What Tools Are Required
When attempting to lay fertilizer, the right tools are essential.
Do not try to spread fertilizer by hand, as fertilizer can irritate human skin and is poisonous if ingested.
For the best results, we recommend using a fertilizer spreader to avoid any potential fertilizer burn, increase efficiency and save you time.
Spreaders fall into two categories: drop and broadcast.
Broadcast spreaders are typically used for larger spaces, while drop spreaders are ideal for smaller patches of lawn.
Before buying a spreader, there are a few things you should take into consideration for your buying decisions:
- The size of your lawn: you should get a handheld spreader if your lawn is small, while a push-along spreader is commonly used for moderate to large lawns.
- Efficiency: If you would like to know exactly where youre spreading the fertilizer, a manually operated spreader might fit your needs. A battery-powered spreader might be the better option for those who prefer automated tools.
- Durability: For homeowners with a large piece of land, tow-behind spreader offers the right durability and quality youll require. Other types of spreader might not be as long-lasting when used for larger areas.
A few things you should keep in mind:
Can You Just Throw Grass Seed Down
If you simply toss the grass seed onto the soil, you will end up with poor germination. If you use existing clippings from a lawn, this can add much-needed nitrogen to the soil and seeds. Grass seed does better if it is raked into the surface of the soil, but it will grow if it is just dropped on the soil too.
What Are The Different Types Of Grass
Understanding the type of grass in your lawn is key to determining when you need to fertilize it. Dont worry you dont need an in-depth understanding of agriculture here. Grass types are divided into two simple, general categories:
- Cool-season grass
- Warm-season grass
Cool-season grasses are most common throughout the northern US. Popular types include Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and various fescues. These grasses go dormant in periods of hot temperatures and low moisture.
Warm-season grasses are typically found in the southern US. Popular examples of these tropical grasses include Bermuda, St. Augustine, and centipede. Theyre thick grasses that thrive in consistently warm temperatures.
Another type is called transitional zone grass. Its a combination of warm and cool-season grasses.
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How To Effectively Fertilize Your Lawn
To effectively fertilize your lawn, be aware of which types of fertilizer work best with the soil and grass.
Different fertilizers will provide different results, and not all of them will work well with every lawn.
Consult an expert for more information about which type of fertilizer will work best.
The amount of fertilizer you need will depend on how much seed was planted, the type of grass, and the size of the yard.
Check the fertilizers label for recommendations on how much fertilizer is necessary during applications.
After Fertilizing Your Lawn
After fertilizing the lawn, consider applying a weed control treatment to the yard.
This treatment will ensure that the nutrients in the fertilizer are not soaked up by unsightly weeds.
In addition to the treatment and fertilizing, its important to water the lawn regularly to ensure that the soil stays hydrated.
Remember to keep children and pets away from the fertilized area until it has absorbed into the soil completely.
If you live near a body of water, know that you need to follow extra safety precautions to avoid contaminating the water.
We recommend making a 5- to 10-foot buffer between the waters edge and your fertilized land to be safe. If possible, use fertilizer without phosphorous to prevent contamination.
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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Spring Lawn Fertilizationgetting It Right
As temperatures warm there is an urge by most homeowners to do something in their lawn. Heck, most even enjoy the first few mowings of the spring and the smell and look of freshly cut turf . There also is immediate emphasis on getting the turf greened up and one of the quickest ways to do this is to fertilize. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about spring fertilization. The Fertilizer Institute has a great phrase regarding fertilizer applications: right rate, right place, right product, right time. Lets review the right steps in spring fertilization.
Dont guesssoil test. There is no better money spent than to have a soil test done on the lawn and garden areas at least every third year. A soil test is the only way to determine if the soil needs lime, phosphorus or potassium . Apply nutrients as recommended by a soil test and youll be taking a huge first step towards protecting water quality.
Nitrogen gets the most attention. The one nutrient that wont be analyzed in a soil test is nitrogen . That is surprising since N is the focal point of lawn fertility programs. The reason is that N levels change rapidly in a soil and test results usually have little meaning by the time you receive the report. The test results will provide recommendations on appropriate N application levels suitable for the grass and location.
