Nutrients For Seed Development
Fertilizer contains a blend of one or more of the following ingredients: nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Fertilizer packages list a number value on the label indicating the percentage of each nutrient in that particular blend. Good starter fertilizers have more phosphate — the second number — than nitrogen or potassium. Developing seedlings use phosphate for growing strong roots and the nitrogen supports lush green grass blades. The amount of fertilizer you need for a 500-square-foot area depends on the amount of nitrogen in the formula. Adding too much nitrogen burns the roots.
How Do You Know Which Fertilizer To Use
Slow-release nitrogen, which is sometimes referred to as controlled release or slowly available nitrogen, should be your primary consideration when purchasing fertilizer. The advantages of slow-release nitrogen include:
- For a longer period of time, the nitrogen will be available to the grass, ensuring a well-fed lawn.
- Overfertilizing and resulting in burnt patches in your lawn are less likely.
- They reduce water pollution caused by nitrate leaching, which occurs when a large amount of nitrogen is released at once in the environment.
Organic fertilizers, in general, have a slower rate of absorption. Fertilizers with slow-release and fast-release nitrogen can give your lawn a burst of color without damaging it.
Remember that some organic fertilizers, such as those made from plant matter, must be broken down by soil microbes before they can release nitrogen. Cold soils wont benefit from these nutrients as much.
If youre unsure about your lawns NPK ratio, consult a local lawn expert, a plant nursery, or a university extension service. To get the best results from the NPK fertilizer calculator, make sure your fertilization plan is tailored to your specific soil, grass species, and climate conditions.
What Is The Best Time To Add Lime
It can take several months for lime to break down and change the pH level of your soil. The best time to test your soil is in the spring, just as the soil begins to get warm. You can apply lime at this time and you can apply it in the fall.
During the fall and winter months, there is a cycle of freezing and thawing along with plenty of rain and snow. These events will help to break down the lime so that it can work to raise the pH level of the soil.
Just remember that you should never apply lime to a lawn when it is dormant or stressed.
Last Update by Autem Decker
Whether you have a home garden or land for hay and forage crops, the expense of fertilizer is often undermined. People are most likely to focus on the planting and watering expenses and dont think much about the compost.
Sadly, it doesnt bring any goodness to the plants and crops. On the contrary, using the proper amount of fertilizer per acre will not only keep the plants healthy but also yield more crops. Also, it reduces unnecessary expenses.
So, you must know how to calculate fertilizer application rates per acre.
Since the calculation is a complex one and needs the involvement of some mathematics, you might find it a bit challenging. So, we have compiled the simplest method to calculate the fertilizer application rate.
So, shall we start?
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Liquid Vs Dry Fertilizer Cost
The average cost range for liquid fertilizers is around $40 to $100 per application, while dry fertilizers will cost about $25 to $85 per application for the fertilizer only. Typically, liquid fertilizer will be more expensive than dry products, but that also depends on the exact products involved. For example, a liquid synthetic might be cheaper than a dry organic compound because the latter is organic. More important than the cost is deciding which type of application will be best for your lawn.
The cost differences are so minute in the big picture that its far more beneficial to choose the right product, not just the cheapest one. Liquid fertilizer is easy to handle, apply, and blend with other products, but granular products may offer a more precise application and have better slow-release options. Another consideration is whether the liquid or dry fertilizer could affect things like kids or pets, but there are generally safe products available in both categories. Your fertilization specialist can help determine which type of fertilizer is best for your lawn.
How To Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration encourages deep roots, resulting in a healthy lawn. Learn how to give your grass a breath of fresh air with these aerating tips.
If you plan to aerate your lawn, follow up that task with fertilizing. Lawns benefit from soil aeration, which creates literal holes in soil and exposes the root zone of grass plants. These holes allow water, fertilizer and air direct access to grass roots. For the best aeration, use a core aerator that pulls actual plugs of soil from the lawn . If you rent this machine, know that it’s heavy and requires a strong pair of arms to handle it. Many riding mowers also have core aerator attachments. In small grassy areas, plunging a digging fork into soil accomplishes the task quickly and inexpensively. Aerate whenever the thatch layer is more than one-half-inch thick.
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The Types Of Fertilizers Affected By Watering
To adequately understand how much and when to water after fertilizing, its important to understand the method of fertilization you received. The following covers the two primary methods of spreading fertilizer and how to identify what type you have received.
