers is why they have more immediate results in making your grass green. However, thats also why they are unsustainable.
Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring: Fertilize
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. After a fairly mild winter across the state, you can give your lawn a head start, head off the crabgrass, save yourself some money and maybe even impress the neighbors by following a few tips from a turfgrass specialist in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
“From a financial standpoint, fertilization does more to revitalize thin, weedy lawns than any other single management practice,” says Peter Landschoot, professor of turfgrass science. “With more user-friendly products on the market, lawn fertilization has never been easier — provided you follow a few basic steps.”
–Soil Test. Soil tests tell consumers how much fertilizer and lime is needed. Test kits are available for a nominal fee at Penn State Cooperative Extension offices throughout the state. Soil tests can be taken and sent to Penn State any time of the year, but make sure you allow two to three weeks to receive your report.
Landschoot points out that some products contain “slow-release nitrogen” or “water insoluble nitrogen.” “It’s a good idea to have some slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in the bag,” he says. “This will provide longer-lasting green-up and reduce the chance of fertilizer burn. However, if all or most of the product is slow-release nitrogen, green-up of the lawn can be very slow. It may take weeks or even months to occur.”
EDITORS: Contact Peter Landschoot at 863-1017 or by e-mail at .
Gary Abdullah Writer/editor Phone: 814-863-2708 E-mail:
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Lawn Starter Fertilizer Vs Regular Fertilizer
Would you feed a newborn baby a slice of pizza? Of course you wouldnt. And obviously, thats a ridiculous question.
Because you know that babies have special needs. In order to grow and develop in the beginning, it is vital that they receive the nutrients they need from their mothers milk or baby formula.
Heres the thing, though. A lot of people do the equivalent of feeding a newborn a slice of pizza when they try to fertilize new grass.
They use regular fertilizer instead of starter fertilizer.
Both can provide plants with valuable nutrients, but they are not interchangeable. The nutrients they contain differ, and plants need each type at different stages of their life cycle.
Regular fertilizer contains a mix of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus at a 1-2-1 ratio. Thats great for established plants, but not so wonderful for seedlings.
In fact, the main ingredient in most starter fertilizers is phosphorous, which makes grass seeds much more likely to germinate and sprout. Many also contain quick-release nitrogen to assist in germination and the development of the seed. In other words, they are specially formulated for seedlings.
So, when do you add starter fertilizer to your new turf?
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.
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Can You Over Fertilize Your Lawn
You absolutely can and this is something that you must be aware of before attempting to fertilise your lawn. The problem is, when you over fertilise a lawn, the salts from the fertiliser begin to build up in the soil which causes a drying effect. This then turns your grass yellow, and it begins to brown off and die. This is called fertiliser burn. Fertiliser burn doesnt mean that its the end of the road for your lawn and that youll need to start again from scratch, however, it is something that you will want to avoid.
There are ways of helping your lawn to recover from fertiliser burn, but again, if you can avoid it entirely, you wont need to worry about it. Here are some tips on how to prevent fertiliser burn:
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You see, lawns require regular feeding, but with a top-quality lawn fertiliser in order to get the best possible results. Ideally, you want to fertilise your lawn at least three times a year once in Spring, again in the Summer, and finally in Autumn. However, if that sounds like a little bit too much work for your liking and you only wish to fertilise the once per year, then make sure you do it during the Springtime. In any case, the optimal amount is three times per year.
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Should I Water After Fertilizing Lawn
After grass dries, apply fertilizer. Then lightly water again. This second watering is vitally important, because it washes fertilizer off grass blades and into soil. Just be sure you dont fertilize before a downpour, or you may wind up with fertilizer washing away, especially if your lawn slopes.
How Often Is Too Often
The last thing your lawn needs is constant overfeeding. It does nothing to benefit your turf grass, and can be damaging to the environment. For most lawns, applying fertilizer once or twice a year is enough to keep your grass green and healthy. Precisely when you apply fertilizer depends partly on your climate, but mostly on the type of grass you have. The key is to fertilize during the season when your grass is doing the most growing.
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