When Is The Best Time To Fertilize Your Lawn
The general rule is to apply your grass fertilizer in early spring, after the last frosts of winter. However, this depends on the type of grass you have.
- Cool-season grasses For cool season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and tall/fine fescue, which are prevalent in the northern parts of the USA, its best to apply a heavy dose of fertilizer in the fall followed by a lighter dose of fertilizer in the spring. These grasses tend to go dormant in very hot weather, so their main growing season is when its a bit cooler about 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Warm-season grasses These grasses include Bermuda, St. Augustine, kikuyu, zoysia and centipede grass. They like warmer and tropical weather, so are more prevalent in the southern parts of the USA. They respond well to a heavy dose of fertilizer in the spring , and a second dose just after the peak summer months have passed but before fall sets in.
Now that you know when to feed your grass and how to apply the fertilizer, you need the best product.
So, what is the best lawn fertilizer for spring on the market?
Lets take a look at the list below.
Fertilizer For Floratam St Augustine Grass
Floratam is one of the best varieties of St. Augustine grass grown in lawns due it its great resistance to cinch bugs and diseases. It grows really fast, meaning it also goes heavy on feeding .
- Within 24 hours, this variety of St. Augustine grass can grow up to 3/4 inch laterally.
- You need to fertilize floratam about 6 times in a year, starting spring through fall.
- When new, apply a 19-5-9 fertilizer to your sod or newly grown grass seed two weeks after planting.
- Water the lawn adequately especially after applying fertilizer.
- Repeat the St. Augustine fertilizer schedule every 6 weeks until 6 months old.
But what is the best fertilizer for Floratam St. Augustine grass? While all the fertilizers Ive reviewed above are great for St. Augustine grass, youll also find the ones below very nutritious for the Floratam variety that goes heavy on feeding.
Here are the best fertilizers for Floratam St. Augustine grass:
A Guide To Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Do you know your Peruvian bat guano from your liquid kelp?
If so, chances are you are a fan of organic lawn care.
Advocates for this more-natural set of lawn and gardening practices argue that if you rely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, your green lawn isnt environmentally green.
I think synthetic fertilizers have run their course, says Nate Clemmer, CEO of Philadelphia-based Branch Creek Lawn, a producer of organic lawn care products.
When it comes to synthetic fertilizers, People are beginning to question what theyre putting down, why theyre putting it down, and now we have alternatives, says Charles Chip Osborne, Jr., President of Osborne Organics of Marblehead, Mass., and founder of the Organic Landscape Association. As far as synthetics go, I dont need them. We can grow without them.
Synthetic fertilizers made from natural gas exploded into agricultural use after WWII, boosting crop yields and feeding billions. Their use expanded to home lawn and garden care shortly after, and with the encouragement of manufacturers, conventional lawn care in the United States became a series of cyclical chemical applications.
But that has created problems. Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from fertilizers, particularly in their fast-release form, have caused such environmental damage that 25 states have limited fertilizer use. And on an individual lawn level, synthetic fertilizers work against natural soil health.
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Types Of Organic Lawn Fertilizers
There are generally three different types of organic lawn fertilizer. Each has a different makeup and adds different nutrients and minerals to the soil. The three types are:
Plant-based. Plant-based fertilizers dont last as long as other organic options but theyre generally the best way to condition the soil. One of the major benefits of a plant-based fertilizer is they can be very effective at helping dry soils hold onto water.
Plant-based fertilizers often use bases of alfalfa meal, compost, cottonseed meal, legumes, and molasses.
Animal-based. These fertilizers include things like bone meal, blood meal, and manure. They add a lot of nitrogen to the soil and are great for the beginning of planting season or when you first seed your lawn.
Mineral based. An example of organic mineral-based fertilizer is calcium or Epsom salts which can add necessary nutrients to the soil while also changing the pH.
Sometimes, this is necessary for optimal growth and a mineral-based organic fertilizer is a great way to achieve it.
How And When To Use Lawn Fertilizers
Timing is extremely important to consider when trying to care for your lawn. As previously stated, the ideal time to begin fertilizing your lawn is when the temperature of the soil reaches and stays at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This usually happens in mid-April. Otherwise, you should consider your grass type and its growth rate when deciding on the fertilization you want to apply. You also want to consider the following factors:
- Age and growth of your grass
- The climate of the area you live in
- The type of fertilizer youll be applying
- Rain patterns and predictions
- Whether you want an organic or non-organic fertilizer
- Fast-release or controlled-release fertilizer
If your grass is new or young, you dont want to over-fertilize it, as fertilizer can cause more harm than good if the new grass isnt hearty enough to handle the treatment. You should pay attention to the weather patterns for the week that you want to take a day fertilizing your lawn. You should be looking for an opening of two to three days where there will be no chance of rain after spreading the fertilizer on your lawn. The rainfall could wash away your fertilizer and not only damage the environment in the run-off but will waste your time and money as a result.