The two types of fertilizers are:
- Granular fertilizers
- Liquid fertilizers
How Much Fertilizer Does My Lawn Need
For years, homeowners fertilized their lawns in the spring when temperatures rose, and sunshine dominated, then again, perhaps, in summer and once more in the fall. Most lawns, those without the benefit of automatic irrigation systems, performed reasonably well, developed moderate density and color and most folks were satisfied.
With the explosion of the game of golf in the US, more and more golfers noticed the obvious difference between their lawns and the carpet-like golf turf they played on and wanted the same turf quality at home!
More than any other factor, this interest in fine turf led to an expansion in turf research at universities nationwide and new recommendations for building beautiful lawns.
Two primary factors were identified as being the keys to developing thick, healthy turf: first, water. Grass plants are 90% water. They require 1.0 to 1.5 inches of water every week in lieu of rainfall. When that water is absent, nothing will take its place as integral in optimum turf growth.
The second important factor identified in turf development was fertilizer. Not just any fertilizer, like manure. Researchers learned that complete fertilizer was required. The definition of a complete fertilizer is one that contains all three major turf nutrients, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. So, spreading old fashioned, organic fertilizers did not produce the same quality turf as newer, plant-focused products.
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How Do I Know How Much Fertilizer To Apply
As mentioned earlier, the suggested rate per application is about one pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. If fertilizers were 100 percent nitrogen, which they are not, it would take a pound of fertilizer to apply this rate. Divide 100 by the percent nitrogen in the bag to figure how much is needed per 1,000 square feet. For example, a fertilizer with 20 percent nitrogen would require 100/20 or 5 pounds of fertilizer product per every 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Too much nitrogen fertilizer has damaged this lawn.
The next figure needed is the total area or square footage of the lawn. Take your total lot size and subtract everything not in lawn to determine this figure. An acre is 43,560 square feet, if you know your lot expressed in a portion of an acre. Then subtract the square footage of the house, driveway, gardens, patio, etc. The other way to figure is just to measure dimensions of the lawn areas and calculate as square feet.
Once you arrive at the square footage in lawn, divide this by 1,000. Then multiply by the pounds of fertilizer needed per 1,000 square feet figured above. This gives you the approximate pounds of fertilizer needed to spread on your lawn.
Finally, most fertilizer bags give a spreader setting guide, which is usually calibrated to supply the 1 pound per 1,000 square feet rate, to help homeowners apply the right amount. The product label may tell you how much area the product will cover.
Can I Put Too Much Fertilizer On My Lawn
There is the idea of too much of a good thing, and that definitely applies when it comes to fertilizing your lawn! Applying too much fertilizer to your lawn will cause the nitrogen and salt levels in the soil to increase rapidly, which can damage or even kill the grass. When this happens, it is known as fertilizer burn and looks like yellow and brown strips or patches of dead grass. These symptoms can appear as soon as the day after a fertilizer application, making it easy to determine the cause.
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Can I Use Lawn Fertilizer In The Garden
While you technically could use lawn fertilizer in the garden, its not ideal. Thats because veggies and flowers have totally different needs from grass. Lawn fertilizer would still feed the garden plants, but they wouldnt achieve maximum growth and might grow more leaves at the expense of flowers and fruits since thats what lawn fertilizer is optimized for: growing lush, green leaves. Another reason to avoid using lawn fertilizer in the garden is that many lawn fertilizers also contain ingredients meant to kill weeds. Guess what happens when you use those in your garden? Thats right, both the weeds and the garden plants bite the dust. Your best bet? Keep lawn fertilizer in the lawn.
Safety Considerations When Applying Weed And Feed
Before applying weed and feed, there are some safety considerations to consider. Some weed and feed products can be dangerous, and we need to take the right kind of safety precautions to keep our family and pets safe.
- Make sure that you wear long-sleeve gloves and long pants when you are applying the weed and feed. Some weed and feed products have herbicides like 2, 4-D, MCCP, and Dicamba, which can cause severe skin irritation and inflammation.
- Ensure to wear goggles when applying the weed and feed, as dust particles that come into contact with your eyes can lead to eye irritation. If this happens, flush your eye out with water for 15 minutes and seek medical advice.
- Always lock up the weed and feed when youre not using it. It is vital not to leave it open or anywhere near pets or small children. Ingesting weed and feed can lead to death if its not treated immediately. If it does get accidentally ingested, please call the nearest medical center, 911, or poison control center.
- Keep pets and small children off the lawn until the first heavy rainfall after applying weed and feed. Before allowing them back onto the lawn, please inspect it to ensure that all product granules are fully dissolved and no one can come into direct contact with the weed and feed.
