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When Is The Best Time To Feed Your Lawn

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When Is It Time To Apply Spring Fertilizer In Michigan

The Benefits of Feeding The Lawn

There are several times throughout the year that property owners should fertilize their lawns. Spring is considered the optimal time to have a lawn fertilizer service such as Lush Lawn fertilize your lawn, this is because the soil temperature will reach approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the soil will encourage most lawn plants will begin to grow again. Here is when you should fertilize:

Early Spring This is the beginning of the growing season. Feed your hungry lawn! Weather permitting, February to April is actually a good time to consider fertilizing.

Late Spring From April to June, your grass will have used up its energy reserves, so you should reinforce it with a round of fertilizer application. If you already applied fertilizer in early spring, you should wait 6-8 weeks before applying the second round.

Ignoring Your Grass Needs

Taking a lawns age into consideration is important. A fully-grown lawn can handle a more powerful spray, whereas newly seeded lawns need a gentler touch. If you only have a small area of newly planted seeds, a Stationary Square Sprinkler works well for gentle spot-watering, while an Adjustable Length Wind-Resistant Rectangular Sprinkler can cover a bigger area.

For a sprinkler that will grow along with the grass, try the Circular Sprinkler Spike with on/off switch. The diffuser pin allows for a customized force of spray, from a steady shower for new grass to a more powerful stream for mature lawns.

Watering Different Lawn Types

How long to water lawn varieties and how to care for the different types will depend on several factors, including the season, the zone you are in and most importantly the type of grass you are growing. Different lawn types will have different watering and overall care needs, so it is important to pay attention to the type of lawn that is growing. Once you know how much to water a specific lawn type, it is easy to set a schedule that will give thirsty lawns the perfect amount of water all season long.

Warm-Season Grasses Warm-season grasses such as zoysia and bermuda grass grow best when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. They slow down when daytime temperatures start to drop, but they still need moisture to remain healthy. Continue to water them as long as the grass is growing and needs regular mowing. Fall is not the time to fertilize warm-season lawns. Wait until spring, when the active growing season begins.

Cool Season Grasses Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue and rye, are actively growing in the fall, recovering from summer dormancy. Cool fall temperatures keep evaporation rates low, but these grasses still need an inch to an inch and a half of water every week until frost ends the growing season. Cool-season grasses are also typically fertilized in the fall, and watering after fertilizing is important to wash the fertilizer off the blades of grass and down into the soil.

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When To Water Lawn After Fertilizer Application

Generally speaking, you shouldnt water your lawn after applying weed and feed, because the water can disperse the substance disproportionally. Rain and watering may cause that you have a lot of weed and feed granules on one spot and not enough on the other, and like that, you wont have good results. Thus, check the weather forecast to be sure that after fertilization, it wont rain for at least 48 hours after youve used lawn weed and feed.

When And How To Fertilize New Grass

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If you’re starting a new lawn from seed, sod or plugs or you’re doing bare lawn spot repair a starter fertilizer helps grass get the perfect start. Unlike established lawns, new grass benefits from extra phosphorus, an essential plant nutrient that supports strong, deep roots. Some states only allow phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers on new grass, so check with your county extension office if you’re unsure.

On fertilizer products, phosphorus is the middle number in the N-P-K ratio usually “0” in normal lawn fertilizers. But with Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4, you get an ideal ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, plus other essential lawn nutrients, including iron for deep green color. This premium fertilizer blend starts feeding new grass immediately and keeps feeding it for up to three months.

Always follow guidelines for the best time to plant grass seed for your region and grass type, then fertilize accordingly. For seed or plugs, apply fertilizer with a regular lawn spreader before you plant. If you’re starting a lawn with sod, fertilize after your sod is in place.

With any new lawn area, avoid using crabgrass preventer fertilizers or weed & feed fertilizers within four weeks before planting time. After seeding, wait until your new grass gets established and you’ve mowed your lawn at least three times.

Weed & feed fertilizers kill tough weeds and feed your lawn.

