The Science Behind Fertilizer
While this is an extensive topic for another blog post, using the right mix and the right quantity of fertilizer is important in addition to paying attention to the best time to fertilize and should be researched before applying.
The Goldilocks mantra of avoiding extremes applies here too. Make sure not to apply too much fertilizer, nor too little. Either can cause problems with your lawns growth, health and appearance. Plus, too much fertilizer can harm the environment, with nutrient run-off into the water system and ecosystem. Looking for guidance? This is where a landscaping company that provides lawn fertilization service and other lawn care comes in.
If youd like to learn more about proper lawn care, reach out to the professionals at GreenEarth Landscape Services. Give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at 267-0010 to set up an appointment. You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation.
How Often To Fertilize
The frequency in which you fertilize depends on your climate and the type of grass you have. In general, youll want to fertilize your grass during its peak growing season, which is during the fall for cool-season grasses and spring for warm-season grasses.
While one application may be enough, follow the instructions listed on your specific fertilizer for more detailed information. Some fertilizers recommend an application every eight weeks, while others recommend just a few times per season. Regardless of your application preference, its important to avoid overfertilizing, which can damage your grasss root system and lead to poor drainage.
Avoid Fertilizer Burn From Overfertilizing
If you have a lawn with only one species of grass, be careful that youre not overfertilizing your lawn, even if you stick to a once-a-year schedule.
Certain species, like Zoysia and Centipede grass, are incredibly slow growing, even during peaks in their growth cycle.
Remember, the purpose of fertilizer is to replenish minerals that have been removed from the soil.
If you apply fertilizer with too heavy a hand or you add it too often, you risk causing fertilizer burn on your lawn.
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Here Are Some Tips On The Proper Way To Apply Fertilizer To Your Hydroseeded Lawn:
Regularly apply slow-release fertilizer until you have a fully established lawn. Apply commercial fertilizer when the soil is moist. This is to prevent your foliage from burning. Always read the instructions in the bad and apply fertilizer based on the recommended rates. Avoid over-fertilizing. Use a high-nitrogen fertilizer and avoid using a fertilizer with weed control for a three-month period after hydroseeding. Apply fertilizer on a dry lawn. Water thoroughly after fertilizing. Apply fertilizer after a heavy downpour. The rain may dilute the fertilizer. The color of your grass dropping off is the best indicator that you need to re-apply fertilizer. Very sandy soil is porous soil and will require more fertilizing because nutrients will rapidly rinse off. Apply fertilizer with a 1:2 ratio of nitrogen and phosphorus during the fall. Add more phosphorus during the late fall to prepare the roots of your grass for dormancy in winter. Avoid fertilizing during winter because it is dormant anyway and will not be needing more nutrients. Always make sure to use a slow-release fertilizer formula of top quality.
It is also best not to use a weed killer or a fertilizer with weed killer on your young lawn.
Should I Fertilize My Lawn In The Summer
If you would like to maintain a lush, perfect Jonathan Green Black Beauty® lawn throughout the heat of summer, you should fertilize it to ensure that it stays healthy.
Jonathan Green has specialized in beautiful lawns since 1881. Six generations of the family have worked to perfect our genetically superior grass seed and our family of lawn and soil care products. Our products will transform every aspect of your lawn to help it thrive like never before.
By following our revolutionary New American Lawn Care Plan, caring for your lawn will be easier than ever. You will learn how to address the root of any lawn problems, instead of merely battling symptoms such as weeds and insects. Our goal is to feed your lawn AND your soil to encourage your Black Beauty® lawn to thrive.
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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.
What Are Some Different Winterizing Fertilizers
So what are the different winterizing fertilizers? Most fertilizers for fall will be rich in nitrogen, which helps plants store energy in their roots. If youve got a warm-season lawn, make sure to look for fertilizers with potassium, as nitrogen might stress this kind of grass out too much. Pay attention to the N-P-K, aka the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium percentage values your winter lawn fertilizer might not be that different from less expensive regular fertilizers.
Slow-release fertilizer is best for early fall. When your grass is on the verge of dormancy during the brink of winter, a quick-release fertilizer, on the other hand, is preferable for winterizing. Itll soak up into the soil fast so that your fertilizer wont wash away during the winter. Want something organic? Organic fertilizers tend to break down more slowly, but you do have some options. Packed with nitrogen and potassium, fish emulsion is a potential organic choice, though it has a noticeably pungent odor and should be used in moderation to prevent plant burn.
Winterizing your lawn may initially sound convoluted, but its quite simple. Long story short, you want to fertilize your turf right before winter so that it can store energy to push out beautiful growth during the spring. With an understanding of how to fertilize and which fertilizer you should use, youll be on your way to preparing a lush green lawn for spring.
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Caring For Your Lawn In Summer
Have you fertilized your lawn since the beginning of the year? If youve done it only once in spring, your lawn is hungry and needs to eat. During the growing season of March through November, it should be fed four times to help it resist insects, heat and drought conditions.
Jonathan Greens Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer offers outstanding performance. It can be used on all types of turf grass and will consistently feed the lawn for up to three months. It is not affected by excessive rainfall and will yield a rich-green color within 7 to 10 days after application. Spread this product a day or two after mowing and when the lawn is dry.
A gentler fertilizer option during the hot, dry summer is Jonathan Greens Organic Lawn Food. This complex, fully organic lawn fertilizer will provide excellent nutrition for your lawn for 8 to 10 weeks. It can be used on established and newly seeded lawns or when sodding. It helps to rejuvenate thin, stressed lawns by adding complex, all-organic high-quality food-grade ingredients, such as feather meal, blood and bone meals, wheat shorts and molasses, that help improve soil structure and the soils water holding capacity.