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How Long After Reseeding Or Overseeding My Lawn Should I Wait Before Fertilizing
Your best bet is to fertilize your newly seeded or overseeded lawn with Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass directly after seeding. Then, you need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before fertilizing again. If you get over-eager and think If a little fertilizer is good, then a lot of fertilizer is better, let us save you from yourself. Over-fertilizing at any time, especially with newly seeded lawns, can actually damage your grass and that is no way to win the Yard of the Month award.
Is Fertilizing The Right Answer
Think about where you live and what type of grass you have, and consider the condition of your lawn.
All you need to fertilize your lawn the right way is a little attention to detail. Ultimately, once your lawn is thick, green, and thriving, you wont have to worry about lawn fertilizer treatments. Instead, youll be able to spend your time making memories, enjoying good company, and thinking about the things that matter most.
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Purchasing Nutrients For Hay And Forage Crops
Fertilizer can be a significant out-of-pocket expense in the maintenance of hay and forage crops. Frequently, cost is given as the prime reason why a producer does not fertilize hay and forage crops for maintenance. Producers can save money on fertilizer applications if they compare the total cost of applying different fertilizer blends.
Fertilizing At The Right Time Of Year Is Crucial
Fertilizing in the fall is recommended for areas with winter temperatures below 55 °F . In the fall, the grass has a chance to build strong roots before the winter, allowing it to recover quickly when the weather warms up again in the spring. The best time to fertilize your lawn once a year is in the fall, according to the majority of grass experts.
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Its Time To Put It All Together
All in all, its like a well-oiled machine in terms of how much fertilizer and when it should be applied. Things will look and operate more smoothly if all the components are working together as they should. Things grind to a halt if you miss a step or run into a hiccup.
Its best to measure twice and cut once, like in woodworking. Do your homework and double-check that your lawn size is correct, as well as the amount of fertilizer that should be applied.
When in doubt, talk to a lawn care expert and get your questions answered. Try asking around, checking with family and friends, and checking with the Better Business Bureau to see if you can find a business you can trust.
Are You Sure Its Fertilizer The Difference Between Fertilizer And Herbicides
In lawn care, terminology sometimes has different meanings depending on the people you talk to and parts of the country. Its important to understand the difference between fertilizer and herbicides before we tackle the watering question.
Fertilizers and herbicides can both be applied with the same methods or with different methods. Spraying or pushing a spreader around the lawn is a way to know the method of application, but not the type of application.
Many people refer to anything that is applied to the lawn as lawn fertilizing and that may not be true.
Lets look at the type of application here.
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How Much And How Long To Water After Fertilizer
Watering to the appropriate levels after a fertilizer application is important. Too much and you can have run-off and diluted products. Too little and the fertilizer will just sit on the very surface of the ground and will not provide ideal conditions for the grass to take up the nutrients.
Assuming your watering schedule and amounts are set correctly for your lawn, simply resume your normal watering schedule after fertilizing. To understand how much and for how long you should be watering your lawn, check out our article on how to water your lawn.
If you have heavy clay soils or steep slopes it will be easy to accidentally create run-off water during watering cycles.
Should You Use Weed And Feed Before Or After Mowing
Whether or not to use weed and feed before or after mowing may be on your mind whilst gardening. The answer to this question isnt a simple yes or no, however, it depends on your circumstances. Whether or not you use weed and feed before or after mowing depends on the types of weed youre attempting to remove, the grass type you have and the time of year that youre applying your weed and feed. Weed and feed must be applied to wet grass, meaning that the likelihood of applying it to your freshly mowed lawn is unlikely as grass should not be mowed whilst its wet.
Generally speaking, weed and feed should be used a few days after mowing your lawn. If you must mow the lawn at any point, make sure it is either two days before or two days after the application of weed and feed. Applying weed and feed two days after mowing the lawn will mean that you will have to take some added time to ensure that excess grass clippings and mulch is removed from the lawn to prevent weeds from feeding off of it.
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What Do You Do If You Burn Your Lawn With Fertilizer
If youve overdone it with the fertilizer, you may still be able to save your lawn. Burned lawns will need a generous amount of water to get back to green. Its vital that you water the lawn as soon as you spot any brown or yellow patches to prevent further damage. Slowly soak the affected areas every day for about a week to fully flush out the extra salt. To avoid causing sun damage while the lawn is in crisis, be sure to water early in the morning. Within a few weeks, the affected areas should be turning back to green. If not, those areas of your lawn may need to be dug up and overseeded to inspire new growth.