Published on March 5th, 2015 | by Jacks0
A Well Fed Lawn Is A Healthy Lawn
You aerated at the beginning of the season, you mow a couple times a week and you water frequently. So, why does your perfect, healthy, lush lawn only appear in your dreams?
Feed your lawn! A well-fed lawn can result in a better root system that combats heat, cold, drought and lawn stresses such as mowing, foot traffic and over fertilizing. Fertilizers provide nutrients that can assist in growth, color, health and thickness of your grass.
Introduce your lawn to fertilizers at least twice a year to reduce the chance of weeds, disease, and pests in your lawn and to achieve the healthy lawn of your dreams.
Many people overlook the benefit of testing your soil. Your soil will tell you information about the fertilizer you may need and the levels of PH in your grass. Applying fertilizer before testing your lawn can be ineffective or worse, damaging to your lawn.
So get that Ziploc bag or test tube vial and grab a sample! Testing can be done with a store-bought kit or your local Cooperative Extension Office can perform the test for you.
What Type of Grass Do You Have?
It is best to apply fertilizer when the grass will be growing the most. For different season grasses, fertilizer is best applied at different times of the year. There are 2 different categories of grasses, cool and warm season.
Warm Season Grasses
These grasses are found in environments that don’t get extremely cold over the winter. Warm season grasses will grow and flourish most in the summer months. For these grasses, fertilizer is best applied in early spring and again in the late summer, approximately 2 months before the first frost. Warm season grasses will turn brown over winter.
Cool Season Grasses
These grasses will mostly stay green all year round, with a small possibility going dormant over the winter. Cool season grasses flourish the most in the Spring and Fall seasons. Apply fertilizer in the spring to assist the grasses in waking up from a winter of being dormant and again in the fall to help the grass recover from the dry-heat of the summer.
Types of Fertilizers
Liquid Fertilizers: These fertilizers are fast acting and absorbed quickly. They require application every 2-3 weeks, depending on weather. Liquid fertilizers are mixed with water and sprayed through a garden hose attachment.
Granular Fertilizers: These fertilizers are easier to control and are applied with a spreader. You can see how much you are spreading and where exactly the fertilizer is going. After you are finished, this fertilizer must be watered into your lawn by a sprinkler or natural weather conditions. Granular fertilizers come in two options, quick release and slow release.
- Quick Release: Typically last 3-4 weeks and are fast acting. Temperatures and amount of rainfall depends on how long these last. Quick-release fertilizers require more frequent application and can burn your lawn if you aren’t careful during application.
- Slow-release: Releases slowly and gradually so they require fewer applications throughout the year. These are easier to spread and have less of a chance of burning your lawn.
Organic: These are slow acting fertilizers and use environmentally safe ingredients. Organic fertilizers work naturally by being broken down by the microbes that already exist in the soil. These fertilizers are available in granular and liquid forms.
Things to Remember
- Never fertilize a dormant or stressed out lawn.
- Always water after fertilizing.
- Wear safety protective clothing such as goggles, a dust mask, long pants and a long-sleeve shirt to keep the fertilizer away from you.
- Calculate the size of your lawn and figure out how much fertilizer you will need.
- Sweep up stray granules on a driveway, sidewalks and patio. These can be swept away by raining causing pollution in lakes, rivers and the ocean.