Lawn Fertilizing Myths & How To Do It Right
We find that there are often a lot of misconceptions about lawn fertilizing that have our clients confused. Understanding lawn fertilization can be challenging with so much misinformation circulating. Since we often hear a lot of lawn fertilizer myths, we wanted to help set the record straight. Here are 11 myths, debunked, along with the correct information that you can trust.
How Can I Make My Grass Greener And Thicker
Everyone wants a vibrant and thriving lawn. Some types of turf naturally grow thicker than others, but no matter which type you have, there is always room for improvement. The best way to get greener, thicker grass is to fertilize your lawn on a regular schedule. Proper fertilization will ensure that your lawn has the nutrients it needs to thrive. Pay close attention to your watering schedule. Too little water can stunt growth while too much water can overwhelm the roots. Your grass should always have enough moisture but never have sogginess. If you are fertilizing on time and watering properly, but still feel like your lawn is underperforming, consider overseeding. Adding another layer of grass seed to your existing lawn will allow it to grow thicker naturally.
After Using Lawn Fertiliser
Many fertilisers work on a slow-release principle and continue to feed your lawn for weeks and months after application. Most lawn fertilisers are safe and you can use or walk on your lawn almost immediately after application. You should however check that the fertilisers used are safe for use around pets and animals. We would advise that you do not mow your lawn straight after an application as this can stop the feed from settling properly. Ideally you should wait for at least three days before mowing.
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Late Summer To Late Fall
Between August and November, grass slows down and prepares for the winter months. At the same time, broadleaf weeds start active growth again. With Pennington UltraGreen Winterizer Plus Weed & Feed Fertilizer 22-0-14, you can feed your northern or southern lawn nutrients essential to its winter prep and spring green-up and kill broadleaf weeds. As a general rule, allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your first expected frost.
As with all fertilizer products, check the label and follow instructions for your specific grass type. If you’re overseeding, wait until next year for weed & feed. Instead, turn to Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 for the year’s final feeding.
Always sweep excess fertilizer off sidewalks and patios to avoid runoff.
When Should I Apply 10 10 10 Fertilizer To My Lawn
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When To Apply Popular Uk Fertilizers
Below is a table detailing how often to apply popular U.K. lawn fertilizers such as Miracle-Gro Evergreen and Westland. Please note that some of the fertilizers below contain weedkiller. These can be applied to any type of grass.
Please note that the table below includes Amazon Affiliate links.
*NPK = Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
How Much Should I Water My Lawn After Fertilizing
How much fertilizer you need is directly impacted by your watering schedule. The more you water your lawn, the more fertilizer it will need. As the grass grows, it uses more nutrients. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you should fertilize your lawn about every six weeks. You dont want the watering to outpace the fertilizing as that could negatively impact the lawns growth cycle. If you dont have a sprinkler system, you can wait an additional two weeks between applications. Also, be sure to carefully read the fertilizer label to learn whether you should water the lawn before or after applying the product. Granulated fertilizers need moisture to break down after application, while other fertilizers require you to soak the lawn beforehand.
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Choose 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 rivers and streams.
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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.
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Different Types Of Fertilizer
When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, you have a few different types of options that gets used for your lawn. The different types of fertilizer can include:
- Alfalfa meal
- Blood meal
You also have organic fertilizers, and oftentimes, they will come with higher nutrient contents. You should look at both the grade and the type of fertilizer that you plan to use on the lawn.
What you should use will depend on the soil test recommendations. With nearly every analysis for fertilizer, first, you will see the number representing the nitrogen, and second, phosphorus percentage.
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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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.
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.
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When Should I Fertilize My Lawn After Seeding
Now that your grass has been seeded and you have your new regular fertilizer, how soon should you use it? As much as you might want to encourage growth and hurry the process along as quickly as possible, its best to wait before re-fertilizing your new grass.
How long? At least four weeks, and possibly as many as eight.
If you give in and re-fertilize too early, the nutrients will not be absorbed by the roots, and you can have runoff that, as we already mentioned, can make its way into the water supply or harm water-dwelling creatures. Moreover, over-fertilizing can actually leach more nutrients from the soil, leaving a deficiency of nutrients when your new turf is finally ready to be replenished.
Save yourself frustration and possible contamination: do not re-fertilize early. After this, you can adhere to the following regular annual fertilization schedule:
Best Fertilizer To Feed Your New Grass Seed And Protect It From Weeds
Planting grass seed in the spring can be a challenge for several reasons. Your biggest headache will be battling all those weeds that are trying to germinate at the same time as your grass seed. Weed growth is severe in the spring and it will choke out those tiny seedlings as they try to grow.
The perfect way to combat this is to use Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food For New Grass + Weed Preventer, a starter fertilizer containing mesotrione. Its one of the few pre-emergent herbicides that will prevent weed growth, including crabgrass, but still allow the new seedlings to grow unharmed.
If you need to seed your lawn in the spring, dont use a conventional fertilizer with pre-emergent herbicide. It will kill your new grass. Fertilizers containing mesotrione are the only way to go.
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How To Apply Lawn Fertilizer
There are several ways to apply lawn fertilizer. Using a spreader provides more even coverage than fertilizing by hand. Hand fertilizing often results in burns where the fertilizer is concentrated and pale areas that dont get as much fertilizer as they should.
