Organic Vs Synthetic Fertilizer
While you may be tempted to pick up a bag of synthetic fertilizer at your local hardware store, they come with a ton of disadvantages to your lawn, your health, and the environment.
They also rob the soil of organic matter and beneficial microorganisms and have negative health impacts on you, your family and pets, and any aquatic life in your nearby groundwater.
Organic fertilizer will last year-long, wont cause nitrogen to burn, aerate the soil, prevent erosion, add organic matter and support beneficial microorganisms, and are better for human and environmental health.
Suppose you want a low-maintenance lawn, transition to an organic lawn using organic fertilizers. The transition will require a few years of nurturing, but youll love it in the end.
I recommend reading Paul Tukeys essential guide, The Organic Lawn Care Manual, for a complete schedule for transitioning painlessly to organic.
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.
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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Debating The Use Of Fertilizer On The Lawn
Whether or not you should use fertilizer on a lawn depends on where you stand on organic or low impact-to-chemical gardening practices. Organic gardeners bemoan the use of any chemicals as lawn fertilizers. The main concern is the fertilizer run-off can enter the local water supply. There is good evidence that shows phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and agricultural fertilizers are contaminating streams, rivers, and groundwater supplies, creating a pressing environmental problem.
There are a few organic methods of feeding a lawn safely. You can choose to use a mulching mower that chops up grass into fine particles that then break down on the lawn. Horticultural experts say that throughout the season, this technique provides a lawn with as much nitrogen as one complete application of lawn fertilizer. You can also use organic fertilizers made from natural materials instead of refined chemicals. Organic-labeled fertilizers will indeed feed your lawn, though they are usually less saturated with the essential nutrients than the industrially refined fertilizers.
Pre-emergent herbicides are a combination of fertilizer and crabgrass control herbicide applied in the early spring. This combination product does not have a full feeding of fertilizer. This small dose of fertilizer slightly boosts grass growth and keeps it alive, while the herbicide in the product restricts crabgrass seedling development.
What Is The Best Lawn Fertilizer For Early Spring
A longer-lasting fertilizer is typically healthier for your lawn in the spring, since it requires fewer applications. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient, but keep in mind that there are fast-release and controlled-release nitrogen sources. To check what the fertilizer contains, just look in the guaranteed analysis section on the back of the bag. Key terms to look for include controlled-release, slow-release, slowly-available, or water-insoluble nitrogen. Some specific types that may be listed include ureaform, sulfur-coated urea, polymer-coated urea, and IBDU . Several organic nitrogen sources are controlled-release if you prefer a more natural, less artificial choice. Most quality lawn fertilizers offer a balance of fast and controlled release sources to offer a fertilizer that will provide some quick color and some long-lasting nitrogen.
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How Often Do You Have To Wait Between Fertilizer Applications
Fertilizers with a higher nutrient content will mean that you need to wait longer between applications in comparison to lawn fertilizer with a lower nutrient content. Some fertilizers can be applied once every four weeks whereas some you will need to wait as long as twelve weeks before you feed your lawn.
Knowing how long you will need to wait between applications will differ between the specific lawn fertilizer you have purchased.
A good tip to ensure that you dont over-fertilize your lawn is to make a note on a calendar the date you applied the lawn food. Read the instructions on your chosen fertilizer to see when the manufacturer recommends reapplying the feed. Then workout when the feed should be reapplied and add this date to your calendar.
Alternatively, set a reminder on your smartphone to prevent over-feeding.
The recommended frequencies of fertilizer application can be found in the tables further down in this article.
When To Fertilize New Grass: Secrets From Lawn Care Pros
No one likes having a patchy lawn. So last year you decided to do something about it. You seeded new grass into problem areas and waited for it to grow.;Grow it diduntil it started dying off. What happened? How can you stop this from happening again and get your lawn back to the healthy, vibrant green you remember?;Lawn care professionals understand that knowing when to fertilize new grass can make the difference between a thriving yard and grass that is less equipped to handle the brutal Southern heat.
In this post, well discuss when to fertilize new turf, the difference between lawn starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer, how often to apply starter fertilizer and the answer to the question: When should I fertilize my lawn after seeding?
What Will I Learn?
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Best Time Of Day To Fertilize
The best time to fertilize is also the best time to mow: between 8 to 10 AM or 4 to 6 PM, although this will depend on weather and water factors. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
High heat and fertilizer dont mix, especially with cool-season grasses. Asking cool-season grasses to absorb high amounts of nitrogen while surviving heat or drought will not end well for your lawn.
Wait until the grass dries from morning dew or rain before applying fertilizer. Droplets will weigh grass blades down, preventing fertilizers from evenly reaching the soil.
While you can fertilize before a light rain if youre expecting a big rainstorm, wait. Synthetic fertilizers will wash away before they even have a chance to absorb.
Dont wait too long in the evening to fertilize, as grass needs time to dry out a bit before the cool nighttime temperatures. Wet grass is more susceptible to fungal diseases.
Only fertilize when the grass is growing, not when its gone dormant.
Find out about the ideal time of day for fertilizing plants:
How Soon You Can Fertilize After Seeding Your Lawn
Its not always after seeding that you should apply fertilizerthe best time to fertilize is right before or during the seeding process. Use a starter fertilizer with quick-release nitrogen since that will give the seeds a nutritional boost. When you make fertilizer a part of the seeding process, your grass will grow quicker and is more likely to end up healthy and lush.
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How Often To Fertilize
How often to fertilize depends on whether you go with an organic or synthetic fertilizer. Because they give quick color boosts that dont last very long, youll need to apply synthetic fertilizer much more often.
