The deep green healthy lawn is what every lawn owner would desire. A lawn that grows back in season with regular mowing is something that can be achieved provided you take care of essentials that your lawn needs. Steps for making a healthier lawn are really simple and by following them you can grow a neighbor-envying lawn. When we talk about essentials, fertilization is an important aspect in this regard that gives your soil extra nutrients for growth and health. Applying a fertilizer to your lawn would enrich and re-energize the soil and would nourish lawn. Knowing how to fertilize properly and at the right time is important.
Buying a Fertilizer:
Fertilization is a simple process yet effective provided you own right kind of fertilizer for your soil and apply it in a proper manner at the proper time. Effective fertilization would help in the growth of a lawn that has a density suitable enough for fighting against weeds and it will make your lawn capable of dealing with varied diseases and insects. When you want to buy a fertilizer for your lawn, few main points must be thought about in order to make a proper purchase:
- What type of grass are you fertilizing, is it cool-season or warm-season?
- What is the best time for fertilizing your soil in order to get the most effective results?
- What is the nutrition requirement of your soil and which nutrients are most needed?
- A wide range of fertilizers are available both organic and synthetic, choose the one that suits you best.
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When to fertilize and how much?
There cannot be one correct answer for this question as fertilization for a particular lawn really depends upon:
- Type of grass.
- Kind of fertilizer.
- Lawn fertilization schedule.
When to fertilize depending upon grass type?
Considering types of grass is important as different types grow in varied seasons and under varied conditions.
Warm-season Grass such as Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, St. Augustine etc. is grass that can be grown any time throughout the year. These require more maintenance and they would need around 3-4 pounds nitrogen over 1000 sq. feet of lawn space in a year. For slow release high nitrogen premium quality fertilizer, you would need to apply every 90-120 days during the start of season’s spring, summer and fall. Doing so would keep your lawn healthy all around the year. Some fertilizers (all-purpose ones) include less of nitrogen and thus you would need to fertilize lawn in 6-8 weeks.
Cool-season grass such as Fescue, Rye, Kentucky bluegrass etc. grows slowly and spreads likewise and it would need only around 1-2 pounds nitrogen over 1000 sq. feet of lawn space in a year. This type of grass would remain semi-dormant in the season of summer and you may get away with fertilization only during the seasons of spring and fall.
Best Time to Fertilize Lawn
Lawn grass not only grows but it also stores nutrients in order to flourish itself for upcoming spring. The best time to fertilize soil is during the fall season. Cool weather along with the warmth of soil, sunshine, and rain together give your grass a perfect combination to grow deep roots for itself and it helps seeds of grass in germination. So if you choose to fertilize lawn once a year, the season should befall. Apply a slow-release nitrogen-rich fertilizer so that your lawn would continue to get nutrition and nourishment for the spring season.
Summers are Tough
Lawns suffer during the summer season and this season proves really tough for them. They get more of heat, insects, drought, foot traffic and other common lawn problems. If you are applying slow-release fertilizer at the start of summer, you will be able to keep your lawn healthy, green all through this season. In order to deal with insects’ problem, use a fertilizer with insect control. For cool-grass, you would not need to fertilize during summers as these grass remain semi-dormant in summer so you would end up fertilizing/feeding weeds, not grass.
Some Important Tips
- Before you begin fertilization of lawn, you must check the forecast of local weather. Fertilization is best to be done the day when the forecast says that the next day would be light steady rain. In that way you will be able to save water and grass will be fed well.
- If not fall, the second best time to fertilize is in the spring season. During this season, grass needs to be fed and is ready to grow. 50% of your dormant grass will become green again as you fertilize your lawn.
- Quick-release weed and feed fertilizer must be used in order to remove all unappealing weeds without causing any harm to grass. These include a wide range of herbicide for killing away weeds while keeping grass safe. Apply to damp or wet lawns so that the herbicide can come in contact with weeds for elimination easily. If you have plans to reseed the lawn during the same season, avoid using weed and feed. You can apply such fertilizer during the spring season and can seed in the fall.
How to feed your lawn/Apply Fertilizer?
There are various methods used for fertilization and it depends upon the type of fertilizer, lawn size and on your personal choice. No matter what spreader you are using, make sure that you are spreading right fertilizer in the right amount in order to prevent your lawn from patchiness and discoloration. Labels of most of the fertilizers would offer proper recommendations and spreader settings. You can use:
- Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreaders – These are the most commonly used and known spreaders for fertilizing large areas of grass.
- Small-Handheld Broadcast Spreaders – These are used for fertilizing smaller lawns or even some patches that may be difficult to reach with other traditional tools.
- Walk-Behind Snap Feeders – These are really convenient and are gaining popularity now. They save you from a lot of mess and guesswork that you may need to work out with other tools for fertilizing.
- Drop Spreaders – Increased control is offered with these spreaders that are similar to broadcast spreaders. With this tool, you can drop fertilizer directly on the area of grass where you need to fertilize rather than fertilizing a large space.
- Liquid Spreaders – With this tool, you can affix a bottle of spray fertilizer and can easily apply fertilizers for the nourishment of your lawn.
Some Important Tips:
- In order to cover areas of your lawn uniformly for fertilization, apply it in overlapping patterns. Take one complete pass of your lawn vertically then go for a second one horizontally in order to make sure that the fertilizer is well-spread all around the lawn.
- Fertilize when grass is dry this prevents from leaf burn. Remember to water lawn as after fertilization soil would need water to have the nutrients soaked into it.
- Also, make sure that all the tools that you use over your lawn are clean before putting them away.
Fertilizing, watering, and mowing are important aspects of maintaining your lawn. In order to carry out all these tasks well you need to have proper tools and material. All these tasks with the use of proper equipment become even easier. We shared fertilization tips and methods here along with that for lawn mowing, you can go through tips to find the best lawn mower so that you can grow and maintain a green appealing lawn.