How Should Starter Fertilizer Be Applied
Once youve received your soil test, selected an appropriate starter fertilizer for your soil and know the needed amounts, applying it over the lawn area is relatively basic. Just pour the required amount into a standard fertilizer spreader and evenly apply the starter fertilizer over the planting site. Once applied, work the product 4 to 6 inches into the soil, if you are planting grass seed or sod after the application. If you are applying the product after you apply grass seed, spread the product over the soil and water into the soil.
When it comes to using a starter fertilizer for new sod or grass seed, thereís a definite benefit to its use to promote the healthiest growth and establishment of your lawn in the quickest amount of time. Of course, donít go overboard with its use and think more is better. As with many things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad and too much starter fertilizer for your developing lawn can affect it negatively through burning. A soil test takes the mystery out of what your soil lacks and lets you know what strength of starter fertilizer your grass requires and how much. Used properly, it wont be long before your bare feet are enjoying the feel of your healthy lawn.
How Often Should Fertilizer Be Applied
The answer to this question depends on several factors. As a rule of thumb, fertilizing a lawn twice a year is sufficient when applying a fertilizer with a high nutrient content. The best advice is to choose a single supplier and product for that particular year/growing season and follow the instructions that they provide, paying attention to the recommended frequency of application. Some granular fertilizers will only require two applications per year, as they slowly release their nutritional value to the soil.
Soluble feeds can be applied from anywhere between every three weeks through to annual applications depending on the product chosen.
Working out how often to apply fertilizers is tricky, so we have created two tables below explaining how often to apply popular U.S. and U.K. fertilizers. The tables will help you choose which fertilizers are the best choice depending on what you are looking to achieve or which problems you are looking to overcome with your lawn.
What Is The Npk Ratio
When you buy fertilizers, you will see three numbers on the packaging, such as 20 10 10. This is the NPK ratio and each number corresponds to nitrogen , phosphate , and potassium respectively.
So an NPK ratio of 20 10 10 will mean that the bag of fertilizer has 20 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium.
So thats only 40 percent of the bag. The remaining 60 percent will be comprised of trace minerals and filler material that will guarantee that your fertilizer is evenly applied to your lawn to avoid over- or under-fertilizing your lawn.
Most of the time, you will need something with a lot of nitrogen in it. Because youre not worrying about fruits and flowers, lawn food or fertilizers often do not have too much phosphorus.
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When Should You Buy Lawn Food
If you only have to care for your lawn and you dont have a garden, then you should buy lawn food or fertilizer that are formulated for lawns. Lawn food is a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen because that is what grasses need the most. It doesnt have too much phosphorus in them because grasses do not have flowers or fruits, which are the main consumers of phosphorus.
Because these products are formulated for grass, you can be sure that each scoop you use is not wasted. And that it gives your lawn the nutrients that it needs.
Buying lawn food also helps you avoid putting too much phosphorus into the soil for your grass to absorb. Putting in too much phosphorus than what your lawn can use can cause water pollution if it gets into the groundwater.
There are currently 11 states that ban the use of fertilizers with phosphorus in it, including Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey. So it might be illegal for you to buy anything other than lawn food or lawn fertilizer, depending on where you are.
When Should You Buy Fertilizer?
If you have other plants in your garden, then you might want to consider buying fertilizer. Using lawn food for other plants might kill it because of the high concentration of nitrogen in these products.
Buying fertilizer can help you avoid all that.
How Many Square Feet Does This Cover
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your climate, grass quality, and type of grass. Weve worked out the math for another reader who has a very large lawn. For this one gallon batch at 3 oz per gallon, it covers roughly 1000 sq ft of lawn.
I prefer to answer this question by saying you lightly spray your yard with this solution, then water thoroughly. You can get a feel of it and use it like you would any other liquid fertilizer.
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A Complete Guide To Lawn And Grass Feeding
Its a fact that lawns benefit from regular feeding. Without extra nutrients, the grass soon uses up plant food reserves in the soil and then turns pale and thin.
Without food to develop side shoots and thickness, the lawn seed is also open to invasion by weed seeds and moss, that thrive in low nutrient conditions. On the other hand, a regular supply of supplementary food makes your lawn thick and green.