Apply Jonathan Green Grub and Insect Control which contains Imidacloprid and Lambda-cyhalothrin technology to control over 25 lawn pests, including grubs and surface feeding insects.
What To Do After Youve Fertilized Your Lawn
After youve fertilized your lawn, youll need to observe its growth to make sure youve done the job properly and take proper steps, depending on what you find.
- Know what minerals you need to add. Make sure you have essential tools on hand like soil mineral and pH test kits, which will tell you what minerals are lacking and if the pH is too high or low.
- Another late-season application. Based on its growth, you may need to add more fertilizer later in the season, especially if youre dealing with cool-season grasses in the fall.
- Retest after heavy rain. While following fertilizer with water will protect your lawn and improve your soil quality, too much water is not a good thing.
If theres heavy rain within a day or two of fertilizing your lawn, make sure your lawn hasnt lost everything you just added. Retest and apply fertilizer one more time, if needed.
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Using A Handheld Broadcast Spreader
A handheld broadcast spreader works well for fertilizing small lawn areas. Walk evenly and slowly, and be sure to overlap distribution patterns slightly with each pass. A small spreader like this also works really well when you have shady areas in your lawn that require a different fertilizer rate than the sunny sections. Some fertilizers combine an herbicide with the lawn food. These products are sold as weed-and-feed lawn care products and are applied using a lawn spreader.
Keeping Up With Fertilizing Schedules
You may love your lawn so much that you print out this blog post and hang it on your fridge. You could even set up reminders in your digital calendar to notify you when its time to fertilize for the season. But if you prefer an easier alternative, sign up for our Monthly Lawn Tips emails. Well send you an email each month with tips on fertilizing, mowing and dealing with pest or disease problems in your lawn.
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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.
So Whats The Bottom Line
The best bet is to work with a Pro. Yes you can fertilize on your own, it can even be quite fun, but is not always an easy task. If you want to do it on your own be sure to check know the best fertilizers for your lawn.
This plan works well for southeastern climates, but if you live in a warmer climate such as Florida you will want to read our guide for caring for St. Augustine turf.
Use this fertilizer guide to fertilize to schedule your own fertilizer program, or in to better inform yourself when you hire the pros. GreenPal is a great source for lawn care professionals, take a look the next time you need to hire someone for your lawn care needs.
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Best Times To Fertilize A Lawn
The right time to fertilize your lawn is influenced by the type of grass you have. Much of the country has either cool-season or warm-season grass, with some areas combining the two types for a more versatile lawn. Its important to identify your grass type and plan your lawn care schedule around its needs. Below is a quick overview of which seasons are best for fertilization based on your lawn type.
Fertilizing Help From Experts
You now know when and how to fertilize your lawn, but if you want to hire a dedicated team of professionals to help out, contact us. Whether you are responsible for a single-family home, a townhouse complex or a soccer field, Lawn Troopers are uniformed and fully insured and equipped with all the necessary tools to fertilize a range of grassy landscapes. Contact us to request a quote.
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When Not To Fertilize Your Lawn
Don’t apply fertilizer when a heavy rainstorm is in the forecast. A downpour may wash the fertilizer away. But if you’re expecting a moderate amount of rain to come and to fall steadily upon the earth, this is an ideal time to fertilize: It will save you from having to water the fertilizer in, yourself.
Since heat and dryness are your enemies when fertilizing a lawn, avoid applying fertilizer to your grass during periods of severe drought. Your grass is stressed at such times, increasing the likelihood that a chemical fertilizer will burn it.
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.
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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.
Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every Two Weeks
Many lawn owners fertilize their lawn every two weeks. But this is really harmful to your lawn. Many lawn professionals recommended that fertilization in every 6-8 weeks is best for your lawn. Many suggested that fertilization in every 4 weeks interval and some other suggestions that twice or thrice in a year is best for your lawn. But you must avoid fertilization when your lawn is going to dormant or remain dormant in cool-season. Only you fertilize your lawn when your lawn grassroots and blades are active growth.
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After Your First Lawn Fertilizer Application
So now you know about the first treatment, but are wondering how often to fertilize lawn areas throughout the rest of the year?
After your first application, you want to apply another round of fertilizer 6 to 8 weeks later and repeat that two more times with 6 to 8 weeks in between.
Try to schedule your applications so you apply ahead of the hottest part of summer to give your lawn the necessary boost.
For an established lawn, youll fertilize 4 times each season, though that is based on some important assumptions. If your grass is damaged and youre growing it fresh, your lawn will require more treatments until its established.
This is also true if your lawn has a species of grass that isnt native to your climate, like in areas that are more hostile to grasses. Alternatively, the opposite is also true. Fertilizing regularly is most necessary when trying to keep alive grasses that arent native to your area.
Its very likely you can get away with only fertilizing 1 to 2 times per year if the grass in your lawn is native. A healthy lawn can get by with fertilizing in the spring, and maybe again In the fall to keep it strong through the off-season.
The Best Times To Apply Fertilizer
Whether youre a seasoned turfgrass fanatic or a first-time lawn owner, fertilizer schedules arent always the easiest to track throughout the year. Have no fear! Were here to help you keep up with when to fertilize your lawn, what type of fertilizer to use, and even how to organically care for your lawn if conventional fertilizers arent your thing.
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Consider Using Grass Clippings
You can allow grass clippings to remain on the lawn for them to decompose. Doing this will allow you to recycle the nutrients in them this can then serve as an alternative to synthetic fertilizers during summer. This action is usually called grass cycling.
Removing grass clippings can lead to a decline in your turfs growth and then cause it to lose its lush green appearance. Whereas, letting grass clippings remain on the lawn will invariably lead to an increase in growth as well as improve its appearance.
With this method, you can cut down on your use of fertilizers by as much as one pound of nitrogen per 1, 000² feet of turfgrass.