How To Fertilize Lawn And Make Healthy Yard In 5 Best Ways
Every garden needs fertilizer regularly, which undergoes an intensive process that removes nutrients from the soil. It keeps your lawn soil in leading shape to feed your garden. Usually, plants need 3 important resource factors to grow perfectly. These are light, moisture, and nutrients. We know that the sun provides light, moisture from rainfall or irrigation, and different nutrients come from fertilizers, compost, or manure.
Lacking nutrients, plants cant grow well, so you need to fertilize your lawn when it is needed. But fertilizer doesnt respond well if it is in poorly drained soil, in the excess shade, or in an area where there is a huge competition of plant roots.
Fertilizing Warm Season Grasses
Warm-season grasses grow best when the temperature range between 80 and 95 degrees, which means their window for growth tends to be a lot narrower than their cool-season counterparts.
Plan on fertilizing this kind of lawn once a year in the spring, which will prep your grass for its relatively fast summer growth.
How To Fertilize Your Lawn In Fall
Should you add lawn fertilizing to your fall to-do list? It depends. Learn what you need to know about fall lawn feeding.
Fall brings a host of favorite activities football, whipping up steamy pots of chili and finding the perfect pumpkin. It’s also the time to start prepping your house and yard for cooler weather to come. In the midst of that flurry of chores, your lawn needs some attention, too. Treating your turf right this fall can help ensure a lush carpet of green next year.
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What To Do After Youve Fertilized Your Lawn
After youve fertilized your lawn, youll need to observe its growth to make sure youve done the job properly and take proper steps, depending on what you find.
- Know what minerals you need to add. Make sure you have essential tools on hand like soil mineral and pH test kits, which will tell you what minerals are lacking and if the pH is too high or low.
- Another late-season application. Based on its growth, you may need to add more fertilizer later in the season, especially if youre dealing with cool-season grasses in the fall.
- Retest after heavy rain. While following fertilizer with water will protect your lawn and improve your soil quality, too much water is not a good thing.
If theres heavy rain within a day or two of fertilizing your lawn, make sure your lawn hasnt lost everything you just added. Retest and apply fertilizer one more time, if needed.
Calculate How Much Fertilizer Would Be Needing
Take your lawn area and determine how many bags youll need to spread the fertilizer in two passes. If your soil test results have been released, check which minerals should you be adding to your soil and focus on those when buying fertilizer. Nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are the usual nutrients youll be seeking.
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Choosing The Right Mixture
A complete fertilizer with a high ratio of both nitrogen and potassium is essential for enhanced rooting, cold hardiness, disease resistance, and wear tolerance. An ideal fall fertilizer blend has a nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium ratio of 24-4-12 with isobutylidene diurea . In this formulation, a small amount of nitrogen is immediately available to the plant, while the rest is in slow-release form, allowing it to slowly break down and provide an extended feeding to the grass. Be wary of applying a fertilizer with too much phosphorus , as the run-off can damage to rivers and streams.
For flower and vegetable gardens, a mild fertilizer feeding in the fall will replenish the soil and prepare it for a quicker green-up when planting begins the following spring. Gardens do better with this approach than with a heavy dose of fertilizer in the early spring.
When Should I Fertilize My Lawn In Spring And Fall
As well as knowing how often to apply fertilizer, its also key to know when to apply the fertilizer. To answer this question, it is recommended that you should always follow the instructions found on the label of your chosen fertilizer. However, following the general tips below will help you decide when to fertilize the lawn:
- Apply when the grass is actively growing.
- Apply when the soil is damp and the grass is dry.
- Apply when the grass is frost-free.
- Dont mow the lawn 3 days before or after applying the fertilizer.
Applying fertilizer outside of the period stated on the instructions as well as the guide above will run the risk of damaging your lawn so it is important to pay attention to this.
Dont apply fertilizers to your lawn during the winter months as the grass is dormant and will not achieve any better results. Applying fertilizer in the winter will increase the chance of polluting waterways by excessive run-off of the nutrients into nearby streams.
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Clean The Spreader And Water The Lawn
- After youve covered the lawn, check for any fertilizer that may have scattered onto your driveway, sidewalk or walkway. Use a broom and dust pan to clean these areas. Fertilizers contain minerals that can stain concrete. You can sprinkle any small amounts of leftover fertilizer back onto the lawn after you have scooped it up.