How To Fertilize The Lawn
Discover how easy it is to feed your turf with fertilizer. For best results, start with an easy and inexpensive soil test, which tells you how much fertilizer to apply and what formulation to use.
Follow the directions on the fertilizer bag most fertilizers are formulated to supply about 1/2 to one pound of nitrogen per feeding.
Step 1Step 1Determining Fertilizer Type
Lawn fertilizers are distinguished by the N-P-K numbers on the front of the bag. These letters stand for Nitrogen , Phosphorus and Potassium and represent the percentage by weight of each of those nutrients in the fertilizer. Nitrogen helps plants grow and green up, Phosphorus stimulates deep root development and Potassium provides all around health and disease/drought resistance. Choosing the right combination depends on a number of variables including sunlight exposure and climate.
Step 2Step 2Measure Out Fertilizer
Follow the directions on the bag carefully. Determine the size of your yard then measure out the right amount of fertilizer. Depending on the measurement, using the whole bag may mean you’re applying too much or too little. Never apply more fertilizer than the soil test or fertilizer label instructs. Even distribution is key. A great way to do this is to use a quality spreader, which ensures that the nutrient particles are evenly over the lawn, which will keep the health and colour consistent throughout.
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Apply A Late Season Fertilizer Application
To ensure good winter survival and early-spring green-up, make this fertilizer application when the turf has stopped growing but is still green, usually in mid- to late October. Timing is critical. Fertilizer applied too early will promote succulent growth in the fall that will make the lawn more susceptible to winter injury. Fertilizer applied too late will be of no benefit to the turf. If you make a late-fall fertilizer application, spring fertilization can be delayed until late May to early June. The application rate for this time of the year is the same as for the early fall application .
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.
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What Does The Npk Mean In The Fertilizer Context
Most of us would have studied about soil is school. However, human memory has its limitations and of course, which paid attention to the early science lessons. NPK expands to form Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, all of which are vital nutrients for plant growth. The abbreviations are the chemical notations of these elements. This is the most common combination in most fertilizers with varying ratios of each.
- Nitrogen supplies the required protein and adds green color to the vegetation
- Phosphorous promotes faster growth and aids root growth
- Potassium checks diseases and facilitates food manufacturing
While all these nutrients are essential for plant growth, its the right mix of these three components that spells success for gardeners.
How To Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant
Fertilizing the plants can be done during the growing season, particularly in spring and also in summer. Regardless of the time, they are growing to new leaves, and they require all the assistance. You need to fertilizer for fiddle leaf fig, which is in liquid form, every two weeks. Liquid fertilizer is easy to use and is very safe for plants.
You should also always follow the package directions when diluting it with water to avoid accidental misuse. If you’re not careful, you can burn the plant with fertilizer. In the fall, you will need to reduce the amount of fiddle leaf fig fertilizer every three to four weeks. This allows the plant to prepare for the dormant phase in winter.
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How To Apply Fertilizer
Once you have chosen the fertilizer that best suits your lawn, its time to apply it. There are two types of spreaders that are most commonly used with granular fertilizers: a broadcast spreader and drop spreader. A broadcast spreader covers a larger area at one time spreading the granules over a larger area. The drop spreader is made to be more precise and controllable but does not spread over larger areas. Both spreaders are made to be pushed in front of you while you walk behind. Both spreaders are equally useful, so find which one is right for you!
Liquid fertilizers can be done with a handheld, hose-end applicator. They typically are harder to apply correctly on lawns and require more refilling so it is important to be comfortable with fertilizers before applying a liquid fertilizer to your lawn.
Also, try to follow a pattern when applying your fertilizer so your lawn gets an equal application, Do this by spreading the fertilizer around the perimeter of your lawn first and then, at a normal walking speed, spread the fertilizer back and forth between the edges that were just done.
Overall, fertilizer application is essential to keeping your lawn healthy and green all season long. If you find that you want to take the guess work out of the applications, give us a call for a free estimate to help you with all you lawn care needs.
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Determining The Best Times To Fertilize
Homeowners who prefer organic fertilizing methods might do a single “turf-builder” application in the early fall to build root systems. In the spring and summer, most may omit all fertilizers and rely on the nitrogen from mulched grass clippings to feed their lawn.
