Understanding The Types Of Lawn Fertilizer
Using fertilizer for lawns is an effective way to prevent disease and pest damage and minimize maintenance. But what type of lawn fertilizer should you use?
- There are time-release fertilizers that are beneficial for feeding the lawn over many months and prevent the gardener from having to remember to feed again at a certain time.
- The gradual release also allows plant roots to harvest the nutrients they need slowly, preventing necessary elements from leaching away into the soil. This type of food is easy to apply and minimizes the chance of burning the lawn.
- Granular fertilizers may be time-release or slow-release. Either way, they are popular due to the ease of application.
- Liquid or water-soluble fertilizers are spread using a hose and provide a quick effective way to introduce nutrients rapidly to grassroots.
Many of these forms come in either synthetic or organic forms.
- Synthetic formulas are chemical and offer immediate release and quick greening of the lawn.
- Organic formulas are naturally made from once-living organisms or their byproducts.
The choice is yours on which application type and formula to use on your lawn.
Is There Really A Best Lawn Fertilizer Ratio
Yes, there is an ideal ratio of fertilizer for most lawns. The ratio of nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium in a fertilizer is the N-P-K ratio. The ideal lawn fertilizer ratio for most lawns is 3:1:3 or 4:1:2, but every lawn is unique and evaluating your soil with an accurate soil test kit is the best way to understand exactly what your lawn needs and unlock the full potential of your yard .
How To Choose The Best Fertilizer For Your Lawn
All plants, including lawn grasses, need certain nutrients to sustain life. Plants need three essentials nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in larger quantities than other plant nutrients. Nitrogen is the key nutrient behind vigorous, green, leafy growth. Lawn grasses need more nitrogen than any other plant nutrient.
Some lawn nutrients, including phosphorus and potassium, are generally available in sufficient amounts in healthy lawns. These two primary nutrients stay relatively immobile until used. Nitrogen, however, readily moves through soil with rain or irrigation water. The combination of high use and mobility means nitrogen needs to be replaced regularly to satisfy nutrient needs and keep grass healthy and green.
Look at a high-quality fertilizer such Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4, and you see the first number in the product’s N-P-K ratio is much higher than the other two. That number reflects the high percentage of nitrogen in that fertilizer.
When soil pH is too high or too low, grasses can’t access nitrogen or other nutrients effectively. Regular lawn maintenance and irrigation naturally lower soil pH over time. Simple soil testing reveals soil pH and phosphorus and potassium levels. You’ll also get nitrogen recommendations and discover if your lawn needs lime. A product such as Pennington Fast Acting Limerestores pH balance and nutrient availability in low-pH soils.
Proper nutrients help keep grass lush and green.
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Gather Tools And Materials
Lawn maintenance is easier when you gather your tools and materials in advance. If you need a lawn aerator for this project, or a truck to transport it, contact your local Home Depot store for tool and truck rentals.
You will need:
Need help finding the best type of grass seed for your region? Read this Home Depot guide on Types of Grass Seeds.
When To Hire A Lawn Care Pro
Even with the cost difference, it might be worth it to hire one of LawnStarters local lawn care pros to fertilize your lawn for you. For one thing, fertilizing the lawn takes a lot of time and effort. For another, pros know what theyre doing, and you run the risk of missing or overfertilizing spots if you do the job yourself, leading to a patchy and unattractive lawn.
Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock
LawnStarter participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. LawnStarter may earn revenue from products promoted in this article.
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Use The Right Spreader
When applying lawn fertilizers, always use a lawn spreader. Never spread product by hand! A broadcast spreader with a side-shield feature like the EdgeGuard® feature is great for most lawns. This makes application along the lawn’s perimeter easy by shutting off half the spreader flow, so product is only applied on the lawn and not on non-lawn areas like the driveway, sidewalk, or landscaping. A drop spreader is another option for small spaces because the application area is much narrower. Learn more about which spreader is right your yard .
Fill the spreader hopper with your lawn fertilizer, then set the spreader to the recommended setting listed on the product package. If the product package does not provide a spreader setting, it is not intended for lawn use.
Jonathan Green & Sons 12400 10
It helps in preparing your lawn for winter and is considered as ideal for fall seeding it covers up to 5000 sq. ft of area and promotes root growth.
Jonathan Green 12400 10-0-20 winter survival fall fertilizer, helps to prepare your lawn for the winter with its well-balanced formula to nourish your lawn grass.
Known as one of the best winteizer fertilizer, it promises to keep your lawn grass greener, its fertilizer enhances root growth and keep nutrients stored for the spring.
You should apply this Winterizer when you notice that grass has stopped growing in the fall season. It is particularly designed to ensure your lawn is prepared for winters.
Be clear this doesnt increase the grass growth it just ensures that grass retains enough food to start its good growing arte in following spring.
Its always advisable to use a spreader to ensure even coverage of your entire lawn, read instructions carefully before doing the job.
This product is quite popular because of it grass retaining capabilities and thus have collected good review from people who have used it.
