What You Need To Know Before Fertilizing The Lawn

Fertilizing the lawn

Who doesn’t want a lush inviting law? A beautiful lawn is the pride of many a homeowners. It needs care, maintenance, patience and above all plenty of nutrients to survive, flourish and ultimately thrive. You can provide the necessary nutrition by fertilizing your lawn but wait, there is more to it than just dumping whatever bag of fertilizer you can get your hands on. It involves proper preparation, selection and application of fertilizers in an exact balance to have a green healthy lawn.

Why Fertilize the Lawn?

Soil by itself has nutrient in it that helps grow plants and grass but some nutrients required for the health of turfgrass isn’t available in all types of soils. Naturally, fertilizing it helps in maintaining the nutrient levels high for a prolonged period. Here are a few reasons why you should be fertilizing.

  • Promoting root and new leaf growth.
  • Urging quick recover from pest damage and foot traffic.
  • Controlling and managing weeds.
  • Replenishing nutrient levels that drop periodically because of grass clipping removal, leaching and volatilization.

Types of Lawn Fertilizer

Liquid Fertilizers

The two main kinds are granular and liquid. While both contain nutrients they use a different medium of dispersion. Liquid fertilizers are quick acting as they go deep into the soil quicker and require regular 2 to 3 week applications with water mixed dispersal medium.

Granular Fertilizers

On the other hand granular fertilizers need the aid of a spreader and then must be watered. The use of granular fertilizers is easier as you can actually make out the amount of fertilizer you use and where exactly it is being dispersed.

Granular fertilizers come in the form of slow release and quick release. As the name suggests quick release works fast and needs replenishment every 3 to 4 weeks based on the rainfall and temperature. Slow release fertilizers are also called water-insoluble nitrogen, sulfur coated and polymer coated that last for 8 or 12 weeks respectively. Once again it all depends on the amount of rainfall received.

Weed and Feed

This is a common term used to refer to fertilizers laden with weed killers. They act against weeds such as crabgrass, dandelions and more. Always check labels to find out the weeds they work against. What you need to know with regards to such fertilizers are pre-emergents and post-emergents. The first kind usually prevents crabgrass and works before the weed can germinate. These fertilizers are best used in early spring.

As for post-emergent weed and feed, they are also called contact killers and are only effective if the weed is actively growing. As you can see, timing is crucial here for both types of weed and feed fertilizers. So read the package label carefully to find products that suit your requirement.

Organic Fertilizer

My belief is that you can achieve the same results with organic fertilizers as you can with normal chemical variants besides leaving the environment much cleaner and healthier. These come in plenty of varieties too such as liquid and granular. And just as with synthetic variants, they must be applied with care and caution. Combine this with regular composting and you get a well conditioned lawn without any lacking nutrients.

How to Read a Fertilizer Package Label

Usually a fertilizer package tells you all that you need for your lawn. Often referred by three numbers called NPK, it refers to the percentage of each base element. Naturally N stands for Nitrogen and is excellent for the green color and leaf development. Next, P stands for Phosphorous and is great for root growth. Finally, Potassium is what K stands for and helps in developing disease resistance and root development. Usually, these important elements are present in less than 10 percent concentration with the rest being inert spreading material to prevent chemical burn and distribute the fertilizers evenly.

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