The Secret Under The Soil
Understanding soil characteristics will also improve fertilization program outcomes, says Toby Mancini, Franz Wittes operations manager.
While we don’t necessarily do a soil test, there are some consistent generalities of our region, explains Mancini. For example, we have a high clay content and low rainfall on an annual basis, which tends to result in a higher alkaline soil that ties up some nutrients. So, one of the other components to our turf fertilization requirements is that we have a readily accessible amount of iron in conjunction with nitrogen. Those are the two most important elements we need for healthy turf in our area.
While its a good practice to test your clients soil so you can provide the most comprehensive and prescriptive treatment program, its not always possible, adds Moses.
I believe you should be charging for your time and expertise, and sometimes clients don’t want to pay for a soil test, he says. In those cases, you just have to communicate that you’re going to do what’s best based on what you know about the region.
Brown notes that since most of the soils in his region arent typically low in phosphorus and potassium, his team usually wont test unless they see signs of deficiency.
When Is The Best Time To Fertilize The Lawn In Spring
Many homeowners apply the first dose of fertilizer during spring./ They are then used once or twice during the growing season. If you are keen on fertilizing your lawn, the best time is to choose the springs season. To be very precise, opting for the late spring season can help get the best results.
The late spring is regarded as the best time to fertilize your lawn. This is when you see the start of the green grass growth. During the early spring, you can find the grass, putting all its energy into the root development. If you apply during the early springs, you are likely to divert the plants energy to other areas like leaf development too early.
When To Apply Fertilizer
One common misconception when it comes to fertilizing in spring is that it should be done early in the season. However, this isnt the best idea since during this period, the grasses are focusing on root development. Moreover, the cool season grasses are still in their growth cycle wherein they are just developing energy reserves made up of carbohydrates.
When you apply fertilizer in early spring, the plant energy for root establishment becomes used for leaf growth. Thus, the fertilizer can disrupt the natural growth cycle of the grasses. Consequently, your grasses might have excessive fertilizer at this stage. This is highly possible if you had applied a slow-release fertilizer during the latter part of the fall season.
In other words, you will be wasting your fertilizer. Fertilizer manufacturers and lawn care businesses want homeowners to apply fertilizer early in spring, but agronomists wouldnt recommend this. Instead, you should begin fertilizer your lawn in the late stage of spring.
This is when the grasses have begun to grow at a robust rate. By doing this, your lawn grass are prepared for the onset of summer when using up their energy reserves. Also, the production rate of carbohydrate is reduced.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Know If My Grass Is Dead
Dispose Of Lawn Clippings As Needed
It’s acceptable to leave grass clippings on your lawn unless they begin to form a thick thatch layer. Then remove the clippings and dethatch your lawn as needed.
Tip: If you use chemicals on your lawn, do not add the clippings to a compost pile.
Effective DIY lawn care during spring can save you time and effort later in the year. Follow these lawn care tips to make sure that your grass is greener.
When determining how much grass seed or mulch you need, don’t guesstimate, calculate. Know exactly how much you need with our project calculators.
Shop this Project
What Is The Best Lawn Fertilizer For Spring
Many homeowners take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fertilizer.
However, it is important to note that not all fertilizers are created equal.
Your fertilizer should be rich in nutrients and complement the type of grass in your yard.
The best spring fertilizer for grass is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are essential for plant growth.
Choose a slow-release fertilizer over short-release products. A slow-release formula will ensure that the lawn receives nutrients over a longer period.
Alberta contains several different types of soil throughout the region and a soil test may be required to determine which fertilizer will best suit your lawn before applying.
Here are a few steps to performing a simple soil squeeze test:
- If the soil its shape and crumbles when poked, you have the ideal soil! It means that your soil can retain moisture and nutrients but doesnt stay soggy.
- If it holds its shape but doesnt crumble when poked, you might have clay soil. It means that your soil is nutrient-rich but doesnt drain quickly.
- If the soil falls apart as soon as you open your hands, your soil might be sandy. This means that your soil drains quickly and it doesnt retain nutrients and moisture well.
Don’t Miss: How To Dispose Of A Riding Lawn Mower
Should I Water My Lawn During Fertilizer Application
A common misconception among many folks is that watering a lawn after a fertilizer application period is bad. I honestly cant tell where this bandwagon theorem came from but it is being talked about by some people.
The answer is yes. You should water your lawn in the Spring, especially if you arent getting enough rain but regardless of your rain you should usually water in your fertilizer applications in most cases.