Broadcast or rotary spreaders are easy to use and dont cause striping like drop spreaders. The advantage to drop spreaders is that there is no chance of overthrow getting fertilizer on streets, sidewalks, or driveways. With a drop spreader, you have to make two trips over the lawn at right angles. For example, if you make your first trip over the lawn in a north-south direction, the second trip should run east to west.
After applying the fertilizer, water the lawn thoroughly. Watering rinses the fertilizer off the grass blades so that they wont burn, and it allows the fertilizer to sink down into the soil so it can get to work. Keep kids and pets off the lawn for the amount of time recommended on the label, which is usually 24 to 48 hours.
All Lawn Fertilization Companies Do The Job The Same
We already talked about the fact that there are many different products on the market and different companies invest more in product than others. But there are other differences between lawn fertilization companies as well. From thoroughness of application to cleaning up walks and driveways after their treatments to being careful in avoiding pools or fish pondsthese are just some of the ways in which one company may excel over another.
Some companies also highly incentivize the quantity of production completed each day. This could cause technicians to rush through each job, trying to get as much done in a day as they can. But at Joshua Tree, we pay the same hourly rate, no matter how much work gets done in a day. We want our technicians to focus on doing the best job possiblenot on how many lawns they can get done in order to get paid more. Its important to be productive, but the client comes first.
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Winter Lawn Care Tips
While your lawn may not require as much care in the winter as it does in spring, summer, and fall, you dont want to ignore it completely.
While your lawn may not require as much care in the winter as it does in spring, summer, and fall, you dont want to ignore it completely. To ensure it will be in good shape come springtime, youll want to take the following steps.
Lawn Fertilizer Works With Important Nutrients In Soil
In order to have a healthy lawn youll need high soil quality. Using a fertilizer for your lawn is the best way to do so. Over time, your soil will naturally lose many of the important nutrients it needs to survive. If you really want that lush, green lawn, youre going to need to replace them. Fertilizer replaces and replenishes the essentials your lawn needs for a great look.
Recap: Lawn Fertilizer Dos And Don’ts
- Use test results to choose the right fertilizer.
- Spend time accurately measuring the size of your lawn.
- Try an organic during the hot summer months.
- Buy a quality spreader that best fits your needs.
- Accurately calibrate your spreader to make sure you apply the right amount.
- Keep your spreader well maintained.
- Keep records of what and how much you apply and when you apply it.
- Test your soil after you have fertilized.
- Guess on how much fertilizer you need and what setting you use.
- Apply fertilizer in hot, humid weather.
- Apply fertilizer near water features, on hard surfaces or on frozen ground.
- Use phosphorus unless your soil test indicates a deficiency.
- Apply more than four times a year.
- Use liquid fertilizers on your lawn.
- Use a drop spreader in big lawns.
- Bag your clippings.
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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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.
Determining The Type And Amount Of Fertilizer For Your New Grass
Since the fertilizer you choose should be based on soil makeup and growth area, start by learning those two things.
Measure the square footage of the new grass youre trying to grow in order to determine how much fertilizer you need to purchase. Then get a soil test done to learn which nutrients are present in your soil and which ones youre lacking.
Having a soil test done may sound complicated, scary, expensive or all three, but its actually really easy. In most areas, there are a number of options available to you. Texas A& M even allows you to send in soil samples and get results back!
Once you know the makeup of your soil, you can determine which fertilizer ratio is best for your lawn. Many homeowners discover that their lawns already contain enough phosphorous and potassium and opt for nitrogen-only fertilizer.
If you do use phosphorous, be careful. Phosphorous levels can easily build up too much in soil, resulting in runoff that ends up in surface waters. This is bad for the environment because it can harm fish habitats and increase algal blooms.
Some homeowners are also looking for advice on choosing an eco-friendly fertilizer for your lawn. As more options become available, organic fertilizers have grown in popularity as individuals are working to find a balance between growing and maintaining a healthy lawn and minimizing the use of chemical products on their property.
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How To Fertilize New Sod
When the time to fertilize finally rolls around, do you know how to fertilize? What does the young grass need most?
While your lawn is trying to establish itself, the nutrients that it needs most are carbon, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen-heavy fertilizers will not serve it particularly well, although some nitrogen is needed.
You should look for phosphorus-rich fertilizers, and aim to have around 1 lb. of nitrogen in 1000 square feet of turf. This will ensure your new turf has everything it needs to grow well and start filling out into a beautiful lawn.
You should also aim to get a slow-release fertilizer, if you can. This will ensure your lawn doesnt get too much food at once, and still has access to food as the months go on you wont feed it again for a little while, so this is important.
Some experts recommend fertilizing at half the manufacturers rate, reducing the amount of food that the lawn is subjected to at once. You are not really doing a full fertilization at this stage you are just trying to give the establishing grass a little boost to encourage it.
Once you have applied the fertilizer, water the lawn to ensure the fertilizer is evenly distributed and help the grass start breaking it down into useful nutrients.
Our recommendation: try the Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass. It has the high level of phosphorus needed by sod at this stage to grow into a strong, established lawn.
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