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What Is Weed And Feed

The term weed and feed is a general term for a number of products. Most of these products combine post-emergent broadleaf herbicides to kill weeds such as dandelions and clovers with fertilizers to give your lawn a quick dose of the nutrients it needs after a tough winter. Weed and feed products are produced by most major lawn care manufacturers and come as a ready-to-go liquid or in a dry granular form.

What Month Should I Fertilize My Lawn

Most lawn care companies recommend that you apply lawn fertilizer in the spring, between February and April. This is when your grass will start to green up as it begins to actively grow. Basically, if it looks like your grass is ready for its first mowing of the season, then it should also be ready for lawn fertilizer.

While most people know to fertilize their lawns in the spring, it is important to remember that fall feeding is critical, too. In the fall, grass roots are going down into the soil and need fertilizer to stay healthy. This is the most important application of fertilizer for the whole year since it will protect your lawn as it goes dormant over winter. However, if the fall you should use a specific fall fertilizer that is slightly higher in phosphorous and potassium, as it will promote better root growth. To ensure optimal lawn health, fertilize heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.

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Apply Lawn Fertilizer In Spring

Deciding exactly when to apply lawn fertilizer depends on where you live. According to Scotts, you should apply lawn fertilizer between February and April when your grass starts to green up and begins to actively grow. Essentially, if it looks like your grass is ready for its first mowing of the season, then it’s ready for lawn fertilizer.

Giving your grass a good dose of lawn fertilizer in the spring sets the stage for a healthy growing season. It strengthens the roots and gives the grass a boost of nutrients to sustain it as it grows. The type of fertilizer you need depends on what type of grass you have and if you want to address other problems, such as weed prevention, or kill pests, like fire ants.

If you’re not sure what type of fertilizer to use, you can speak with your local garden center expert to find out what works best for your grass. Are you not sure what type of grass you have? Cut a small sample and take it with you to show the garden center expert.

Apply Grass Fertilizer Correctly

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Now you’re ready to apply. Feeding the lawn is as simple as mowing it, and as easy as walking at your normal steady pace. Just follow these guidelines for easy application and even coverage.

If youre using a broadcast spreader, feed the entire perimeter of your lawn first. Engage the side-shield, which blocks off one side of the spreader to keep the product on the lawn and out of gardening beds and off driveways and sidewalks. Next, fill in the middle by turning off the side-shield feature and walking back and forth in straight lines. To get even coverage, overlap slightly on each pass by moving over 2 steps before you begin the pass.

When using a drop spreader, start by applying 2 header strips at opposite ends of the lawn to create a turning area. Next, fill in the rest of the lawn by applying the fertilizer back and forth in straight lines perpendicular to your header strips. To ensure you get even coverage, be sure to overlap the wheel tracks by about half a foot .

After youve finished feeding your lawn, return any unused product to the bag and store it for future use.

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The Best Time To Fertilize Your Lawn

Fall is a great time to fertilize the lawn. Lawns are hungry now and they will develop most of their root systems during this season.

Labor Day is a good time to fertilize lawns. Lawns are actively growing and this fertilizer promotes vigorous blade growth and stronger root systems.

A soil test is recommended to determine exactly what fertilizer your lawn needs. In most cases, a winterizer fertilizer is recommended. Formulations vary, but most winterizer fertilizers are approximately 25-3-10 . Winterizer fertilizers provide a little extra potash compared to summer fertilizers. This boost of potash promotes winter hardiness.

Fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen are valuable since they provide a consistent release of nitrogen to the growing plants. They are more expensive, however.

Follow the rates on the fertilizer package. A standard rate is 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. For reference, one pound of actual nitrogen is in four pounds of a 25% nitrogen fertilizer . Excess nitrogen can burn the turf.

Reduced rates can be used in shady spots. They grow more slowly and only need about half as much fertilizer as sunny spots.

To prevent creating dark green stripes in your yard, apply half the fertilizer going back and forth in one direction and the other half going perpendicular to that. For example, apply half going north-south and the other half going east-west.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research Institution.

