There are all kinds of theories for fertilizing your lawn; organic and otherwise. We have found a custom mix of fertilizer that will make your lawn healthy and green all summer long. We are passionate about lawn care, and keep all our customers yards looking fresh and trim.
How to make the best decisions for your fertilizer schedule.
The key to lush, green lawns is proper fertilizer application, but it can be tough to know when and how to do it. Here are some tips from the experts on how to plan your attack:
A good foundation
Knowing what’s under the grass is the key to figuring out how much fertilizer to apply and when to do it. While you can check the pH of soil without conducting a full test, there’s no other way to find out how much phosphorus or potassium are in the soil.
Typically, when doing soil testing, Jeff Carroll, owner of Jefferson Sustainable Landscape Management in Woodinville, Washington, finds that the soil has way too much nitrogen as a result of over fertilizing. Nitrogen will give you a nice, green lawn, but not long-term plant health, so it’s important to look at pH and other nutrients.
And it’s not just the existing nutrients that dictate the schedule. Sandy soil leaches fertilizer faster than clay. “There aren’t as many nutrients in (sandy) soil so it will need more fertilizer applications each year closer together,” says Henry Velez, enhancement manager at Green Acres Landscape in Salem, Oregon.
Watch the weather
Unpredictable weather can be devastating if you aren’t prepared for it. A cold snap can ruin a lawn if it has recently been fertilized. If nitrogen gets stuck in the grass, it can cause serious damage. So Jones recommends using lower nitrogen rates if that’s a possibility.
Once freezing temperatures are out of the picture, it’s important to watch for drought conditions. If there isn’t enough water, the grass will burn. So fertilize only before the forecast calls for rain, or be sure to water after applying. But also beware of too much rain. Heavy rains or thunderstorms can wash away recently applied fertilizer before it has a chance to do its job.
Fertilize your lawn properly, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy, dense stand of turf that maintains a deep green color and gives weeds a run for their money. Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient, and each type of grass demands different amounts to display peak growth and performance. How often you fertilize affects not only lawn appearance, but also maintenance level. The more you fertilize, the more you’ll have to mow, for instance.
Choose a drop spreader for controlled fertilizer distribution. Overlap slightly on each pass to ensure you have adequate coverage, and don’t forget to close the hopper when you come to the end of a pass. You’ll typically pay more for a drop spreader, but if you’re tending a typical suburban-size lawn, it’s worth the investment. If you accidentally dump fertilizer onto your lawn, gather what you can, then use a stiff broom to spread out any remaining fertilizer as far as possible. Water it in well, and do so again a few days later to help move that nitrogen down through soil and out of the lawn’s root zone.
We recommend fertilizing your lawn in early spring, and again around the 4th of July. Keep it adequately watered so that the water can go to the roots at least 6 inches deep. If you aerate your lawn regularly, and de-thatch, it will create an environment for the grass to get the water it needs.