Lawn fertilizer is a great way to add nutrients and improve the health of your grass. When applied correctly, fertilizers will provide these elements to your plants. The right amount of fertilizer at the right time will ensure healthy, lush green grass. When you fertilize your lawn it not only prevent weeds, but it also improves water retention and you are providing your plants with the proper vitamins, nutrients, and minerals it needs to grow. Here are some steps you can take so you can make sure you have the best lawn on the block!
According to The University of Maryland, "Fertilizer is essential for maintaining healthy, relatively weed, and disease-free grass.". Fertilizer is meant to provide the essential nutrients that will allow it to overcome everyday stressors such as weeds, over-watering, and drought. When fertilizing your lawn, there are many key factors you should consider in order to ensure the healthiest lawn possible. First, determine what type of fertilizer you are going to use. Next, you should determine how much fertilizer you actually need, and lastly, you must choose a time of year that is most beneficial to your lawn. The timing is key!
Choosing the Right Lawn Fertilizer Product
As previously mentioned, choosing the right kind of fertilizer for your lawn is essential. When it comes to Lawn Food, there are so many brands but it essentially boils down to two options: Organic v. Non-Organic. Organic fertilizers contain natural, non-toxic ingredients that fulfill your plants by feeding them clean and essential nutrients. On the other hand, non-organic fertilizers contain harmful chemicals and toxins that may provide results in the beginning, but ultimately poison your plant. When deciding the proper fertilizer, you must also figure out what kind of grass you have. For example, your Bermuda grass may have more weeds than your neighbors ryegrass. Although you should both be using organic fertilizer, you may not need the same amount as each other.
When it comes to choosing the right lawn fertilizer, think organically!
When should you Fertilize your Lawn?
When it comes to determine the best time to fertilize your lawn, it really depends on your grass type. You want to make sure you are fertilizing your lawn before it reaches is peak growing state of being, so you first must determine if you have warm-season grasses or cool-season grasses.
Warm Season Grasses:
Often found in the southern United States, warm season grasses tend to reach their peak growing phase in late spring or in the early summer months. We recommend doing one round of fertilizer around this time, and then do a second layer in the late summer months. According to HGTV, "Warm season grass types include bahia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, centipede and zoysia. Warm season grasses typically thrive in frost-free areas and grow best at temps of 75 degrees to 90 degrees.".
Cool Season Grasses:
Slightly different than your warm season grasses, cool season grass should be fertilized In the early fall months. To be specific, October and early November are prime months for these types of grass. Unlike their warmer counterparts, this type of grass only needs to be fertilized once a year. According to HGTV, cool season grasses include "Cool-season grass types include fescue, bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Cool season grasses grow best at temps of 60 degrees to 75 degrees in areas with cold winters (roughly Zones 5 and colder).".
Steps of Lawn Fertilization
1. Choose the proper fertilizer for your lawn. (Organic v. Non-Organic)
2. Determine the best time to fertilize your lawn. (After March 1st and before November 15th).
3. Water your lawn.
4. Use the proper spreader needed for your lawn. (Drop Spreader, Rotary Spreader, Battery Operated Spreader).
5. Apply grass fertilizer around the perimeter.
6. Fill in the middle.
7. Properly handle remaining product.
8. Aerate your lawn.
9. Does your lawn need a second coat in a later month?
10. Watch your lawn flourish!
These steps will help you quickly become a lawn professional. With a few simple steps, and the proper lawn food that is just right for your grass, you will have the best lawn on the block. Also, if you want to read more about how to take care of your lawn in the spring, read our post Spring Lawn Care to learn some more tips and tricks.