This is a must have product for those, who really want to keep their lawn safe in fall and look forward to have a lush green garden in springs.
- Doesnt promotes grass growth.
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Whats Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before Or After Rain
You just got back home and noticed that your beautiful lawn needs another round of fertilizer. However, you know that poor application could damage your grass and cause other problems. You also know that the effect of the fertilizer depends on the timing of the application. Some people do it before the rain, but as the experts in lawn care, recommend fertilizing your lawn after the rain.
This article will help you understand why you should apply fertilizer after the rain and how it affects your grass.
In This Article:
Tips For Applying Fertilizer After Rain
The first thing you should consider is whether your grass needs any fertilizer at all right now. Your lawn may not need fertilizer if you just applied it recently. Consider the following tips.
- Wait until the soil is wet
- Use organic fertilizers
- Avoid application when it is hot and humid
- Avoid spraying nitrogen when the grass is browning
Also, you need a lawn maintenance plan to know when to add more fertilizer and how to do it. It will help you avoid the mistakes that most gardeners make, which cost them their beautiful grass.
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Why We Recommend Trugreen
When it comes to providers, House Method recommends TruGreen, which has been in business for almost 45 years and is Americas #1 professional lawn care company.* Whether you want fertilization and basic weed control or more extensive services, TruGreen has a plan to fit your needs. All work is performed by trained specialists who visit your home every four to six weeks, leave a summary of the services performed, and provide you with tips for lawn care between visits.
TruGreen lawn care plans start with a Healthy Lawn Analysis, where specialists will evaluate the soil conditions in your yard, the kind of grass you have, and how you use your yard to determine your lawns specific needs. All customers get the Healthy Lawn Guarantee®, with TruGreen promising to make any adjustments needed to ensure youre satisfied, with no charge for the callback visits.
TruGreen offers various combined packages to meet your lawn needs, with 50% off your first application offer if you want more than fertilizing services. TruGreen lawn plans include these options:
- The TruHealth® Lawn Plan covers eight visits a year. Specialists will apply lime and a regular fertilizer regimen, pre-emergent, and targeted weed control.
- The TruComplete® Lawn Plan includes all of the above, plus an aeration service.
- The TruSignature® Lawn Plan covers all of the above and adds four visits to care for your trees and shrubs.
Read our TruGreen Review to learn more.
Compare TruGreen to other lawn care services
Scotts Turf Builder Winterguard
Best Lawn Fertilizer for Reoccurring Weeds in Winter
This fertilizer is perfect for gardens that suffer from recurring weed issues. It controls up to 50 different lawn weeds, including dandelions, clovers, and chickweeds. It’s made specifically for the winter season, meaning you can keep your lawn looking great in those colder months where plants would typically struggle to grow.
This fertilizer will ensure your grass grows thicker and with fewer weeds, providing you with the perfect lawn. While this product saves you all the hard work, you’ll have more time to enjoy your garden.
With the ability to keep weeds at bay, this fertilizer will save a lot of hard work in maintenance. Investing in this fertilizer will not only make your garden look great in harsher weather but will provide a stronger foundation for success in the spring.
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What Type Of Grass Do You Have
Knowing what grass you have is important. If you dont know your grass type, you cant select products optimized for its type. In addition, some weed and feed varieties target some grasses as weeds. Its not a good thing for your fescue lawn if its fertilizer will kill it off!
Some grass types are best in a particular climate. As an example, many of the thicker-bladed grasses can tolerate more heat than the slender-bladed types. This makes them a great choice for southern climates. The fine-bladed types may grow more readily in cooler climates and can return quickly after frost or ice.
As a general rule, a product that is just a fertilizer without any form of weed control can be used on most lawn types. You will still need to have an idea of your lawns ideal needs for best growth, but its less likely to cause damage.
Urban Farm Fertilizers Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
Ever heard of a hand-crafted, micro-brewed fertilizer? Probably not. Surprisingly, Urban Farm Fertilizers made this liquid lawn fertilizer as a hand-crafted, micro-brewed formula that suits pasture and lawns.
This fertilizer contains a balanced N-P-K level and Iron to ensure both macro and micro nutrition for your lawn. It also contains enzymes, humic acid, and mycorrhizae to benefit your grass.
One gallon of this formula is enough to cover an area equivalent to 5,000 square feet for a minimum of 8 applications. This means just a gallon can easily cover at least 40,000 sq ft of area in total. Also, it goes pretty well with hose-end spraying and a tow-behind tank to make your work much easier.
So, if you are thinking of going for a liquid fertilizer for your lawn, you should definitely check this one out.
What We Like:
- Complete nutrition both Macros & Micros.
- Suitable for all pasture and lawn.
What We Dont Like:
- It shows result slowly.
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What Do The Letters Stand For In Fertilizers
If you look closely at labels for the best fertilizers, you will find three letters: N-P-K. These letters denote the N represents the Nitrogen in the mix, P stands for Phosphorus or Phosphate, and K stands for Potassium or Potash. These are the primary nutrients that plants need.