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The Basics Of Organic Lawn Fertilizers
The purpose of any type of fertilizer is to feed your lawn to promote healthy grassroots and, ideally, control weed growth. Its what any type of lawn fertilizer is meant to do, and an organic, natural lawn fertilizer is no exception.
The best organic lawn fertilizers use naturally occurring mineral deposits like bone meal, composted waste, food waste, and other types of organic matter to create control weeds and help facilitate a green lawn. Most organic lawn fertilizers also do a good job of stimulating soil microbes and helping the soil pH so that all the nutrients can aid in plant growth and help your flower beds as well.
Whats more, most organic fertilizers are slow-release, meaning theyll feed your lawn for longer. As a result, the NPK, or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium makeup, of organic fertilizers is typically a bit lower than most synthetic fertilizers. But this isnt necessarily a bad thing. It just means that organic tends to be a slow-release fertilizer that works harder for longer on your lawn.
The Differences Between Chemical And Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Organic lawn fertilizers use natural organisms containing high levels of nitrogen, potassium, and other micro-nutrients. Chemical lawn fertilizers contain inorganic materials, and synthetic processes produce the nutrients. Organic fertilizers were once living organismsplant or animalso, using them in gardening put the nutrients back in the ground.
The primary nutrients in all types of fertilizersorganic and syntheticare nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium . Depending on what the fertilizer is used for, these three nutrients are in varying ratios. For healthy, green, vibrant grass growth, the two vital nutrients are nitrogen and potassium.
Researchers from the University of Illinois say that most organic grass fertilizers are from animal or plant sources. Common sources of plant-based fertilizers are seaweed , alfalfa, and cottonseed meal. When it comes to organic lawn fertilizers from animal sources, bone meal, poultry manure, or feather meal are all excellent sources of nutrients.
According to research, chemical fertilizers are usually the result of the petroleum industry. Synthetic fertilizers may produce results faster than organic natural fertilizers, but they contribute to environmental pollution. These types of fertilizers often kill off beneficial microorganisms in the soil, leading to poor soil and plant quality.
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Is Organic Lawn Fertilizer Better Than Synthetic
Organically-sourced lawn fertilizers benefit both the grass and the soil. Natural fertilizers stimulate microorganisms in the ground, improving soil structure. Unlike synthetic fertilizers that give a short, sharp growth spurt, organic fertilizers are gentler and feed turfgrass roots more effectively. The results of organic fertilizers last longer than synthetic ones.
Compared to synthetic chemical fertilizers, organic lawn fertilizers have the following benefits:
- Ease of useYou dont have to worry about over-applying organic fertilizer to your lawn or worrying about spills.
- NutrientsAll nutrients are natural and dont cause a harmful buildup of mineral salts in turfgrass soil.
- Micro-nutrientsAs well as containing the three primary nutrients , organic fertilizersunlike synthetic onesalso include many more nutrients that plants need.
- Rate of nutrient releaseThe nutrients in organic fertilizers break down slowly in the soil, feeding plants as they need them. The slow nutrient release also means fewer fertilizer applications.
- Impact on soilOrganic lawn fertilizers promote a healthy ecosystem in the soil and increases fertility.
- SafetyAll-natural fertilizers are safer for lawns as they dont burn roots. Also, organic grass fertilizers dont pose a risk for humans or pets when applied to grass.
- Environmentally-friendlyThere is minimal runoff or leaching into nearby water sources.
Top 15 Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer Reviews 2021
Making the transition from synthetic to organic lawn fertilizer is quite a massive, ground-breaking, yet much-needed move for true garden lovers. The right type of organic fertilizer will provide all important nutrients to the soil without damaging your grass, not to mention the high safety level to the environment and humans.
If you want a healthy, lush, cared-for lawn for your home, an organic lawn fertilizer that is best suitable for long-term use is what you need to consider. To save you a headache from looking up where to start and what to look for, I have compiled a starter pack of organic lawn fertilizer.
In combination with acceptable gardening practices, the organic lawn fertilizers endorsed in this article hopefully will make your ideal lawn no longer a far-fetched dream. What more can you ask for? Lets jump right in!
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Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer
For a fast-acting fertilizer, heres one to look into. Safer Brands fertilizer gets your lawn green in only 35 days.
Not only that, but a little of this goes a long way. One 25-pound bag covers up to 6,250 square feet.
The fast results come from how this fertilizer directly targets the grasss roots. It strives to make the root system more robust, thickening your lawn and rejuvenating it in the process.
It also strives to keep your lawn in prime condition all year as it wants to help the grass withstand temperature fluctuations and even drought.
