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How To Naturally Fertilize Your Lawn

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Homemade Fertilizer For Grass Recipes

How to Apply Natural Lawn Fertilizers & What to Use

Homeowners take great pride in having well-maintained lawns. Some of the fertilizers on the market are considered to be toxic and dangerous for pets and children.

To some, the risk of endangering their family is just too high. In an attempt to protect their family, they often seek other avenues that will help them keep their lawn looking beautiful organically.

In This Article

Using A Broadcast Or Rotary Spreader

A broadcast or rotary spreader works well when you’re fertilizing larger lawn areas. Before filling the hopper, make sure it’s closed. It’s a good idea to fill it on a tarp, so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer. Apply fertilizer around the perimeter of the lawn first, and then start to move back and forth across turf in an orderly pattern. Overlap application strips slightly to ensure that you cover the whole lawn evenly with fertilizer.

To Do List: Good Any Time

Switch to an Organic Fertilizer. This is one of the easiest things you can do, especially if youre not using a lawn service. There are numerous organic options, including pellets or powders that can be applied with a spreader in the same way that most commercial fertilizers are usually spread. See Fertilizing for details.

Set your Mower Height High. Set your cutting height to 2.5 to 3 inches, and cut long. The longer grass will shade out more weeds than will short grass, it will protect the dirt from evaporation, and it will grow more slowly than short grass. Longer lawns therefore need fewer pesticides, less water, and less frequent mowing than short lawns.

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A day or two before applying fertilizer, water your lawn thoroughly. After grass dries, apply fertilizer. Then lightly water again. This second watering is vitally important, because it washes fertilizer off grass blades and into soil. You can also time fertilizer application between rainfalls to let rain wash fertilizer into soil. Just be sure you don’t fertilize before a downpour, or you may wind up with fertilizer washing away, especially if your lawn slopes. Avoid applying fertilizer during a drought when a lawn has browned or withered from lack of moisture.

When To Use Phosphorus Fertilizer

DIY: Homemade and Healthy Lawn Fertilizer

Phosphorus promotes root development and should be used, especially when establishing a new lawn. Phosphorus stays available to the grass for at least four months after application. So, for cool-season grasses, apply it in fall or spring. Whereas for warm-season grasses, use phosphorus fertilizer in late spring or summer.

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Using Organic Lawn Fertilizers As Part Of Your Lawn Care Schedule

Organically-based lawn fertilizers are crucial to non-toxic, chemical-free lawn care. Natural fertilizers nourish the soil with essential nutrientsnitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium . The best organic fertilizers should have a high nitrogen content to promote lush, green growth in your turfgrass.

The nutrient ratio in organic lawn fertilizers is written as N-P-K. An ideal ratio in any type of lawn fertilizer is 3-1-2. For example, a commercial organic lawn feed could have a ratio of 15-5-10. This means that it contains 15 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorous, and 10 percent potassium.

During the growing season, you should feed your lawn with an organic fertilizer two to three times. Apply good-quality lawn fertilizer in late May, early July, and then in early fall. Fertilizing at these times helps promote robust, healthy turfgrass growth.

Lets look at five of the best organic lawn fertilizers currently for sale.

Mow Higher Mow Regularly And Leave The Clippings

Grasscycling – Or leaving the clippings on the lawn doesnt cause thatch build up. But it does make lawns healthier. Soil organisms recycle the clippings into free fertilizer, and you save all the work of bagging. Modern mulching lawn mowers make grasscycling even easier.

You can grasscycle with any mower – Push mowers and conventional power mowers leave clippings on the surface to break down. Electric and gas mulching mowers blow chopped clippings down to the soil, leaving a clean lawn. Consumer Reports rates mulching mowers each June. Call the Garden Hotline to learn where to buy a mulching mower. Learn more about and .

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Organic Lawn Care Vs Conventional Lawn Care

Organic lawn care is a sustainable way of caring for your lawn. Conventional lawn care involves products such as herbicides that could pollute the soil and water. Synthetic fertilizers used in conventional lawn care can even damage your lawn, resulting in thatch, weak grass, and lawn pests.

On the other hand, organic lawn fertilizers are environmentally friendly and contribute to healthy soil and a healthy lawn. They contain nutrients from natural sources that nourish the ground and improve soil structure.

Natural fertilizers also encourage beneficial microbes to develop. These break down organic matter slowly and naturally to help feed healthy lawns.

Most people turn to conventional cheap lawn fertilizers because they tend to have quick results. However, excess synthetic fertilizers can cause root burn. This can cause the grass to wither and turn yellow due to a buildup of mineral salts. Unfortunately, this results in gardeners using more chemicals to try and stimulate grass growth.

Buffalo Grass Sunlight Needs

How to get an Organic Lawn in Five Steps

Uninterrupted exposure to direct sunlight throughout the day is, of course, ideal. However, a Buffalo grass lawn can keep its green and healthy looks if it receives direct sunlight for anywhere from six to eight hours per day.