However, dont go over 4 applications a year. Then youre just spending a lot of time and money making your grass grow crazy fast, meaning you have to mow more often, and more nitrogen leaches into waterways, groundwater, and the surrounding environment.
With organic fertilizers, youll only need to fertilize once, maybe twice, a year for the best effect.
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.
To keep your grass healthy, its best to have a set plan in place for fertilization. The experts at Moyer Indoor | Outdoor are happy to fertilize your lawn this spring so that you can enjoy the outdoors all season long.
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When Should You Apply Iron Supplements To Your Lawn
The general rule is that you should use iron supplements on your lawn in the spring. Of course you can apply iron supplements at almost any time of year, but iron will deliver the best results when applied to your lawn when air temperatures are between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal air temperature is in the 60s or 70s. This is why Iron application during the heat of summer may not be as effective or deliver the desired results its too warm out.
Always remember to read the instructions to make sure you are using the supplement properly. Remember that you want to avoid overdoing your lawn with iron.
When To Water A Lawn After Fertilizing
At Master Lawn, we typically say to wait 24 hours before watering your lawn after fertilizing. But it is important to make sure that it does receive a good watering session soon after that 24 hour waiting period. Watering helps the fertilizer to activate and to break down and begin feeding nutrients to the lawn. The key nutrients that a lawn needs are Nitrogen , Phosphorous , and Potassium , all of which are found in fertilizer, and each of which has a different function.In terms of the time of day, the ideal period to water the lawn is in the early morning, just at sunrise . In the middle of the day, when the sun is at its strongest, water is going to evaporate too quickly to be effective. But watering at night can also be problematic and should be avoided. When there is not enough sunlight available for the lawn to begin to naturally dry out, excessive moisture combined with heat can be the perfect recipe for fungal growth to occur overnight.Sticking to watering in the morning will help prevent these issues.
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How Often Should You Fertilize Your Lawn
Fertilizer is a convenient and helpful tool that is beneficial to homeowners and their lawns. It helps speed up the growth process while keeping your grass healthy, making things easier for you. However, it can do more harm than good if not used properly. Knowing how often you should fertilize can prevent you from overdoing or under-doing it and ending up with poor results and prolonging the process. Chorbie is here to help you fertilize effectively, making your lawn beautiful.
The Right Feeding Schedule For Your Grass Type
Overfertilizing promotes excess leaf growth at the expense of root growth, or worse, creates an unhealthy pH and nutrient balance, and a harmful buildup of salts. Before you decide on your fertilization schedule, read your fertilizers label to find out how long its formulated to last. Some time-released formulas continuously release nutrients for as long as 12 months, and reapplying to soon leads to over fertilization.
In general, plan to fertilize two to four times or around once every six to eight weeks, applying the bulk of the lawns yearly fertilizer during its most active growth period. Your grass active growth period depends on whether its a cool-season species, such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, or a warm-season species, such as Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass.
Spring and fall are the active growing times for cool-season grasses, so thats when youll want to provide most of the years fertilizer. In summer, when growth is slower, these grasses need little to no feeding. Warm-season grasses are most active in summer, so they need most of their nutrition between late spring to early fall. Because they slow down once the weather cools, they dont benefit from late-fall fertilization.
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Dont Waste Your Time Or Money
Applying fertilizer at the correct time is essential for getting the most out of it. This also saves plenty of time and money without blowing it on trial and run errors. Keep in mind, overfeeding is a real thing and can be dangerous for the environment. On top of that it also hinders growth in your lawn, so be careful.
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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Why Fertilize Your Lawn In Fall The Best Fall Month And Time Of Day To Fertilize
Summer heat is stressful on our lawns. Falls cooler temperatures provide the perfect setting for lawn to regain strength.
Fall is the best and most important time to fertilize your lawn because:
- Falls morning dew delivers moisture to help turf absorb the fertilizer.
- The grass has a chance to build stamina before a chilly winter.
- Supporting root growth in fall leads to a healthier, greener lawn in spring.
While fall is naturally good for feeding our lawn, you can deliver an extra oomph by fertilizing as best as you can, too.
Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every Two Weeks
Many lawn owners fertilize their lawn every two weeks. But this is really harmful to your lawn. Many lawn professionals recommended that fertilization in every 6-8 weeks is best for your lawn. Many suggested that fertilization in every 4 weeks interval and some other suggestions that twice or thrice in a year is best for your lawn. But you must avoid fertilization when your lawn is going to dormant or remain dormant in cool-season. Only you fertilize your lawn when your lawn grassroots and blades are active growth.
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What Is Fertilizer And Why Does Our Grass Need It
In a nutshell, fertilizer is food for your grass. It comes in a wide range of forms, but its primary function is to deliver the nutrients your lawn needs to survive.
The key macronutrients common fertilizers provide are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
However, plants actually require 17 essential nutrients to survive, so some fertilizers also include other micronutrients, such as iron, manganese, or sulfur for added benefits.
Whether its from leaching or poor conditions, most soils do not offer the level of nutrients needed to give your lawn that lush, green look. This is why including fertilizer with your regular maintenance plan can be critical to the overall health of your lawn.
Should I Fertilize My Lawn Before Or After Mowing
Ideally, youll want to mow and rake before fertilizing so that excess lawn waste is removed, allowing the fertilizer to have an easier time reaching the soil. Aerating your soil before fertilizing can also help. When fertilizing a lawn, it is best to apply fertilizer after the lawn has been mowed so it has a few days to absorb the fertilizer.
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