This photograph on the right shows the difference feeding your lawn can make. On the left section the lawn has been fed with a granular lawn food, on the right section nothing extra has been applied. As you can see, the fed section of lawn is much greener and healthier looking.
There a few types of lawn feed, so you may be a little confused about what to look out for when buying online.
But dont fret below are the descriptions and properties of the types of lawn feeds, including the specific benefits of each.
Secondary Nutrients And Micronutrients
After the big three, these are also needed by plants:
- Calcium is an important part of the cell walls of your plants, as well as for transporting and retaining nutrients, which makes your plants hardier.
- Magnesium is needed for proper plant food production and growth.
- Sulfur is needed for your plants to produce protein, as well as for the development and activation of vitamins and enzymes. This nutrient also helps your plants to form chlorophyll and produce more roots and seeds, making it more resistant to cold.
- Boron helps regulate other nutrients taken up by your plants, as well as being necessary to produce carbohydrates, seeds, and fruits.
- Copper helps your plants reproduce and root.
- Chlorine regulates your plants metabolism and photosynthesis.
- Iron allows your plants to form chlorophyll.
Other nutrients necessary for healthy plants are manganese, molybdenum, zinc, and cobalt.
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Summary Of Natural Liquid Fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers can be made from many plants which you already have one the homestead. Place your plant materials in the container and top it up with water and allow it to steep for 2 to 4 weeks. Use 1 cup of natural liquid fertilizer in a 2 gallon watering can and feed about once a week. Why are you not giving homemade liquid fertilizers a try in your garden or urban homestead and seeing how your garden grows?
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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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Lawn Food Vs Fertilizer: Which Should You Use
Too much of a good thing is almost always bad, and the same is true for nutrients for your lawn and plants. When to use lawn food vs. fertilizer, its always a good idea to get the right formulation for grass and plants. You can buy lawn food to ensure that youre giving the grass the right levels of nitrogen and potassium.
Likewise, you can buy fertilizers for your plants to supplement them with the right amount of nutrients they need to grow, bloom, and be healthy.
What Is A Good Starter Fertilizer For Grass Seed And Sod
Starter fertilizers for lawns come in different compositions of the primary nutrients nitrogen , phosphorous and potassium , or the three numbers listed on the package . The numbers list the percentage of each nutrient contained in the starter fertilizer for grass. For example, a fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 contains 10 percent of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
When it comes to the specific job of each of these primary nutrients in regards to the health of your turf:
- Nitrogen: Is required for satisfactory growth and green coloration.
- Phosphorous: Plays an important role in various growth processes including good root development.
- Potassium: Promotes good disease resistance, tolerance of drought and winter hardiness in turfgrass.
Some examples of the formulations of common starter fertilizers for lawns are 10-10-10, 20-10-10 and 16-8-8. Penn State Extension notes that analyses of 15-10-10 or 10-6-4 are also acceptable used as starter fertilizers for grass, as they also promote good early growth and grass development.
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Knock Out The Weeds With Essential Oils
This recipe performs weed control similarly to the previous one, but the essential oil improves the vinegar scent with a refreshing fragrance. The oil also coats the plant and inhibits respiration in the same manner as dish soap, but with a less sticky residue and spillover in the yard.
We love the way this recipe smells and works for killing weeds, and you will, too. This formula is an excellent spray for removing bind weed or thistle from Bermuda grass and works well in large areas.
- 20 drops peppermint or citrus essential oil
Combine the weed killer ingredients in a garden sprayer. Get into all the safety gear to protect yourself from the acid in the weed killer. Dont spray weeds if its been less than a day since the last rainfall or if youre expecting rain within the next day. Spray each plant from top to bottom.
Pay extra attention to the area near the ground and the underside of the leaves. Clear mulch out from the bottom before you spray so that you hit the entire plant. Repeat every day or so for two or three weeks.
Instead of weeds, if you need to get rid of a tree stump or two, Epsom salts can also help you there. Drill as many deep holes as you can in the stump and pour in Epsom salts to the top. Add water and cover the stump.
We hope you had a fantastic experience reviewing our weed killing recipes and tips. Our lawns make us happy, but a few invasive plants can spoil the yard in a hurry.
The Best Times To Apply Fertilizer
Whether youre a seasoned turfgrass fanatic or a first-time lawn owner, fertilizer schedules arent always the easiest to track throughout the year. Have no fear! Were here to help you keep up with when to fertilize your lawn, what type of fertilizer to use, and even how to organically care for your lawn if conventional fertilizers arent your thing.
