Fertilizer manufacturers and horticulture experts have different recommendations and opinions about fertilizing your lawn during the spring. When should you fertilize, how much fertilizer should you apply, and do you need to reapply? These are some of the typical questions home gardeners often ask.
Finding the right timing, amount, and frequency of applying fertilizer on your lawn is essential, as these affect its growth and health significantly.
If you are planning to fertilize your lawn in spring, here are some essential tips that you should know:
Tip #1: Try different methods and fertilizers
According to horticultural experts, using a mulching mower that chops up grass into fine articles gives your lawn much nitrogen. There are two types of lawn fertilizer that you can use, including:
- Organic fertilizer: As the name implies, it is made from organic, natural materials. It is usually less saturated and has plenty of essential nutrients for your lawn, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Traditional chemical lawn fertilizer: It is popular among gardeners not only because it has many varieties, but it is also readily available on most garden shops, hardware stores, and home improvement centers. Some fertilizers are mixed to match seasons, such as mid-summer fertilizers or late-season turf-builder mixes. Others are made especially for flowers, vegetables, and herbicides.
Tip #2: Start with half the recommended amount and rate of fertilizer
Many fertilizer manufacturers and providers indicate a recommended amount and rate fertilizer you should apply on your lawn. However, it would be best if you will start light and use only half of their recommendation. If you are not satisfied with the result, reapply and add a good amount of fertilizer accordingly. Doing this will allow you to experiment on what is the best dosage your lawn needs.
Here is how to determine if you are applying enough amount of fertilizer on your lawn:
- If your lawn has a light green shade, it indicates that it is in a healthy condition.
- If your lawn has a deep, almost blackish green, it indicates that it was heavily fertilized. A lot of nitrogen from the fertilizer that you use is what made your lawn have a dark green colour.
Tip #3: Fertilize in late spring
Unlike fertilizer manufacturers, turf specialists and agronomists suggest that you fertilize your lawn in late spring to prepare your lawn for the summer.
That is because, during the summer, grasses begin to slow down their carbohydrate production and utilize their reserves. Feeding an appropriate amount of slow-release nitrogen to your lawn will encourage your grass to rebuild its energy reserves. Doing so also helps the grass to ward off the stresses of summer, such as heat, drought, insects, and traffic.
Whether you are using an organic or traditional chemical fertilizer, you must know when, home much, and how frequently you should apply fertilizer to your lawn. Contrary to what the fertilizer manufacturers recommend, you should start applying fertilizer with half of their recommended dosage to determine the perfect nutrient your lawn needs. It is also best to fertilize your lawn in late spring to prepare for the drought of the summer season.
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