However, the most obvious negative effect of growing Buffalo in full sun is that its dense thatch layer grows much faster and to a much greater depth.

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Choosing The Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer For Your Lawn

Choosing the best organic lawn fertilizer for your lawn will likely come down to first figuring out what kinds of nutrients your soil needs. While most organic lawn fertilizers offer balanced ratios of NPK, something well discuss in more detail below, some offer more of one nutrient than another.

Knowing exactly what nutrients your lawn needs is the first step in selecting the right organic fertilizer. Conduct a soil test by taking a soil sample and sending it off to your local cooperative extension. You can also purchase an at-home soil test kit. Regardless of the option you choose, conducting a soil test will help you determine the pH of your lawn as well as whether you need an amendment to help improve the soils structure and nutrient content.

You will also need to consider the type of grass you are growing. According to The Lawn Bible by David R. Mellor, Out of the over 10,000 species of grass, only about 50 species can produce a lawn, and of those 50 species, each has its own unique nutrient needs.

Do any amount of research on organic or synthetic fertilizer, and NPK is a term you will likely see again and again.

This acronym refers to the three macronutrients that are necessary for plant growth. N, or nitrogen, helps support leafy green growth. Phosphorus, or P, provides for a strong root system, while potassium, or K, helps to keep plant growth healthy and balanced, supporting their overall growth.

What Organic Lawn Care Is

Organic lawn care is simply taking care of your grass without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or weed killers.

  • Soil-based approach: Soil testing is the basis for making changes. The soil, in turn, feeds the plant. Were taking a feed the soil approach as opposed to a feed the plant approach, Osborne says.He continues, If you are using an organic fertilizer, you are feeding the microbial life in the soil with that fertilizer, and then that microbial life is breaking it down to the form the plant can use, and you are building that biomass.
  • Its a process: Organic lawn care means more than just switching out chemical-based products for natural ones. Its a combination of different methods. The goal is to improve the conditions for healthy development while reducing the chance of weeds and disease.For example, if crabgrass shows up, the conventional treatment is to apply a synthetic pre-emergent weed killer in the early spring every spring. The organic approach encourages a healthier, taller lawn so that crabgrass gets crowded out and new seeds dont sprout.

Organic lawn care takes a long-range view of lawn health and looks for solutions rather than quick fixes.

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Is Organic Fertilizer Better For Lawns

A key part of maintaining a lush, healthy lawn is proper fertilization. Garden center shelves are filled with multiple choices, and it can be hard to know which product is right for your lawn. One clear distinction is whether a fertilizer is organic or conventional. There are pros and cons to each option, and understanding which to apply to your lawn requires a little background on how fertilizers work and the nutrients that all plants need. Organic fertilizers are especially popular among home gardeners because of the many potential benefits they provide to the soil. Heres what you need to know if youre thinking about switching to organic fertilizers this season.

When Should You Fertilize

Organic Lawn Fertilizer

Early summer and fall are the best times to fertilize. Fall fertilization increases winter hardiness of the grass and provides nutrients, especially potassium, which makes turf stronger. The specific time of day you fertilize depends on weather conditions, and fertilizers shouldnt be applied if rain is forecast within the next 24 hours. Always read the directions on the bag carefully before applying any fertilizer.

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Organic Lawn Care Secret : Mow No Lawn Until Its Time

First, lets get one thing straight. Mowing your lawn on a rigid time schedule, like every Friday or Saturday, is detrimental. Your lawn should be mowed when its long enough to cut and not before. Grasses are plants. The foliage of plants conducts photosynthesis, converting sunlight into carbohydrates and then into energy. Cutting your lawn shorter than short reduces the ability of grass to carry on with photosynthesis and grow roots and green stuff. It also gives any lying-in-wait weed seeds an opportunity to germinate, because the long blades of grass no longer shade them out. When the weed seed gets plenty of light and water, guess what? It becomes a weed! Plus, the way-too-short grass will go into a frenzy, soaking up every nutrient it can find and growing as fast as it can. This places a great deal of stress on the plant, leaving it vulnerable to pests and disease.

Dont cut your lawn until it has about three inches of growth and set your lawn mower on the highest setting .

Its a cascade effect. When you mow your lawn higher, allowing some length to the blades of grass, the grass shades out weeds and the grass grows deeper roots. If the long grass keeps the weed seed from germinating, theres more room for the grass to grow. And a deeper root system means that your grass requires less water and is better able to withstand drought.

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Your Lawn’s Soil Test Results

Before picking out the best fertilizer for your grass, you’ll need to conduct a soil test. This simple test will tell you how acidic or alkaline your soil is, allowing you to better understand what nutrients it needs for your grass to thrive.

If your soil is too alkaline, you’ll likely need to add an organic nitrogen fertilizer that also has iron sulfate in it, whereas a yard that is too acidic may benefit from limestone to increase its pH. Adding the correct types of nutrients to your soil can help ensure that your grass grows steadily and remains green all season long.