The water will get the nutrients into your soil instead of sitting on top of it dry.
Another reason to water a bit extra around fertilization periods is that your grass will grow more after getting fertilized and that will mean that your lawn will need more water to keep up with the extra growth.
Depriving your lawn of water is a way of starving it. However, youve got to read the application guide of any fertilizer you choose to use. Some of them require you water after fertilization, while others recommend the opposite.
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.
Also Check: Ants In My Lawn
Fertilizing Your Lawn In Spring What You Need To Know
Your lawn lies dormant during the winter months. Then the spring arrives and its time to clear off debris, such as fallen leaves, start mowing and watering, and fertilize again. This work all helps to revitalize your lawn, in readiness for the summer ahead. Of course, you need to continue caring for your lawn, throughout the months ahead, but spring is where it all starts.
Most people apply the first fertilizer just as the grass really starts to grow properly, in late spring. This is the first of two or three applications that are made throughout the year. However, not everyone uses any fertilizer at all. Lets start with this point. Is it necessary to fertilize?
Mowing And Lawn Care Tips
Before mowing in spring, inspect your lawn mower and perform any necessary maintenance, such as changing the oil or spark plugs. Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp to guarantee a clean cut. Be safe, and always remove the spark plugs before doing any work on your lawn mower.
- Start mowing when the ground is dry enough and grass is long enough to require cutting. Avoid mowing too low: Grass cut too short allows sunlight to reach the soil and encourages weed seeds to germinate.
- Consider setting the mowing height high enough to remove only the top one-third of the grass blades. Longer grass blades encourage deeper, healthier roots, but may require mowing more frequently.
- Check your mowers manual to see if it has a recommended setting for your specific type of grass.
- Consider lawn mowing early in the evening, when the temperatures are usually cooler and any fog or dew has dried. Dont mow when its raining or just after a rain, as the mower will not cut your lawn evenly and may become clogged with clumps of wet grass.
- Vary the pattern each time you mow. This helps prevent ruts from forming and keeps the grass from always bending in the same direction.
- Mowing should be done when your grass needs it, not on a set schedule. Grass usually needs to be mowed more often in the spring and early summer than at the end of the growing season.
Tip: Make sure your lawnmower’s tank is empty of gas at the end of mowing season so you can start the next cutting season with a fresh tank.
Recommended Reading: Raccoon Digging Holes In Yard
Best Fertilizer For Crabgrass Prevention
What I like about Greenview Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer + Crabgrass Preventer is the quality of the fertilizer in the bag and the active ingredient of the crabgrass herbicide. It boasts a high-quality, professional grade slow-release nitrogen source called methylene-urea. This is a popular choice among professionals.
The fertilizer releases evenly over an eight- to 10-week period without that flush of growth that can have you mowing more than you want. The crabgrass killer is Dimension. And its extra strength dose means it will keep your lawn crabgrass-free longer than other pre-emergents. Dimension kills crabgrass for a short period of time even after it sprouts. Other pre-emergent herbicides wont do that.
You May Like: Thistledown Weed Killer
Lawn Fertilizer In The Spring: What Should Be In It
How to fertilize properly is already described in detail in the guide. Here you will learn what ingredients and compositions you should pay attention to when fertilizing. This belongs in the lawn fertilizer in the spring.
- In spring, lawns make special demands on the composition of lawn fertilizer.
- ingredients differ in spring fertilization from autumn fertilization
- timely, correct fertilizing in spring for lush lawn green and higher resistance
- Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and sulfur most important ingredients
Also Check: Is It Illegal To Mow Lawns For Money
What Fertilizer Should You Use
In order for grass to grow properly it needs three different nutrients: Nitrogen , Phosphorus , and Potassium . On fertilizer bags, you may see these marked as N, P, or K. The best way to determine what nutrients your soil needs is to perform a soil test. These can be bought and done at home or, for more accurate results, can be sent to a lab in your area. Other factors in determining the right fertilizer would be what type of grass you have and when the fertilizer needs to be applied to your lawn in your gardening zone.
It is important to note that fertilizers may come in a liquid form or a granular form. Typically, liquid fertilizers absorb more quickly into the lawn whereas granular fertilizers release more slowly. Some granular fertilizers have an extended release which can disperse slowly over the growing season.
Fertilizers are also available in organic and synthetic forms. Organic fertilizers are naturally made from once living organisms whereas synthetic formulas are made from chemicals.
