How Soon Do You Mow New Sod
Your new sod can be mowed when it looks like it needs mowing . When possible, use a walk-behind power mower, with the cutting height set high . Do not use a riding mower as it is too heavy and its powered wheels can tear up the new sod. After the sod has fully rooted , regular mowing can commence. For best results, never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade per mowing and maintain sharp mower blades. Cutting frequency will need to be increased during the faster growing seasons of spring and fall. Grass clippings may be left on the lawn to return nutrients to the root zone.
What Is Lawn Fertilizer
Think of lawn fertilizer this way: No matter how many glasses of seltzer you drink, you cant live on ityou need to tuck into a few good meals each day, too. Your lawn is just the same. As much as it needs water, it also needs additional nutrients to survive, and lawn fertilizer supplies those nutrients.
What Do The Letters Npk On The Fertilizer Bag Mean
Those letters stand for the nutrients nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium . The numbers you see on the bag let you know the percentage of the N, P, and K thats in the bag. Heres why it matters: Nitrogen greens up your grass and helps it grow, phosphorus stimulates root growth and helps seeds sprout, and potassium helps your lawn withstand drought and disease. The highest number for lawn fertilizers will usually be the Nafter all, growing green grass is the ultimate goal, right?
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When To Fertilize Cool
The best time to fertilize cool-season grasses is in the spring and fall when theyre growing most vibrantly.
Spring: apply fertilizer after the last frost when the grass thrives again, between April to June, depending on your location.
Fall: apply fertilizer just before the trees drop their leaves, from late August to October, depending on your location. Fertilize well before the first frost date, as you dont want to encourage your grass to grow in time for frost to kill it.
If youre using organic fertilizer like compost and only want to fertilize once, fertilize in the fall. The extra compost will help shelter your grass and the soil over the winter.
It also gives the beneficial microorganisms in your grass time over the winter to break down the organic matter into nutrients. This gives your lawn a head-start come spring.
If youre fertilizing twice a year, apply a light amount of fertilizer in the spring and a heavier fall.
Dont fertilize in the summer, especially when the grass has gone brown. The grass is fine. Feeding synthetic fertilizer will not make it turn green. Instead, force-feeding it nitrogen when its dormant is just going to stress it out and could even kill your lawn.
When And How Often To Fertilize Lawn
Unless youre growing a low-maintenance lawn like buffalo or centipede grass, youll need to fertilize your lawn to keep it growing strong.
There are many crazy specific fertilizer schedules out there, but less is better when it comes to healthy lawns.
The best schedule for you depends on a few key details: your grass type and species, whether you go with organic or synthetic fertilizer, and how much effort you want to put into it.
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When To Fertilize New Grass: Best Fertilization Schedule For A New Lawn
Keeping your grass green and healthy doesnt have to be all that difficult. Unfortunately, it does require that you spend at least a bit of time on lawn maintenance, which means mowing, seeding, fertilizing and aerating as needed.
All of these factors become especially important when planting new grass, but the problem is that the majority of people are fairly clueless when it comes to deciding how often and when their new grass should be fertilized. With this in mind, we have produced this handy guide to tell you everything you need to know about fertilizing new grass.
If Your Lawn Was Laid In Autumn
The soil is still warm and hopefully the weather is mild so your turf will be working hard to put its roots down.
Its important at this time of year that the sward doesnt get too lush.; Soft new growth is more susceptible to disease in autumn than at any other time.
The pre-turfing fertiliser you worked into the soil before you laid your lawn should be enough to keep the plants going.; If you didnt get around to using it, apply an autumn-winter lawn feed 4-6 weeks after turfing.; But be careful! It MUST be low in nitrogen.; You dont want to stimulate fast-growing but weak leaves.; This feed is for the roots.; Nothing else.
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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?
Choosing The Right Fertilizer
What this means is, when trying to grow new grass, you need to choose a special kind of fertilizer known as a starter because fertilizers for new grass and fertilizers for established grass dont have the same composition.
The three nutrients we mentioned, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, should all be present in starter fertilizer, but may not be present at all in regular lawn fertilizer.
When buying fertilizer, you will often see the ratio of these three nutrients written on the packaging, usually in this order.