In order to determine the most optimal combination, you typically need to do a soil test. This will show you what youre lacking, and you buy the right fertilizer to compensate for it. For more info on how to do a soil test, check out this video below.
Your recommended NPK ratio also depends on your grass type. For example, in Bermuda grass fertilizers, the most common formula is a 4-1-2. Many nation-wide brands are now omitting phosphorous, as there is some debate about its environmental safety. Phosphorus is more crucial with developing the root system. Nitrogen is what makes your grass greener. Potassium aids in overall lawn health.
Should I Fertilize Or Kill Weeds First
Weeds are highly unwanted plants that, in most cases, thrive on the nutrients for wanted plants. While we look to maintain a healthy-looking lawn grass, we could face the growth and intrusion of weeds. Lawn owners are focused on fertilizing their grass to improve its appearance and, at the same get rid of these weeds. It is advisable to kill the weeds first before applying fertilizers it is possible using safe herbicides that would not affect your grass in any way. Once the intruder is out of the way, we can fertilize our beautiful grasses to give them the appearance we seek.
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Greenview Fall Lawn Food
Best Lawn Care for the Fall
GreenView Fall Lawn Food is great for the approach to cooler weather, with no-phosphate enhanced efficiency that promotes faster growth. This enhanced efficiency fertilizer helps roots grow faster, improving the absorption of nutrients. It aids water retention to protect against heat and drought. It’s best to apply this fertilizer in the fall.
GreenView will enrich your soil with the nutrients it needs to increase root strength and produce thicker, greener grass. By revitalizing the soil, the fertilizer will aid in faster and stronger growth than unfed soil. It feeds your lawn for up to 8 weeks.
This fertilizer not only prepares your garden for withstanding the winter months but also reduces the need for watering. This makes it convenient in climates where rain is sparse.
Environmentally Friendly Options
Yes, there are organic options that wont harm wildlife or pollute water from runoff! Some of these are directly labeled organic but, even without that word, some fertilizers are safe this way too just check labels and dont buy fertilizers that list chemical ingredients, only naturally-derived ingredients.
Greenview 2129269 Fairway Formula Lawn Fertilizer
The Fairway Formula fertilizer is specifically designed to revitalize the green color of the grass for a long time to help it grow and reduce the clippings. It strengthens the roots, and it thickens the lawn, without causing any excess growth and without burning the grass.
The 27-0-5 nutrient ratio is meant to properly feed the lawn without any phosphate that can be detrimental to waterways. It contains immediate release nutrients and also 63% slow-release nitrogen that continues to be released gradually, for long-term results. Its advisable to feed your lawn when the grass is actively growing.
This fertilizer gives good results that last for up to 12 weeks, and it works on any type of grass. The 16.5-pound pack is enough to treat up to 5,000 square feet, and it doesnt have the unpleasant odor that other fertilizers have.
If you are interested in deepening the color of your lawn, helping it grow faster, but you also want fewer clippings, the Fairway Formula lawn fertilizer is a good choice.
The 27-0-5 nutrient ratio means that it doesnt contain any phosphate, which makes it safer for waterways, while still providing all the essential nutrients for your lawn.
Thanks to the combination of immediate-release nutrients and 63% slow-release nitrogen, it gives fast results, and it also offers long-term support.
Although it helps grass become lush and thick, it prevents any unwanted growth, and it also doesnt burn the grass.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
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How Often Use Grass Fertilizer
Fertilize lawn how often and when? This problem is troubled by many people.
First, you have to know that the lawn can be divided into two different types: Cool-Season Grasses and Warm-Season Grasses.
Cool-Season GrassesCool-season grasses include Kentucky blue grass, perennial rye grass, bent grass, tall fescue and fine fescue. These types of grass grow most vigorously in winter, so they should be fertilized in fall.
When Should I Fertilize My Lawn
The best time to add fertilizer to your lawn is in late spring, after the ground has warmed up and your grass has already begun growing. It’s important not to apply fertilizer too early in the season, as this can stunt your grass’s growth. Many people choose to apply more fertilizer once or twice more during the growing season, but this depends on your yard’s specific needs.
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Best Organic Fertilizer: Milorganite 06
Milorganite, which is made by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, consists of heat-dried microbes that were processed after they were used to eat nutrients from wastewater. Its N-P-K formulation is 6-4-0, and it can be applied at any time during the grass growing season. The nitrogen is slow-release, so theres no danger of burning your grass, and the formula feeds your lawn for a long time with no need to reapply. The product includes 4% organic iron for added greening.
Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want an organic fertilizer, Epsoma ELF20 Organic Lawn Food is one of the best options out there encouraging healthy, thick grass growth.
While it does take time to work since its an organic product, it does work, making grassroots grow strong and deep and blades grow long, thick, and green. Because its organic you wont have to worry about burning your lawn, poisoning water runoff, or hurting children and pets. While the current price is expensive, its definitely worth it, transforming established lawns.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: This organic fertilizer is perfect for people who have established lawns, want to encourage growth, and need a fertilizer that is totally safe to use.
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