You May Like: Where Are Greenworks Products Made
Fertilizer For Spring Summer And Fall: What To Apply And When
The proud owners of lush, thick, green grass understand what it takes to get and keep an enviable lawn and fertilizer is their superpower. Knowing all there is to know about how and when to fertilize is their advantage. If you have just had your lawn replaced with thick lush new sod then you want to keep it that way.
Fertilizing your grass isn’t as elementary as sprinkling whatever you have in the shed on your lawn. Fertilizers all present with three numbers that tell us a lot about what’s in the bag. The first number indicates how much nitrogen can be found in a particular fertilizer. The second number represents levels of phosphorus and the third, potassium. Follow this schedule and treat your lawn on a seasonal basis.
Keep in mind that there are other things you can do before it’s time to fertilize. In late May or early June, before the heat of the summer arrives, apply some slow release nitrogen. This will encourage the grass to rebuild.
A good dose of nitrogen rich fertilizer will also arm your lawn. Fighting off the stresses of summer, traffic, disease, heat, and drought. Fertilizer is its defense. If you can’t stand to sit around and do nothing when the snow melts and the grass that emerges looks like its dead, consider an herbicide. However, herbicides can be harsh on grass, so ensure your herbicide contains a little fertilizer to help your lawn fight the negative effects herbicides can have on grass.
Read Also: Fake Coyote To Keep Geese Away
Use The Right Spreader
When applying lawn fertilizers, always use a lawn spreader. Never spread product by hand! A broadcast spreader with a side-shield feature like the EdgeGuard® feature is great for most lawns. This makes application along the lawn’s perimeter easy by shutting off half the spreader flow, so product is only applied on the lawn and not on non-lawn areas like the driveway, sidewalk, or landscaping. A drop spreader is another option for small spaces because the application area is much narrower. Learn more about which spreader is right your yard .
Fill the spreader hopper with your lawn fertilizer, then set the spreader to the recommended setting listed on the product package. If the product package does not provide a spreader setting, it is not intended for lawn use.
Fertilize The Lawn With Coffee Grounds
When it comes to a natural garden fertilizer , most amateur gardeners turn to coffee grounds. It provides the grass blades with the necessary substances and protects them from fungi. However, you should pay attention to the correct dosage when fertilizing, because the coffee grounds can increase the acidity of the soil.
To avoid this, you can simply add the coffee grounds to the compost and then fertilize the garden soil with them in the spring.
Recommended Reading: Weedeater Riding Lawn Mower Reviews
Fertilizing Lawns In Spring: Everything About The First Fertilization In Spring
In the first warmer days of spring your lawn will start growing again. Here you will find out how to properly prepare your lawn for the new season after winter and what you should consider when fertilizing lawn in spring.
After winter, when sunlight and warmth are scarce and it often freezes too, most lawns look rather worn out. Spring is therefore perfect for fertilizing the lawn for the first time. But first we should clarify a few important questions: Why exactly should a lawn be fertilized in spring and when is the right time for fertilization? You can find all the answers in this article.
Seed And Lime The Lawn As Needed
Plant grass seed in bare spots in your lawn or wherever growth is sparse. Consider seeding while applying a slow release nitrogen fertilizer. Early spring and fall are ideal times for reseeding.
- Spring is the best time to test your yards pH to determine if your soil is too acidic. Most grasses grow best when the soil pH is between 5.8 and 7.2. If your soil is too acidic, you can see an influx of moss, weeds, diseases and insect pests.
- Use a soil test kit to find your soil’s pH or ask a county extension agent if he or she can test for you.
- In many parts of the country, lime application can make the soil less acidic and help the grass better absorb fertilizers and nutrients from the soil.
- Soil pH changes over time, so retest yearly until your results are balanced. Afterwards, an established lawn can be tested every three years or so.
- Spring and fall are the best times to add lime to a lawn that needs it. Use soil test results to know how much lime to apply and follow the directions on the lime package.
Tip: Grass planted in spring may need extra watering, weeding and other attention during the summer. Fall seeding requires less fuss.
Don’t Miss: What Fertilizer To Use In June
Rotary Spreader With Fertilizer
Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
Scripps Networks, LLC
Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient, and each type of grass demands different amounts to display peak growth and performance. How often you fertilize affects not only lawn appearance, but also maintenance level. The more you fertilize, the more you’ll have to mow, for instance.