How & When to Fertilize the Lawn
It’s no secret that fertilizer plays a very important role in helping lawns grow to their full potentials. However, it is definitely easy to get lost over the type of methods or schedules one should use when fertilizing the lawn. In this article, we take a look at how one should tackle lawn fertilizing as well as the best times to feed your lawn with nutrients and minerals.
Types of Lawn Fertilizer
Before we delve into the methods, it is important to have an understanding of the various types of lawn fertilizers available in the market today. The type of fertilizer you use will definitely influence the method and schedule you follow. All lawn fertilizers should come with three important numbers listed on the packaging. Each number indicates the percentage of a specific soil nutrient. Let’s say for example you see the number 10-20-10. This means your bag of lawn fertilizer contains 10% of nitrogen, 20% of phosphorus, and 10% of potassium.
It’s extremely important to be able to understand the importance of each nutrient because each plays a unique role to lawn development. For example, nitrogen is a nutrient that provides lawn grass with the ammunition for fast growth, and it is also known to help grass get its vivid green color. Potassium, on the other hand, helps maintain the overall health of the grass. It also helps grass build resistance against common diseases such as brown spots. Because each type of nutrient serves a specific function, they help determine the best time to apply certain types of lawn fertilizers.
How to Fertilize the Lawn
So what is the best way of fertilizing the lawn? There are several factors you will first have to consider before you spread the lawn feed. First, what is the size of your lawn? If you are dealing with a large area then you will most likely want to consider getting a lawn spreader to help distribute the lawn feed evenly. If you are dealing with a mini lawn then it may be as simple as doing it by hand.
The next step is to determine the acidity of your lawn soil. Get a pH testing kit and determine whether your soil has acidic conditions or alkaline conditions. This is important because you want to get fertilizer that helps optimize the soil pH to favorable conditions. Most grass types thrive in soil pH conditions of 6.5 to 7. Therefore, if you are dealing with something that is lower or higher than that value, then applying fertilizer is one way of balancing the soil conditions.
Once you have bought the appropriate lawn fertilizer, it’s time to spread it around your lawn. As we mentioned earlier, the easiest way of doing this is to get a spreader. Keep in mind, however, there are different types of lawn spreaders. The basic types are: drop spreaders, broadcast spreaders, and handheld spreaders. Drop spreaders tend to be better suited for small lawns, while broadcast spreaders are suited for larger ones.
When to Fertilize the Lawn
Now that you have the methods nailed down, it’s time to understand the best times to fertilize the lawn. As we mentioned before, this depends on the stage of lawn development you are at. Generally, we see two specific time periods as the most important times to fertilize your lawn. Those are early spring and summer. This doesn’t mean you should neglect your lawn feeding duties during other times of the season.
Feeding during early spring is important because you want to give your lawn a strong foundation from the very beginning. Most gardeners also consider getting weed & feed products which have the additional feature of killing common weeds in the lawn. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see weeds appearing in your lawn after winter.
Feeding during the summer is important too because your lawn grass is likely to face a lot of problematic conditions such as droughts, heat, and insects. Keep your lawn grass vibrant during this stressful period by reinforcing it with high-quality lawn fertilizer.
Other important times to fertilize include fall and late spring. Fall is especially important for people dealing with cool season grasses. Make sure your lawn remains vibrant and green by feeding it with nutrients and minerals on a regular basis.