Regular lawn fertilizer usually has a ratio of something like 30:0:0 or 27:3:3 since established grass doesnt require phosphorous or potassium. However, with starter fertilizers, you are more likely to see ratios like 21:22:4, which will help your new grass get off to the best start.
Regular fertilizers are also said to be slow release because they dont make the nutrients available all at once. This way, they keep your lawn fed for a longer period.
However, starter fertilizers should be quick release, meaning once you have applied the fertilizer, the nutrients are available for the new grass right away.
To find the right fertilizer for your needs, you should first test the soil and then choose one that is appropriate for your soil conditions.
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Which Fertilizer Is Best For Your Lawn
The fertilizer category mainly consists of two things organic and inorganic fertilizer. The other thing you will hear about will be slow-release and quick-release fertilizer. Now lets take a deep look into these categories:
- Organic; These types of fertilizers consist of natural ingredients made from plants and animal waste, which provide nutrients and essential components to the soil. These fertilizers are environmentally friendly and sustainable for the lawn. This fertilizer promotes the growth of microbes and fungi which releases nutrients slowly to the soil.;
These fertilizers give the soil strength to fight harmful insects and pathogens and it also helps the grass to access nutrients from the soil.;
- Inorganic Inorganic or synthetic fertilizers are fertilizers that are made artificially in factories with the help of chemicals and other processes. These fertilizers give a boost to your grass by releasing the nutrients very quickly.
The downside to inorganic fertilizer is that it can harm the environment by leaching, in which the fertilizers are washed away by rain or irrigation below the level of roots.;
The other con of synthetic fertilizer is that if you rely too much on this fertilizer then it makes your grass dependent on the fertilizer itself and cant survive without it.
What Temperature Is Best For Fertilize Lawn
The very best time to fertilize your lawn is in the spring, when the soil temperaturenot the air temperaturereaches 55º Fahrenheit. Youll know when the soil warms up to 55º because the lilacs will begin to blossom and the grass will start growing. Or, buy a soil thermometer and check the temperature at any time.
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Know What Type Of Grass Is On Your Lawn
To fertilize your lawn properly, you need to know if you have warm or cool-season grass growing on your lawn. Which category a species of grass belongs to depends on its growing cycle. Some grasses are dormant during the fall, spring, and winter months.;
These are cool-season grasses, which include:
- Tall fescue
- Perennial ryegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass
These species are most common in regions that experience large fluctuations in temperature. In the US, that means roughly the upper two-thirds of the country. In the middle, theres a transition zone where both types are common. Warm-season grasses, which grow actively during the summer and early fall, are most common in the southern half.
- Centipede grass
- Zoysia grass
Whatever overall type you have growing on your lawn, your grass is likely a blend of two or more species chosen based on whats right for your area, whether thats excessive shade, sun, or foot traffic.
;So, assuming you have the right grass for your situation, you can plan your fertilizing schedule around what type of grass you have.
Choosing The Right Type And Amount Of Fertilizer For New Grass Seed
Believe it or not, you can over-fertilize your lawn and end up with the aftereffects on more than just your lawns.
In the state of New York, for example, over-fertilization has been the cause of harmful algal blooms in bodies of water. Besides this, it:
- Causes excess fertilizer to leach through the soil faster than the roots can absorb it. Instead, it ends up in the water table and clogs waterways with vegetative growth
- Triggers excessive mowing
- Causes weak, overgrown turf, which is susceptible to pests
- Contributes to thatch build-up
And that’s not how anyone wants to leave their lawn. Especially not when the alternative cultivating a rich and thriving blanket of green takes just a little mindful planning.
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How Do You Know How Often To Fertilize Lawns
There are several important factors that come into play when youre trying to understand lawn fertilization frequency. These include:
- Lawn fertilizer application times
- The type of fertilizer you use
- How you apply your fertilizer
- How frequently you water your lawn
Ill discuss each of these points in some detail below.
What Is A Good Lawn Starter Fertilizer For New Grass Seed Or Sod
A good starter for new grass seed and sod would be similar to the category above. The same fertilizer, Scotts 21605, can be an appropriate option here.