Although, customers say a previous version of the same product was better. This one, apparently, smells worse and is messy to spread.
However, the quick results and the pet-and-kid-safe formula may outweigh this. Not only can the fertilizer thicken existing grass, but it also helps fill in patches and reduce how often you need to water the lawn.
Customers say there are better brands out there, which is true after all, this is #4 on our list. But for a thin spreading substance that works swiftly, its an excellent product.
Ive Decided And Im Going Organic
So, youve decided to go with the organic option. Figuring out which brand is the best comes down to a lot of different factors.
The ingredients that go into organic lawn fertilizer are almost as varied as the brands offering it. Make sure you pay attention to what is in the organic fertilizer you choose rather than purchasing on brand reputation.
In addition, pay attention to the one-size-fits-all organic fertilizers out there. They can help your yard, but it is better to choose one that has higher nitrogen levels. Or, depending on how scrawny your yard is, look for one with extra phosphorus added to it.
More than anything, you want to make sure that the fertilizer works for your lawn type and state specifically. If you do, your yard should be Instagram-ready in no time.
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Define Your Lawn Type
The most important thing is to know what state of lawn you are having right now. Some fertilizers only work on established grass to maintain and develop its blades while having no effects on seeds. Some products are slow-release fertilizers that gradually nurture your lawn in the long term. Some products will just instant feed without any stored nutrients. Therefore, read the product info carefully.
Also, knowing the type of grass you are working with is also recommended. Some grass types will be better in some particular climate as the leave blades are thicker, while others thinner, finer blades can grow well in cooler climates.
Scotts Green Max Lawn Food
Boasting fast action, this fertilizer promises to make your lawn greener in just three days. Providing your garden with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive with dual action, 2 in 1 formula both feeds and supplements the soil with iron. Thickening your grass to fill bare spots means fewer opportunities for weeds to grow and is able to work on any grass types in any season. You only need to feed your lawn every 6-8 weeks for a low maintenance garden care, and the product is child and animal-friendly which is excellent for families with pets.
Because this fertilizer is so fast acting, it’s perfect if you have left it until the last minute to improve your lawn, or if you have a garden event coming up and you want to add some extra color to the grass in your garden to impress your guests.
Coverage AreaFeed DurationOrganic
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When Should You Fertilize
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.
Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced Concentrated Spray Organic Lawn Fertilizer
This easy-to-use fertilizer by Simple Lawn Solutions is regarded as complete lawn food with a balanced 16-4-8 N-P-K formula.
Not only is this nutritional liquid a perfect mixture of macronutrients needed for your lawn, it also contains other high-quality feed-grade ingredients, but such as seaweed and fish. Such formulation provides pure nutrients in the form of liquid for a healthy, green, lush lawn.
The fertilizer works to promote a hardy root system that contributes to the overall health of lawns.
This lawn fertilizer is designed as a ready-to-use sprayer hence all you need to do is attach it to your hose, and you are good to go.
It can be used for all grass types, and you dont have to worry about the uneven application, as this product is not tricky to spray at all.
The only thing you should heed your attention to is watering your lawn sufficiently to absorb the precious nutrients properly.
The bottle contains 3 pounds of liquid fertilizer that is enough for 3,200 square feet of lawn.
|Complete NPK lawn food that contains added seaweed and fish.
Check out this video for a close-up of this product and an honest sharing from this lawn caretaker.
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How To Use Lawn Foods For Maximum Benefits
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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Is It Better To Choose Pure Nitrogen Fertilizers Or One That Contains Phosphorus Sulfur Or Nitrate
Phosphorus, sulfur, and nitrate are all beneficial to the soil and are natural fertilizers. When combined with nitrogen they can work wonders on your soil. However, certain kinds of plants do not grow well with these components and in such cases, you may want to consider investing in a nitrogen fertilizer only.
While phosphorus is great for plants, some states ban the use of phosphorus. You must check whether or not you can use a phosphorus-based fertilizer in your state before investing in it. While all these best nitrogen fertilizers are great, they work well on different kinds of soil and plants so research correctly before investing.
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Best For Use In Yards With Gardens And Flowers
If you are into organic gardening you may have already heard of the second item on our list WiggleWorm soil builder, the organic fertilizer made up of pure castings from earthworms, and one of natures best well-kept growing secrets.
This fertilizer is not only great for creating lush lawns, it is also an excellent food for your house plants, flower beds, trees, and garden plants. That said, it only takes a handful of this formula to lend massive growth to dead patches of lawn or to boost plant health.
The make-up of the fertilizer consists of two forms of worm castings. One is immediately taken in by the plant for a quick boost. The other has a pro-longed release that feeds your lawn or gardens and flowerbeds over the course of multiple seasons.