The More You Know The More Your Grass Will Grow Here Are The Best Ways To Maximize Your Lawn Fertilization Schedule
Understanding when and how to fertilize your lawn is a major component to maintaining a healthy, lush yard. Fertilizers give your lawn a healthier root system while eating up unhealthy nutrients. With some simple steps, youll be on your way to having a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood.
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.
The Challenges Of Fertilizing Your Own Lawn
One of the main challenges to tackling this yourself is the spraying of the weeds that have already popped up.
The pros have big tanks of chemical that they use, but you will have to use a granular weed and feed. This product will not work unless you apply it doing the very early morning while the grass is still wet from the due, as the particles have to stick to the leaves of the weeds in order to be effective in killing the weed.
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How Often Should I Fertilize My Lawn
Adding fertilizer to your lawn is one of the main ways to ensure that your grass is as healthy as possible. Throughout each growing season, your grass will slowly deplete its nutrient levels and these should be replenished manually. The trick in performing this task is to know how often you should fertilize your lawn.
Knowing how regularly to apply fertilizer to your lawn depends on the time of year. During late spring and early summer, your lawn will need to fertilize your lawn more frequently than during the late summer and early fall/autumn. This is because your lawn is more active during the spring and early summer and will be able to withstand more frequent applications of feed.
The rate of grass growth will slow during the late summer and early fall/autumn so, therefore, the lawn will require fewer nutrients.
This article contains two tables, one for U.S. gardeners and the other for U.K. gardeners, that list the most popular fertilizers. The tables refer to fertilizers that are designed to be applied at different times of the year.
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 .
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Aerate To Refresh The Lawn
Now youve spread the fertilizer evenly, what next? While its not a compulsory process, aerating treats soil compactions, and ensure that air, moisture, and nutrients can reach grassroots. And yes, aerating is very simple. Therere several ways to aerate your lawn, but for a starter, Ill recommend using an aerator.
How Often To Fertilize Lawn
Over-fertilizing is a thing. If once a year is right for your lawn, stick with that and dont get carried away. Fertilizer can be a valuable tool to keep a lawn healthy, dense and looking great, but it can also create environmental concerns if not used responsibly. Follow the label instructions on your fertilizer as each product has unique specifications and needs.
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When Should You Apply Iron Supplements To Your Lawn
The general rule is that you should use iron supplements on your lawn in the spring. Of course you can apply iron supplements at almost any time of year, but iron will deliver the best results when applied to your lawn when air temperatures are between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal air temperature is in the 60s or 70s. This is why Iron application during the heat of summer may not be as effective or deliver the desired results its too warm out.
Always remember to read the instructions to make sure you are using the supplement properly. Remember that you want to avoid overdoing your lawn with iron.
Boost Seed Growth With Compost
Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer, but theres one catchthe nitrogen in compost is contained in uric acid, and uric acid evaporates quickly when exposed to light. So, a thin layer of compost spread over your lawn will quickly lose most of its fertilizing power. There is a solution though. If your lawn was recently aerated it has thousands of tiny holes. You can spread compost over a recently aerated lawn to fill these holes and inject nitrogen-rich fertilizer into the soil.
- Compost is a great natural fertilizer that boosts grass seed growth.
- Only spread compost on your lawn if it has recently been aerated. Compost will retain more of its nitrogen content when it is used to fill aeration holes.
- Rake a thin layer of compost over your grass seedsit may lose most of its nutrients but it will serve as a protective layer to keep seeds moist and safe from birds.
Its a great idea to spread compost after aerating and overseeding. The compost will fill the aeration holes to funnel nutrients in the soil. Excess compost on the top of your grass seeds will keep them protected from drying out.
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How Often To Apply Starter Fertilizer On New Grass
When do you reapply your starter fertilizer after the sod is installed and the grass starts growing in? You dont!
Seriously. This is one of the most important things to remember: starter fertilizer should only be used before a new lawn is installed.
Why? Because it can actually damage your lawn if you use it later.
Remember the baby analogy from earlier? Well, after your lawn is installed, its no longer a baby, so you need to switch to more appropriate food.
In other words, the next time you fertilize you need to use regular fertilizer that is appropriate for the makeup of your soil and the size of your fertilization area.
What Should I Do After I Fertilize My Lawn
After application, the next steps should be clean up. Fertilizer that has been left behind could cause health risks to people, pets, and the natural environment. It is important that you take precautions to prevent mishaps. Fertilizer that has been left behind could potentially burn your grass, or runoff into storm drains. When loading your spreader, try laying down a tarp underneath to catch wayward granules.
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How To Fertilize A Lawn
This article was co-authored by Jeremy Yamaguchi. Jeremy Yamaguchi is a Lawn Care Specialist and the Founder/CEO of Lawn Love, a digital marketplace for lawn care and gardening services. Jeremy provides instant satellite quotes and can coordinate service from a smartphone or web browser. The company has raised funding from notable investors like Y Combinator, Joe Montana, Alexis Ohanian, Barbara Corcoran and others. This article has been viewed 126,367 times.
Is your lawn patchy with spots that are thinning? Fertilizing your lawn can help you get the lush, green grass you desire. To properly fertilize your lawn it’s important to prepare the ground, pick out the right fertilizer, and use a method that will give your lawn the best chance to grow in stronger and healthier. Once you’ve laid out your fertilization plan, try and remain consistent from season to season. With a little work, it truly is easier to keep and maintain a healthy lawn.
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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How Often Should I Fertilize A New Lawn
Dont fertilize a new lawn until the grass is actively growing and you have mowed the lawn at least three times. Then use a fertilizer that will promote strong roots without a surge in grass growth while keeping the lawn weeds at bay.