What Nutrients Are in Lawn Fertilizer?
There are three primary minerals in fertilizers for enhancing grass health: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
On packages, youll notice most companies use a ratio, otherwise known as;NPK. For example, a 20-5-5 ratio means 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorus, and 5 percent potassium.
Different fertilizers will contain various ratios designed for specific uses and types of grasses.
How Do They Help New Grass?
Fertilizer provides your soil with the right minerals that make your lawn grow fast, lush and green.
The right fertilizer will improve the overall health and appearance of your lawn and will help protect it from drought and burning.
If your grass is lacking nutrients,;it may not grow at all or it could turn brown. Another possible scenario is;yard fungus. That might include patches of mushrooms, slimy parts, or other uninviting characteristics.Lawn fungus can be pesky and ruin your lawn quickly, however, the good news is that with the right treatment its easy to overcome.
What Do Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium Actually Do?
The three crucial ingredients in most fertilizers work as follows:
Furthermore, potassium supports the role of nitrogen, as it helps the plant cells absorb it overtime.
What Fertilizer Ratio for Established Lawns
What Fertilizer Ratio for a New Lawn
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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.
Synthetic fertilizers dont remain in the soil very long , require extra care to avoid nitrogen burn, encourage erosion and soil compaction.
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.
When To Fertilize New Grass
It is important to make sure that your soil has the appropriate nutrients for new grass seed prior to dispersing the seed itself.
So, after preparing your soil for seed or sod, the last step before planting is to fertilize the soil with a starter fertilizer. This can be done before you lay seed or sod, or at the same time.
After you apply starter fertilizer, dont reapply it. The ratios of nutrients can actually be harmful and burn established grass. I recommend using a traditional, nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer 6-8 weeks after planting new grass.;
While you may be eager to fertilize again to encourage growth, fertilizing too often is harmful. It can burn your grass, leach into the water table, and more. Its important to wait a minimum of four to six weeks before another application of fertilizer, and I recommend 6-8 weeks.;
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How Often Should I Fertilize To Get A Beautiful Lawn
How often should you fertilize your grass? This would be the main question that is very frequently asked by almost every lawn owner. Fertilizing lawns is one way of helping your soil and grass grow as green and healthy as possible. If you are a lawn lover, you must be looking for ways to fertilize your lawn to make it lush, green, and beautiful.
You should fertilize your lawn four times a year to have green and thick grass as well as a better root system. The time for these four fertilizer applications should be from early spring to the end of the fall and you should also keep in mind that the gap between every two applications should be at least six weeks so that you are not over-fertilizing your lawn.
There are some other factors that you need to keep in mind when you are fertilizing your lawn such as the type of grass in your lawn or the soil and climate. In this article, we will talk about all the factors in detail which will help you in choosing the best time to fertilize your lawn.
Why Should I Fertilize New Grass
Fertilizers contain essential nutrients that can improve overall soil health in your area. The main nutrients in fertilizer are potassium , nitrogen , and phosphorus . Healthy soil is more resistant to weeds, pests, fungus, erosion, runoff, and patchy grass. Soil that lacks the essential nutrients can be difficult growing medium.;
That being said, too much can lead to burning and using the wrong fertilizer can have far-reaching effects on the soil in your area.
When the ground is saturated with the nutrients found in fertilizer, it can end up leaking through to the water table and lead to runoff. Runoff of fertilizer chemicals has been found to be responsible for toxic algae blooms in local ponds and lakes that are harmful to people and pets. For this reason, fertilizers are often highly regulated and often only certain amounts can be purchased at a time.;
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What Happens If It Rains After You Fertilize Your Lawn
The answer not very cut and dry, but here is the bottom line: The vast majority of the time, rain after a fertilizer application is not a problem at all. Water helps activate your fertilizer. It helps move the granules deep into the thatch where it starts to break down so that it can be soaked into the root system.
How Long After Fertilizing Should I Wait To Water My Lawn
It depends on the fertilizer. Some lawn foods perform better when you water them in right after applying, while otherssuch as some weed-and-feed productsneed to be watered a day or two after fertilizing. It all comes down to this: Check the product directions on the bagtheyll tell you when to water.
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