The lawn is a great place to create memories with your family, entertain guests or just sit and relax on a lazy weekend. Growing a beautiful lawn however takes time and effort, and there is need to develop a proper maintenance schedule and that includes fertilization. Maintaining a lawn depends on the type of grass, the type of fertilizer you use and the climate. Most lawns are a mixture of different types of grass and fertilization is appropriate.
You can apply fertilizer in several ways, either by using a spreader for a more even coverage or by hand, but a spreader is a more advisable method. Hand fertilization often leads to uneven spread, some places of the lawn being more concentrated with fertilizer than others. Places with more concentration result in burns while places with less fertilizer look pale. Read below to find out how to apply lawn fertilizer.
Creating a hearty and healthy lawn that’s devoid of weed and disease require dedication and fertilization is one way to yield the results you desire. Collect soil samples from different parts of your lawn for professional testing. This is more like a ’checkup’ for your lawn, to check for the major nutrients in the soil or lack thereof. With this information, you get to choose the right fertilizer to supplement.
A few days before you apply fertilizer, ensure you water the lawn thoroughly to relieve it of drought stress and also to allow the fertilizer to sink easily into the soil. Avoid using your hands to spread fertilizer with larger lawn areas, instead, opt for a broadcast or rotary spreader. Fill the hopper with fertilizer outside of the lawn so you can easily collect any spills. Start by applying fertilizer on the perimeters of the lawn before moving back and forth across the turf to evenly spread fertilizer.
For a much smaller lawn, you can use a handheld broadcast spreader. To ensure you circulate your fertilizer evenly around the lawn, walk slowly and distribute the fertilizer in an overlapping manner to ensure you cover every area of the lawn. For the parts of your lawn that has more shade, it will require a different kind of fertilizer, usually one that is mixed with herbicide. Hand held spreader makes it easier to reach areas that are not easily accessible using a push broadcast spreader.
It was mentioned earlier that you need to water your lawn a day or two before applying fertilizer. This should be case also after application. Water the lawn to wash off fertilizer from the straws of grass into the soil. To avoid the task of watering, you can apply your fertilizer in between rainfalls as long as it is not a heavy downpour otherwise your fertilizer will be washed away especially if you have a sloppy lawn.
Substitute store bought fertilizers with organic lawn care products like the compost. Compost is earth friendly and supplies nitrogen that enters the grass roots at a slow pace and helps avoid heavy nitrogen leaching. Excess lawn feeding has been a notorious factor to ground water infection and using compost can reduce contamination. Compost contains microorganisms, micronutrients and organic matter that builds and feeds the soil and grass. It also fosters a healthy lawn environment.
The following are the dos and don’ts when applying fertilizer on your lawn:
- Test the soil first
- Use test results to choose the right kind of fertilizer
- Buy a quality spreader
- Apply the right amount of fertilizer
- Maintain your spreader
- Keep records of how much fertilizer you apply and when to apply it
- Test soil after fertilization
- Guess the amount of fertilizer you need to use
- Apply fertilizer on a hot day
- Apply fertilizer more than four times a year
Top 3 best lawn fertilizers to use
What a joy to sink your bare feet into a healthy green lawn and soak in the pleasure of the earth from your feet. This feeling can only be achieved if you take time to care for your lawn and minimize weed and pests. Below are top best fertilizers you can use based on the type of soil on your lawn.
Scotts Green Max Fertilizer for an easy and quick green grass in just about 3 days. This type of fertilizer has a boost of iron that makes grass greener, thicker and stronger. It not only helps grass grow but also weed out unwanted plants. It needs to be applied every 6 to 8 weeks therefore; it is a great choice for people with busy schedules who cannot tend to their lawns frequently.
Miracle Gro Lawn Food is the most popular lawn fertilizer because it is easy to use and is formulated with the right nutrients to boost your lawn’s health. It has a dispenser that makes application easy and spreads evenly across the yard. It is cost effective although can cause damage to your lawn when applied excessively. Follow instructions on the package for easy dispensation.
Scotts Turf Builder is another brand product of Scotts which is cost effective and does not contain phosphorus. It helps grass to grow stronger roots, just like the name suggests. It also gives lawns the resilience to survive droughts and longer periods without adequate watering. It can be used on many types of grass and builds a beautiful lawn with little effort.
When tending your lawn, it is not just about what type of lawn fertilizer to use but also how to apply the fertilizer. You also have to keep in mind the best time to apply the fertilizer so the lawn can maximize on its benefits. Another important thing to note when applying fertilizer is to keep children and pets away from the lawn for at least 48 hours to give the lawn enough time to soak in the nutrients. The chemicals in the fertilizers can also cause irritations on skin and difficulty in breathing that is why kids and pets should be kept away until at least 2 days later. When applying fertilizer, you also need to wear protective gear.