- Put the lawn spreader on the lawn and rinse it off with a garden hose. This allows you to make use of fertilizer thats stuck in and around the spreader. Clean the hopper plate and wheels thoroughly. Allow the lawn spreader to dry before storing it.
- Water the lawn thoroughly with a lawn sprinkler. This will mix the nutrients from the fertilizer into the soil.
Bottom Line On Watering And Fertilizing For A Greener Lawn
Knowing how often to water the lawn , means learning the terrain.
But now that you know how to water and fertilize properly, you just need to pick out the right sprinkler for your lawn.
Be sure to share this with your friends and family! But not your neighbor!
At least not if you want the greener side of the fence.
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When Is The Best Time To Apply Fall Fertilizer
Depending on the fertilizer formula you use, you may want to feed the lawn once or twice. Some formulas recommend an application around Labour Day and again 6-8 weeks afterward, and others recommend just one application 2-3 weeks before the first hard frost. Both can be effective. Its always best to follow the recommendations on the product packaging.
Less Grass Fertilizer More Even Distribution
Dial back the rate of lawn fertilizer applications to 1/2, then make two passes with your spreader at right angles.
“I bet at least 3 out of every 5 homeowners use way more lawn fertilizer than they should.”
Many retailers promote a four-step lawn fertilizer schedule for homeowners. Fertilizing more than four times a year is overkill. In fact, most homeowners could get by with two every year. You can cut back on the amount of grass fertilizer you need by knowing when to fertilize lawn based on time of year. More on that later.
If you apply too much lawn fertilizer, especially in sandy soils, a good share of it will leach through the soil and make its way into our precious groundwater, lakes, streams and wetlands. Lawn grasses only need a certain amount of food. More isnt always better.
Unlike us humans, lawn grasses dont know how to stop eating when theyre full! This luxury consumption of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium actually makes the lawn grasses weak and more susceptible to disease. Excessive grass fertilizer will create too much thatch, which will ultimately choke out your lawn. Too much lawn fertilizer also means youll be mowing far more often than necessary. Too much mowing means excessive soil compaction, exhaust and noise pollution and excessive wear and tear on your mower.
When it comes to a lawn fertilizer schedule, applying more than four times a year is a waste. Save time and money by being more judicious in your use of lawn fertilizer.
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Mulch Your Grass Clippings
If youre tired of bagging grass while you mow, weve got good news. To help your lawn stay greener year-round, you can leave the grass clippings on your lawn. When grass clippings break down, they provide your lawn with beneficial nutrients. While you dont need to buy a new mower blade, it doesnt hurt to install a mulching blade so that the grass is cut into smaller pieces. Learn more about recycling grass clippings here.
What Kind Of Fertilizer
The type of lawn fertilizer that’s sold in your area is usually what’s right for your region’s soil and turf types. In colder regions, it might be labeled as a winterizer fertilizer. Typically the bag will have slow-release nitrogen, which means the nutrients release slowly over time to grass roots. The numbers on the fertilizer bag should have a larger first number , followed by zeros or smaller numbers for phosphorus and potassium . It might read like this: 32-0-10 or 10-0-20.
In areas with acidic soil, many homeowners apply dolomitic lime in the fall, too. If soil is too acidic, grass roots can’t absorb nutrients. A soil test is the surest way to know if your lawn needs lime. Other signs lawn soil could be too acidic include moss and poor grass growth.
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How Often Should I Fertilize A New Lawn
Dont fertilize a new lawn until the grass is actively growing and you have mowed the lawn at least three times. Then use a fertilizer that will promote strong roots without a surge in grass growth while keeping the lawn weeds at bay.
For U.S. based gardeners, fertilize your lawn with Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer .
U.K. gardeners should use a lawn fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn .
These fertilizers will slowly release nutrients into the lawn. You will only need to apply these once every 12 weeks while the lawn becomes established.
Its also worth mentioning that if you apply a crabgrass preemergent fertilizer or a regular weed and feed, ensure that you have waited four weeks before sowing your new grass seed.
Picking The Right Fertilizer
Picking the right fertilizer depends on your lawn type and your end goal is. If you want to make your lawn greener and healthier, a product like The Andersons 16-0-8 Fertilizer with Humic DG is great for you. It contains methylene-urea that will give your lawn an even feed over eight to 10 weeks. Its also safe for pets.