When Should I Start Applying Fertilizer

During cold weather months, it is important for grass to maintain the integrity and strength of its root system to combat and preserve itself from the harsh winter cold and wind, so fertilizing during this period is not ideal or necessarily conducive to your lawns health. The same can be said for the hot summer months when the suns strong and intense rays can compromise the strength and integrity of the grass, which is focused on maintaining moisture and preservation as opposed to growth and propagation.

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Watering The Wrong Amount

While overwatering is a common mistake, it happens to be one of the most detrimental. Unless watering newly planted grass seed, dont water every day.

Frequent, shallow watering wastes water and money. It also leads to a number of lawn problems, including diseases, insect infestations and damage from heat and cold. On the other hand, watering longer but less frequently, deep watering, produces deep roots that mean lawns can better survive periods of drought. The ideal watering schedule is once or twice per week, for about 25 to 30 minutes each time.

Taking care of a lawn doesnt have to be an overwhelming, all-consuming task. Once all the tips and tricks are in your back pocket, it will be easy to come up with a routine that results in a gorgeous green lawn.

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How To Apply Lawn Fertilizer

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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.

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Are Lawn Fertilizers Safe To Use

The majority of lawn fertilizers are safe to use, but if you have pets that like to eat grass, it is worth checking the packaging when you buy for any contraindications, and keeping the pets off the lawn until it has had a good post-feed soaking to ensure the fertilizer has moved off the grass and down into the soil.

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.

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Should You Fertilize Before Or After Rain

Does it matter if you fertilize before a heavy rain? Yes, it does. This is not a good time to apply fertilizer because a heavy rainfall could wash away the fertilizer before it has an opportunity to break down and be absorbed. This is especially true on steep slopes. If you would rather not waste your time and the money youve invested, its best to fertilize when no rainfall is expected for two days, or spread the fertilizer before it rains if youre anticipating only light rainfall. The light rainfall can substitute for watering in the fertilizer after application.

When’s The Best Time To Plant

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The best time to plant depends on where you live and the type of grass youre planting. If you live in the North and are planting cool-season grass varieties, like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or fescues, the best time to plant grass seed is the spring and again in the fall. Cool-season grasses grow most actively when the air temperatures are between 50 and 80 degrees F, the soil temperature is 50 to 65 degree F, and rain is plentiful. Cool-season grasses go dormant and do not grow during hot weather, when the soil temperature goes above 65 degrees F. Since this is common during the peak summer months, planting cool-season grass seed can result in poor seed germination or even seedling death.

On the other hand, if you live in the South and are planting warm-season grass varieties, like centipedegrass, zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, or bermudagrass, the best time to seed is late spring through mid-summer. Warm-season grasses are originally from tropical areas of the world and, once established, are able to thrive in scorching sun and high temperatures. They grow most actively when air temperatures are warm, between 70 and 90 degrees F. In addition, seeds need warmer soil temperatures than cool-season grasses to germinate .

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Best Time To Apply Liquid Fertilizer To Your Lawn

One advantage of liquid fertilizer is that it works quickly and can green up your lawn and any trouble spots within a few days. On the flip side, it doesn’t feed the lawn as long as granular fertilizer and needs to be applied more often. The grass should also be dry starting out since any water already present will dilute the formula and render it less effective. While granular fertilizers are designed to feed the roots, liquid fertilizer can also be used as a foliar feed for the leaves, If used when the lawn is actively growing, liquid feeds can also quickly burn the grass if applied at the wrong time.

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.

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A Complete Guide To Lawn And Grass Feeding

Its a fact that lawns benefit from regular feeding. Without extra nutrients, the grass soon uses up plant food reserves in the soil and then turns pale and thin.

Without food to develop side shoots and thickness, the lawn seed is also open to invasion by weed seeds and moss, that thrive in low nutrient conditions. On the other hand, a regular supply of supplementary food makes your lawn thick and green.

This photograph on the right shows the difference feeding your lawn can make. On the left section the lawn has been fed with a granular lawn food, on the right section nothing extra has been applied. As you can see, the fed section of lawn is much greener and healthier looking.

There a few types of lawn feed, so you may be a little confused about what to look out for when buying online.

But dont fret below are the descriptions and properties of the types of lawn feeds, including the specific benefits of each.

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