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.
How Do I Prepare My Lawn For Spring
How to Prepare Your Lawn & Garden for Spring in 6 Simple Steps Do some cleaning. The first step to prepping your lawn for spring is to clean up the leaves, twigs and other debris that have gathered over the winter. Apply fertilizer, pre-emergent and weed killer. Mow early, mow often. Pick a good, heavy mulch. Trim the trees. Dont seed until fall.
What Does Lawn Fertilizer Do
Fertilizer should be viewed as a necessity, not an option. Most soil is deficient in something, which means you can water as much as you like, but youll never unlock the potential in your yard without using it.
The best grass fertilizer will always contain important elements essential to grass growth, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Likewise, you dont want too much of one element, or you could destroy the roots.
For example, nitrogen is critical to your lawn, but if theres too much in the soil, itll burn out the grassroots and leave you with a patchy green carpet.
Thats why you need to know about your soil, what it has, and what it doesnt. Getting it right will make your lawn the standout of your neighborhood.
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Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before Or After Rain
Many garden owners use fertilizer to help their lawns or gardens grow faster. But there are always a few questions raised about how and when to use. Since rain is one of the best ways to help plants grow naturally, but over-watering is not expected. So gardeners should know how to fertilize their lawns when a rainstorm is about to hit?
Fertilizing before heavy rain
Every lawn owner wants to fertilize their lawn before a heavy rainfall is because it helps the fertilizer to be watered into the ground properly. Plants need nitrogen to grow up and become healthy. And a rainfall can assure the necessary amount of nitrogen to the lawn.
Though a heavy rainfall helps to fertilize, it can also be the reason for fertilizer washed out into water systems which can severely pollute water and harm living beings around these communities. So gardeners should be aware not only about their lawns but also the surrounding environment.
Fertilizing after heavy rain
Garden owners may choose to fertilize after a rainfall because it works more effectively and increases the utility of the fertilizer into the garden. It also helps reduce water pollution and the chances of the fertilizer running off into water systems.
On the other hand, the rainfall covers all over the land properly and watering-in fertilizer is done better than any other method. Its impossible to water like this by artificial methods.
What Do You Do If You Burn Your Lawn With Fertilizer
If youve overdone it with the fertilizer, you may still be able to save your lawn. Burned lawns will need a generous amount of water to get back to green. Its vital that you water the lawn as soon as you spot any brown or yellow patches to prevent further damage. Slowly soak the affected areas every day for about a week to fully flush out the extra salt. To avoid causing sun damage while the lawn is in crisis, be sure to water early in the morning. Within a few weeks, the affected areas should be turning back to green. If not, those areas of your lawn may need to be dug up and overseeded to inspire new growth.
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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.
Why Should I Fertilize My Lawn Is It Really Necessary
Every homeowner has looked out the window and daydreamt about having a picture-perfect backyard with a beautiful, green lawn. Then again, you need to take care of it for that to happen.
Starting off is easy. All you have to do is pick the right seeds and put them in the soil. But the maintenance might prove a little harder than you thought. Choosing the right fertilizer and using the right amount, taking care of your lawn as it grows, and facing terrible threats like weeds thats when things get tough.
At that point, you begin to wonder, should I just risk it, plant some seeds, and see what happens if I dont use fertilizer? Well, before you take a losing bet, read below and find out why fertilizer is a must and how can you deal with weeds too!
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Best Time To Fertilize Lawn
Fertilizing in the morning allows the soil to take in the most nutrients, soak in the morning dew and take advantage of cooler temperatures. Thats the best time. Do not apply fertilizer on an abnormally hot day, not even in the morning. Wait until the weather cools back down to a normal temperature.
You can mow anytime after fertilizing with a granular treatment. With a liquid treatment, wait a day or two.
What Type Of Fertilizer To Use On Your Lawn
When picking fertilizers for your lawn, you have the option of liquid or granular, and synthetic or organic.
- Liquid: Fast and effective, but tough to spread and used mostly by professionals, may require the use of a backpack sprayer for large areas.
- Granular: Easiest to spread, the best option for home gardening.
- Synthetic: Made out of synthetic components, release their nutrition fast.