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Switch To Organic Fertilizers

Once your soil and your lawn are healthy, you may find that there’s no need for supplemental fertilizers. But it may take awhile to improve the quality of your soil, and along the way, you’ll probably want to apply an organic fertilizer on an annual or semi-annual basis.

There are two different fertilizing schedules for American lawns-one for cool-climate grasses and the other for warm-climate grasses. Before you fertilize, it’s important to understand what type of grass you’re growing because they can have very different growing cycles.

Grass has a reputation of being a “heavy feeder,” requiring lots of fertilizer. But that’s true only of lawns that contain little organic matter, worms or other soil life. Chemical fertilizers may feed the grass, but they can also have a negative impact on soil life and soil texture, and do nothing to increase organic matter. Chemicals fertilizers can also over stimulate growth, making turf more vulnerable to disease and insects.

Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time to provide long-term nutrition, improve soil tilth, and encourage soil life. They also provide vital trace nutrients that your lawn needs in minute quantities. Leaving grass clippings where they fall also adds free nutrients and organic matter to the soil. If the clippings are too thick and wet, they should be raked up and composted for later application to the soil.

How Do You Put Fertilizer On Grass

How To Fertilize Your Lawn

Photo by Cade Martin

Liquid fertilizers are usually hard to handle and apply.

Lawn fertilizers come in different forms, i.e., liquid, spray, granules, pellets etc. Depending on its form, the process of the application of fertilizer will vary. Typically granular fertilizers are easier to handle and apply. Also, granular fertilizers have a lower risk of over- or under-fertilization, which saves on cost.

With liquid fertilizers, experts usually recommend hiring a lawn care professional. It is because they are difficult to measure and apply uniformly over the lawn. Regardless of the form of the fertilizer, it is highly recommended not to apply fertilizer when there is expected rain.

It can cause significant loss of nutrients with water runoff or may cause the fertilizer to penetrate deep away from the grassroots reach.

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Buffalo Grass Fertilizer Requirements

Putting down fertilizer on a lawn in Buffalo isnt exactly rocket science. However, it does require a bit more iron than other types of grass.

Aside from that, established buffalo grass only has a need for one or two pounds of nitrogen per one thousand square feet per year. So choose a fertilizer with a nitrogen-to-phosphorus-to-potassium ratio of 3-1-2 or 4-1-2, and make sure that at least 35 percent of its nitrogen is slow-release.

The majority of the nutrients that your Buffalo grass seed requires are already being delivered to the roots of your grass in minute quantities by processes inherent to the soils natural environment.

Also, you shouldnt apply fertilizer to the buffalo grass in the fall or the spring because, at this time, buffalo grass isnt actively growing. It will cause the fertilizer to be wasted, and the buffalo grass will not benefit from it in any way.

Use Organic Lawn Fertilizers

Organic lawn fertilizers are another effective way to give your lawn an occasional boost during the growing season. Available at most garden centers, the best organic lawn fertilizers contain natural ingredients such as seaweed for potassium, bone meal for phosphorous, and feather meal for nitrogen.

Unlike conventional fertilizers, which deliver a heavy, instant dose of synthetic nitrogen for your lawn to binge on, Turkey says organics provide an easier-to-handle diet of nutrients that are released more slowly.

The thicker your grass, the more easily it can crowd out weeds. So once your soil’s been treated, overseed the lawn using an appropriate turf grass . Choose a seed mix that suits your climate, sun/shade conditions, and moisture needs, and make sure it blends well with your existing lawn. Water daily until new growth is established.

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Applying homemade fertilizers during the beginning of spring provides a fertile ground for grass to grow.

A fall application acts as a potent stimulant to aid in growth and recovery following a particularly hot and stressful summer season. It also enriches the soil and prepares it for the upcoming harsh winters.

The monthly application helps the ground to absorb water and liquid feed better and nurtures a healthy interaction with soil microbes.

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Scatter 1/2 Inch Compost Or Pure Fertilizer Over The Grass And Rake In

Mulching

Combine two cups of water, one cup of orange juice, one cup of tomato juice and ½ a cup of material softener. How to make use of natural fertilizer in your garden. Natural garden fertilizers present pure sources of vitamins to stimulate wholesome progress.

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What Is Organic Lawn Care

Organic lawn care describes maintaining turfgrass using organic and natural ingredients without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Growing an organic lawn focuses on maintaining healthy soil and feeding the roots naturally. It involves using organic weed and feed products, and watering the lawn deeply but infrequently.

Other aspects of organic lawn care include aerating your lawn, cutting the grass correctly and testing the soil.

Lawn care using organic techniques takes a long-term view of garden maintenance. Similar to conventional lawn care, organic lawn care takes time to get the best result. But feeding lawns with natural fertilizers means grass grows more robust and healthier. Healthy grass crowds out common lawn weeds such as crabgrassthus reducing the need for using cheap lawn weed killers.

Its vital to remember that growing an organic lawn doesnt mean cutting out any type of fertilizer. To get stunning results from your natural lawn care, you cant skip on maintenance. So, in the beginning, organic lawn maintenance can take more time. However, the results will be worth it.

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