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How Often You Should Apply Fertilizer To Your Lawn
Though fertilizer has its benefits, you dont want to overdo it. A full feeding is recommended at least 5-6 times per year. You want to feed your lawn when its growing most rapidly. However, you should base the frequency on your climate and the type of grass you have. For example, cool season grasses can be fertilized in late spring, but only if necessary.
Warm season grasses, like Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, zoysia, centipede and buffalo grass, should be fertilized in spring. Depending on the amount of water your grass gets, aim to reapply your fertilizer every 6-8 weeks. Keep a watchful eye on your grass. If it looks thick and green, you can probably skip the feeding. If its starting to look brown or black, give your lawn some TLC.
How Do Plants Make Their Own Food
Grass and other plants can make their own food if they have the following: chlorophyll, sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Water is absorbed through the roots and enters the leaves.
From there, the water gets into chloroplast cells that house chlorophyll, which is a green pigment that gives leaves their color. This green stuff absorbs sunlight and this triggers an important chemical reaction that starts a chain of processes that ultimately separates hydrogen and oxygen in the water.
The oxygen goes back into the air that we breathe while the hydrogen is used by the plant and turns it into carbohydrates.
Meanwhile, carbon dioxide enters the leaves via small pores on the underside called the stomata. The carbon dioxide is reduced to oxygen and carbon. The plant will expel oxygen while keeping the carbon, which it synthesizes with the hydrogen to make sugars and carbohydrates.
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Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every 2 Weeks
Applying a fertilizer every two weeks isnt recommended as this will likely lead to problems such as lawn burn, excessive grass growth, and pollution to waterways.
A natural way of feeding your lawn every two weeks would be to leave the grass clippings on the lawn surface when mowing your grass. The grass clippings contain low nutrient levels that will slowly be absorbed by the soil as they naturally decompose and get eaten by earthworms. These wont burn the lawn or cause excessive growth. You might have to scarify your lawn more often due to this additional organic material being present, however, its recommended that you should do this every late summer or early fall/autumn anyway.
Most synthetic fertilizers are not recommended to be applied every 2 weeks, due to their night nutrient content.
For U.S. based gardeners, we have found that Extreme Grass Growth Booster *, is the only popular lawn feed on the market that can be applied once every 4 weeks to a lawn.
For U.K. gardeners, we have found that Empathy Supreme Green* , is the only popular fertilizer on the market that can be applied once every 4 weeks to a lawn.
*Make sure to follow the instructions on the packet to ensure application frequency before spreading this on your grass.
The recommended frequencies of fertilizer application can be found in the tables further down in this article.
Faqs About Applying Starter Fertilizer To Your Lawn
Whether you are planting new grass from scratch or repairing bare spots, figuring out a proper fertilizer to get your grass off to the best start can be daunting. One look at your local garden centers fertilizer aisle and youre inundated with choices for producing your vibrant lawn.
Weve taken the mystery out of starter fertilizers for lawns, including how and when to use them, why they are beneficial and why you might not need to use one. With these nine FAQs about using starter fertilizer on your lawn, well also explain what all those numbers on the fertilizer package mean and how theyll affect the growth of your grass.
Our Top Picks for Starter Fertilizers:
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Apply Grass Fertilizer Correctly
Now you’re ready to apply. Feeding the lawn is as simple as mowing it, and as easy as walking at your normal steady pace. Just follow these guidelines for easy application and even coverage.
If youre using a broadcast spreader, feed the entire perimeter of your lawn first. Engage the side-shield, which blocks off one side of the spreader to keep the product on the lawn and out of gardening beds and off driveways and sidewalks. Next, fill in the middle by turning off the side-shield feature and walking back and forth in straight lines. To get even coverage, overlap slightly on each pass by moving over 2 steps before you begin the pass.
When using a drop spreader, start by applying 2 header strips at opposite ends of the lawn to create a turning area. Next, fill in the rest of the lawn by applying the fertilizer back and forth in straight lines perpendicular to your header strips. To ensure you get even coverage, be sure to overlap the wheel tracks by about half a foot .
After youve finished feeding your lawn, return any unused product to the bag and store it for future use.