Homeowners using traditional fertilizer might want to apply two or three light applications per growing yearone in the spring, one at midsummer in regions where it is necessary, and one “turf-builder” application in the early fall.
The actual timing depends on your region and the type of turf grasses you have. For information on the best recommendations for your area, contact an expert at a local garden center or reach out to the nearest cooperative extension office.
Once you have figured out the best time, try to plan the fertilizer application with a short period of rainfall. If not, when you apply the fertilizer, you will need to supply your lawn with at least a quarter-inch of water. However, do not apply fertilizer before a massive storm. A rainstorm increases the risk of fertilizer nutrients flowing into storm drains and streams.
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How Long Can Fertilizer Sit On Lawn Before Watering
At Master Lawn, we typically say to wait 24 hours before watering your lawn after fertilizing. But it is important to make sure that it does receive a good watering session soon after that 24 hour waiting period. Watering helps the fertilizer to activate and to break down and begin feeding nutrients to the lawn.
Why Use Organic Fertilizer
Organic lawn fertilizer provides vitamins and minerals that your lawn uses to stay lush and green. This specialized variety of fertilizer might include animal proteins derived from processed animal products or waste, potash, seaweed, manure, compost and corn gluten meal.
Organic lawn fertilizer applied two to three times a year can take the place of many artificial treatments depending on the nutrient requirements of your lawn. It is important to remember that fertilizing is only one component of sound maintenance practices for a healthier lawn.
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Why Fertilize Your Lawn
Most grass varieties tend to be heavy feeders, which means they like lots of nutrition. Using the best lawn fertilizer will provide a stimulating boost to root and blade growth, not only helping it to grow dense and green, but also making the grass healthier to better fight off pests and diseases.
As a result, its an important part of your regular lawn care and maintenance. Grass fertilizer is not just for established lawns. It is important to fertilize newly growing grass and freshly seeded grass too, helping to establish it quickly, cover gaps in your lawn and create a uniform, beautiful spread.
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.
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Control Thatch In The Fall
Thatch harbours disease-causing organisms such as snow mould. In turf with excess thatch, the growing point of the plant is elevated above the soil. The soil has insulating properties that the thatch does not. Lawns with an abundance of thatch are more prone to winter injury. The ideal time for thatch control is the same as for overseeding and the first application of fall fertilizer. There are two major ways of controlling thatch – core aeration and dethatching. Core aeration cuts cylindrical plugs out of the lawn , breaking up the thatch and bringing up soil, which contains microorganisms, that help break down the thatch. De-thatching, or verticutting, is done by a machine that cuts into the thatch vertically, bringing up the debris, which is then raked up and disposed of.
Figure 2. Cylindrical plugs created by core aeration.
Fertilize Turf To Help Heal Damaged Lawns
Damaged areas in turf will recover more quickly with two applications of fertilizer in the fall. The first application should be made in early fall . This will help turf recover from damage that occurred during the growing season. Nitrogen and potash stimulate turf growth and repair, and harden off the turf for winter. Fertilizer should be applied at a rate to deliver 0.5 kg of nitrogen per 100 m2.
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Managing Fall Lawn Weeds
Like lawn grasses, common lawn weeds are either warm- or cool-season plants that follow the same seasonal growth peaks that lawn grasses do. Annual weeds, such as warm-season crabgrass, complete their life cycle in one year but leave plenty of seeds behind for years to come. Perennial weeds, including cool-season plantains, live many years. Untreated, they come back from the roots year after year and spread extra seed, too.
Early fall is a perfect time to tackle tough turf weeds. Existing perennial weeds are still active and hard at work storing up food reserves, which leaves them very vulnerable to treatment. Weed killers get swept through the plant along with carbohydrates meant for energy stores in stems and roots, and few parts of the plant escape.3 As warm-season weeds go dormant, movement through weeds slows or stops and resilience increases, making treatment more difficult.
Feeding your fall lawn and controlling its weeds helps leave grasses strong and healthy. With the help of the Pennington UltraGreen line of lawn fertilizers and IMAGE weed treatments, your lawn will be ready for the months ahead.
Never use any weed product on a lawn grass unless the grass is noted on the product’s label.
Pennington and Myco Advantage are registered trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc. Amdro and UltraGreen are registered trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.