- Organic: Organic fertilizers for lawns are made from plants and animals, and are usually of the slow-release type. This means their effect will last longer.
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Does Grass Seed Need To Be Watered Daily
Normally a lawn should be watered deeply but infrequently, but when you are watering for new grass seed, you must water every day. Twice daily watering is essential until the new grass is up, then after one more week, reduce to once per day. Adjust this pattern according to season and temperature demands.
How Soon You Can Fertilize After Seeding Your Lawn
Its not always after seeding that you should apply fertilizerthe best time to fertilize is right before or during the seeding process. Use a starter fertilizer with quick-release nitrogen since that will give the seeds a nutritional boost. When you make fertilizer a part of the seeding process, your grass will grow quicker and is more likely to end up healthy and lush.
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Faqs Around Should I Fertilize My Lawn In The Winter
What are the winter months in USA?
Answer: December, January and February are the winter months in USA.
How late can you put down fertilizers to take benefits of winter lawn?
Answer: You can put down fertilizers to take benefits of the winter lawn in late October or early November.
What type of fertilizer to use in winter?
Answer: Winterizer or fertilizer containing nitrogen and potassium can be used. However, any organic with these ingredients are also okey.
What is the best Winterizer fertilizer?
Answer: You may try Jonathan Green.
When should I fertilize my lawn before winter?
Answer: It depends on your area. Try to know the probable date when the lawn may freeze and apply fertilizers at least 15 days earlier.
How do I prepare my lawn for winter?
Should I Fertilize My Lawn Before Or After Seeding
When seeding grass, the order in which you add the fertilizer and seeds doesn’t matter, but adding fertilizer at the time you seed a lawn is important. You can combine the fertilizer and seed and broadcast them together, or you can broadcast the seed and fertilizer separately, one immediately following the other.
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Understanding Whats In Your Lawn Fertilizer
When choosing a fertilizer, youll need a basic understanding of the fertilizers NPK rating.
NPK rating is the fertilizers levels of:
- Phosphorous, and
- Potassium .
For a standard lawn, a good choice for your first application of the season is around a 20-5-10 NPK rating.
That means the fertilizer is comprised of 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Those three are the primary nutrients for grass, similar to how people need a proper balance of macro nutrients to thrive.
- Nitrogen makes your lawn grow and green quickly, and its essential throughout the season.
- Phosphorous promotes healthy root development. Thats why its recommended to apply high phosphorous fertilizers early in the season to help your grass develop strong roots early. If you water regularly and well, your lawns roots will be able to withstand drought and dryness in the hottest part of summer. However, Phosphorous in high concentrations is bad for the environment, so more places are regulating the allowed amounts or banning it altogether.
- Potassium promotes overall grass growth for a healthy, balanced lawn.
Synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have higher NPK ratings, while organic fertilizers have lower ratings.
The higher potency of synthetic fertilizers is why they have more immediate results in making your grass green. However, thats also why they are unsustainable.
Apply Lawn Fertilizer In Spring
Deciding exactly when to apply lawn fertilizer depends on where you live. According to Scotts, you should apply lawn fertilizer between February and April when your grass starts to green up and begins to actively grow. Essentially, if it looks like your grass is ready for its first mowing of the season, then it’s ready for lawn fertilizer.
Giving your grass a good dose of lawn fertilizer in the spring sets the stage for a healthy growing season. It strengthens the roots and gives the grass a boost of nutrients to sustain it as it grows. The type of fertilizer you need depends on what type of grass you have and if you want to address other problems, such as weed prevention, or kill pests, like fire ants.
If you’re not sure what type of fertilizer to use, you can speak with your local garden center expert to find out what works best for your grass. Are you not sure what type of grass you have? Cut a small sample and take it with you to show the garden center expert.
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Do I Really Have To Fertilize My Grass
Of course, you dont have to fertilize! But youre probably going to want to.
Well, lets talk about what lawns need in order to grow and stay healthy and green. Namely, nutrients.
These nutrients can come from organic matter and minerals that are already in the soil. This nourishment can also be derived from fallen leaves, grass clippings and the like.
The sad truth is that the soil in large parts of Texas and other parts of the south isnt all that nutrient-rich, and theres probably not enough naturally-occurring organic matter to make up the difference in most cases.