For U.S. based gardeners, fertilize your lawn with Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer .
U.K. gardeners should use a lawn fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro EverGreen Premium Plus Weed Control Lawn .
These fertilizers will slowly release nutrients into the lawn. You will only need to apply these once every 12 weeks while the lawn becomes established.
Its also worth mentioning that if you apply a crabgrass preemergent fertilizer or a regular weed and feed, ensure that you have waited four weeks before sowing your new grass seed.
How To Fertilize Your Lawn
When considering fertilizers, choose a slow-release variety. This will feed your plants slowly over time instead of the short burst of nutrition that quick release fertilizer provides. Quality slow-release fertilizers will provide proper balanced nutrition over time to develop a healthier plant and root system that combats heat, cold, drought and other stresses. Organic fertilizers, like compost, also add naturally-occurring material to the soil, which is important for air circulation, good water retention and drainage.
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Choose The Right Fertilizer For A Greener Spring Lawn
Kelly Burke is a professional turf manager for a manicured corporate campus in New England. He is accredited in organic land care and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He formerly managed the turfgrass as a golf course superintendent and has held several senior management positions at private country clubs overseeing high maintenance lawns.
- Working Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Total Time: 1 – 2 hrs
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $50
Keep your lawn or garden healthy before it goes into a period of winter dormancy with an application of fertilizer in the late fall. This is the time when cool-season grasses recover from summer stresses, such as drought, heat, and disease and turfgrass can begin to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems, rhizomes, and stolons. These carbohydrate reserves help grass resist winter injury and disease, as well as serve as a source of energy for root and shoot growth the following spring. Late-fall fertilization will also provide better winter color, enhanced spring green-up, and increased rooting. Additionally, a mild feeding of ornamental garden beds or vegetable gardens can also replenish soil that has been heavily depleted by growing plants over the season.
Maintenance Of Your Lawn After Fertilization
To fertilize a little less, leave the grass clippings on the turf after mowing. This is a natural way of putting nitrogen back into your soil and the roots.
If you are wondering whether and when to fertilize new grass, you can find out here.
To make this technique even more effective, try a mulching blade on your lawnmower. This cuts the grass into smaller pieces that will more readily start the decomposition process in your compost pile.
If your soil is of a heavy-clay nature, or you have a lot of traffic on the grass, then it may be useful for you to consider some type of manual lawn aeration from time to time, if you have a large lawn area to aerate, then you may need to use a tow behind aerator that can be pulled with your garden tractor.
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How Often Do You Have To Wait Between Fertilizer Applications
Fertilizers with a higher nutrient content will mean that you need to wait longer between applications in comparison to lawn fertilizer with a lower nutrient content. Some fertilizers can be applied once every four weeks whereas some you will need to wait as long as twelve weeks before you feed your lawn.
Knowing how long you will need to wait between applications will differ between the specific lawn fertilizer you have purchased.
A good tip to ensure that you dont over-fertilize your lawn is to make a note on a calendar the date you applied the lawn food. Read the instructions on your chosen fertilizer to see when the manufacturer recommends reapplying the feed. Then workout when the feed should be reapplied and add this date to your calendar.
Alternatively, set a reminder on your smartphone to prevent over-feeding.
The recommended frequencies of fertilizer application can be found in the tables further down in this article.
When To Apply Popular Us Fertilizers
Below is a guide detailing how often to apply popular U.S. lawn fertilizers such as Scotts or Pennington. It also states the key features of the fertilizer. Please note that the table only lists the multi-purpose fertilizers. There are fertilizers available for specific grass types such as St Augustine or Bermuda however, the products below are suitable for all types of grass.
Please note that the table below includes Amazon Affiliate links.
*NPK = Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium
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Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every 2 Weeks
Applying a fertilizer every two weeks isnt recommended as this will likely lead to problems such as lawn burn, excessive grass growth, and pollution to waterways.
A natural way of feeding your lawn every two weeks would be to leave the grass clippings on the lawn surface when mowing your grass. The grass clippings contain low nutrient levels that will slowly be absorbed by the soil as they naturally decompose and get eaten by earthworms. These wont burn the lawn or cause excessive growth. You might have to scarify your lawn more often due to this additional organic material being present, however, its recommended that you should do this every late summer or early fall/autumn anyway.
Most synthetic fertilizers are not recommended to be applied every 2 weeks, due to their night nutrient content.
For U.S. based gardeners, we have found that Extreme Grass Growth Booster *, is the only popular lawn feed on the market that can be applied once every 4 weeks to a lawn.
For U.K. gardeners, we have found that Empathy Supreme Green* , is the only popular fertilizer on the market that can be applied once every 4 weeks to a lawn.
*Make sure to follow the instructions on the packet to ensure application frequency before spreading this on your grass.
The recommended frequencies of fertilizer application can be found in the tables further down in this article.
Using A Drop Spreader
Choose a drop spreader for controlled fertilizer distribution. Overlap slightly on each pass to ensure you have adequate coverage, and don’t forget to close the hopper when you come to the end of a pass. You’ll typically pay more for a drop spreader, but if you’re tending a typical suburban-size lawn, it’s worth the investment. If you accidentally dump fertilizer onto your lawn, gather what you can, then use a stiff broom to spread out any remaining fertilizer as far as possible. Water it in well, and do so again a few days later to help move that nitrogen down through soil and out of the lawn’s root zone.
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How To Fertilize Your Lawn For Beginners In 5 Easy Steps
Fertilizer is an essential component of any healthy lawn.
While it may sound simple, theres actually quite a few things that go into choosing and applying fertilizer. For this reason, its not a good idea to just pick any fertilizer bag in the store.
To help you each step of the way, heres how to fertilize your lawn to get lush green grass.
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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