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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.
Your Last Two Fertilizer Applications Should Take Place In The Fall
Fertilizing your lawn in fall helps restore damage that was caused by the stress of summer heat, promotes nutrient storage for use in the winter, and supports healthy root growth, which creates a healthier lawn in spring. It is best to plan for two fertilizer applications between late August and November. Leverage winters severe weather to help get rid of weeds by also scheduling a weed control application in the fall.
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How Soon Can I Fertilize My Lawn
The warmer spring days have sprung and the grass is beginning to green up, so when should you apply fertilizer? Dont get caught up in the early spring fever rush, because fertilizing too soon can be a waste of time. Fertilizer is generally composed of three different nutrients: nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium . The recommended rate for spring fertilizer is 1lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Different blends and products determine how long the application will last, how often it needs to be applied, and even how to apply it .
Choose Your Method Of Fertilization
There are different methods for fertilization.
When fertilizing rotary spreaders, drop spreaders, and handheld spreaders are all used to distribute the fertilizer evenly over the lawn.
The kind of spreader used will depend mostly on the area being fertilized. You will want to pick a spreader that correlates with the size of your yard.
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Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every 2 Weeks
To avoid over-fertilizing, applying a fertilizer every two weeks is not recommended. Fertilizing as often as every two weeks will likely lead to problems such as lawn burn, excessive grass growth, as well as polluted water that can lead to toxic algae growth. A natural, healthier way of feeding your lawn every two weeks would be to simply leave the grass clippings on the lawn surface after mowing your grass.
Fertilizing Cool Season Grasses
Cool-season grasses can grow across three seasons, late fall, spring, and sometimes winter. As a result, you might need to fertilize your cool-season grass lawn up to three times per year.
However, most lawns will become completely dormant in the winter, especially if you live somewhere with relatively harsh winters .
For most lawns with cool-season grass, plan to fertilize your lawn in the fall and spring.
If you notice that your lawn continues to grow in the winter, adjust and fertilize it three times per year twice in the fall and one in the spring.
Fall months will be when grassroots intake the most nutrients to prepare for winter, so the lawn only needs a light application of fertilizer in the spring.
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Mend The Lawn On Schedule
Having the grass trimmed is still the cheapest and most natural way of fertilizing your soil. Regularly schedule your maintenance as clippings also play an important part in fertilization. Make sure to water the lawn at least every other day, but at the same time adjusting it whenever rain is present.
You do not want to drown your lawn, just keep it breathing with suffice moisture and water content. Remember that all the process will be useless if maintenance is not done regularly.
I hope you enjoy this article on how to fertilize your lawn. These steps are fairly easy, so there is really no reason to hold off the project any longer. Just remember to regularly maintain it and follow the steps on applying and in no time youll have a lush and vibrant green lawn.
Leave a comment down below if you have any additional tips or any questions youd want to share. Also, just a click, you will help your friends in need.
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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Understand Fertilizer And Its Role As Plant Food
Before spreading the fertilizer on your lawn, its important to understand what youre doing. The reason why its essential is because not all fertilizer is the same.
This is why its not a good idea to just pick out the cheapest bag in the store or get something that fits your budget. If you do this, you may end up with fertilizer that doesnt help your garden grow. The problem with this is that you wont know what went wrong.
So, to start from the beginning, plants need certain factors to grow. These include sunlight, water, soil and fertilizer. Technically, fertilizer is just a booster. It basically contains a bit more of the nutrients found in soil.
So what are these elements? The most important are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Youll see these elements in your fertilizer bags labeled as N, P and K. In addition, there are other elements included in smaller amounts. But, the three are the main ingredients.
The reason these three are the most important is that plants need a lot of them to grow. Your task is to figure out the composition and balance of these nutrients thats ideal for your lawn.
Determining The Amount Of Fertilizer To Use
After finding your lawns total square footage, you can check the label on your fertilizer for the percentage of nitrogen that it contains. In order to find this number, look for a three-number series on the bag. Nitrogen will always be the first number listed. Next, determine the pounds of fertilizer you will need to apply based on the percentage of nitrogen, printed recommendations on the bag, and the pre-calculated square footage of your yard.
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