The impact of these types of soil on your lawn? More insects. More weeds. A higher chance of disease, including yard fungus. Increased chance of erosion. Your grass might thin. Youll suffer patchiness and increased runoff.
Basically, all kinds of bad things that you dont want.
Fertilizer can provide the additional nutrients your yard needs to prevent these problems and keep your grass healthy and looking good.
Unfortunately, fertilization isnt as simple as deciding to do it and picking up some fertilizer from your nearest home improvement store. You have to know whats best to use. When to use it. How often.
Knowing When To Fertilize New Sod Matters
Many people think of fertilization as something that happens after plants are already in the groundor after turf is installed. In reality, however, waiting this long is a bad idea.
The best times to fertilize your new sod are either:
Fertilizing earlier will provide your grass seeds with a nutritional boost that can help as they try to take root and establish themselves.
Heres how you do it.
Before installing your new turf, till the starter fertilizer into the ground with a hoe.
Be sure that none of the fertilizer goes deeper than four inches. This is incredibly important, because when fertilizer goes too deep, it can burn the roots of your grass.
Once youre done, level out the soil and you can install your new sod.
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When Should I Fertilize My Lawn
So youre at the point of trying to figure out when to fertilize a lawn and whats going to work best for your soil.
Although using fertilizer in spring is undoubtedly the ideal time to use it, theres more to the issue than that when defining your lawn fertilizer schedule.
Lets go into some other factors that influence successful lawn fertilization.
Can You Fertilize Lawn Every Month
Because nitrogen in slow-release fertilizers is available over time, the product can be applied less frequently and at higher rates and is less likely to burn the lawn. You can reapply slow-release fertilizers every six to eight weeks, while a fast-release fertilizer can be reapplied every four weeks.
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What Type Of Fertilizer To Choose For Your Lawn
There are several varieties of fertilizer to choose from. The biggest variable is organic versus synthetic fertilizer.
That said, youll also hear fertilizer described as either quick-release or slow-release, but theres significant overlap between the two.
Organic fertilizers are natural and come from plant or animal sources.
Synthetic fertilizers are derived of components made in a lab.
Organic fertilizers are primarily slow release. In practical terms, slow-release fertilizers help develop your soil to grow your grass strong using its own capacities. Synthetic fertilizers are more potent, and they help your grass green up faster, but they dont help your soil.
In my experience, relying too much on synthetic fertilizers can weaken the soil so much your grass cant sustain itself without applications of synthetic fertilizer.
For me, thats a problem.
Its not sustainable, and its why I use organic, slow release fertilizers on my lawn.
That said, synthetic fertilizers have almost immediate results. If you want your grass green quick, its the option to go with, and I do recommend a quick-release starter fertilizer when starting a lawn from seed.
If you want long-term sustainability for your existing lawn, an organic slow release is a better choice, and my recommendation.
Theres also the option to apply a synthetic fertilizer as your first application, then apply organic fertilizer to strengthen your yard later in the season.
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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.
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When To Fertilize Warm
When to fertilize depends on what kind of grass you have. You want to time fertilizing so it occurs just before grass enters its peak growing phase. If you live in southern areas where lawns feature warm-season grasses, fertilize turf in late spring or early summer, just before grass kicks into high gear. Make a second application in late summer. If your warm-season lawn goes dormant in winter, don’t fertilize after the first of September.
Warm season grass types include bahia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, centipede and zoysia. Warm season grasses typically thrive in frost-free areas and grow best at temps of 75 degrees to 90 degrees.
Mowing Your Lawn For Winter
As the weather becomes cooler, continue to mow your lawn until it stops growing. For both cool- and warm-season lawns, you may be mowing into the late fall. When leaves fall from the trees during this time of year, feel-free to mow over them as they will decompose quickly and add organic matter to the soil. This will also stop them from forming a mat that smothers grass plants.
As youre getting ready for winter, cutting the grass shorter than usual is normal. However, reducing the height of your mower should not be something reserved for the last mowing. If the lawn has been kept at about 2.5-3.0 inches during the growing season, decrease that to two inches gradually two or three mowings prior to the very last cutting. Be careful to not cut your lawn too short because that can encourage weeds and diseases, causing bare patches.
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