When Should I Fertilize My Lawn And What Should I Use?
When should I fertilize my lawn? This question keeps popping in the minds of many a homeowner. If you have ever asked yourself this question, then you probably know the importance of using fertilizer. If you are new to lawn fertilization, however, the first question we should help you answer is; why should I fertilize my lawn?
Why should I fertilize my lawn? To begin with, you have to know that lawns usually draw nutrients from the soil. This means that your lawn will be fine as long as the soil is nutrients rich. The more it rains, however, the more those nutrients are carried away leaving the lawn hungry for essential nutrients. With time, the soil that the grass grows on might lacks most of the common nutrients it needs to flourish. In such a case, a fertilizer would work to boost the nutrients available, thus sustaining the growth of the lawn. When should I fertilize my lawn?
The following factors will determine how often you should fertilize your lawn:
type of grass,
the type of fertilizer, and
the resources available.
The type of grass you are growing could be the tender kind, which is vulnerable to diseases and easily choked by weeds. Alternatively, you could be having the hardy varieties of grass on your lawn that do not require too much treatment for growth. Before you start asking, "How many times a year should I fertilize my lawn," therefore, check the grass type on your lawn. The grass type growing on a lawn differs based on the seasons they are best suited to grow. Your lawn could have cold-season grass varieties, such as those prevalent in the northern parts of the US, or warm season grasses that thrive in the southern regions. The cold season varieties include tall and fine fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. These varieties do well in the cold weather naturally and become stagnant during the warm season. The warm weather grasses do better during the summer. They include Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, Centipede grass, Carpet grass, and Zoysia grass. Timing is everything when establishing a lawn. Grasses need nitrogen and other nutrients at the initial stage of growth; as such, they require fertilizer application. On the contrary, you do not have to use fertilizer on grass that grows naturally. The importance of fertilizing a lawn at the very start is to allow the grasses to outgrow the weeds. How many times a year should I fertilize my lawn? There are a couple of things to consider. Sometimes, it is wise to follow a lawn fertilizer schedule while on other ties, the season could dictate if you need to fertilize the lawn. It is advisable, for instance, to apply fertilizer in spring. The time is perfect because the grass will begin growing with the fertilizer serving as a speeding agent. For those asking, "When should I fertilize my lawn for spring?" here's a clue. You will have to wait up to between the sixth and the eighth week after the first application in spring. After that, repeat the application after six to eight weeks and again two more times. Scott's fertilizer schedule also states that late spring lawn fertilizer should be applied once between April and June. You should prepare your lawn fertilizer schedule early before the summer season starts. The best time of day to fertilize the lawn is early in the morning. This is the time when the plants get activated by sunlight and the fertilizer gets to seep into the soil. Doing so during the day will be disadvantageous because most fertilizers vaporize easily. It is also best to fertilize the lawn long before the rains start. If rain is in the forecast, it is better to postpone and do it after the rain. Letting the fertilizer mix with the rain could lead to wastage in addition to polluting the environment. The best time of day to fertilize the lawn, therefore, should allow the fertilizer to seep into the soil without being washed away or vaporized. Some people also ask, "Can I fertilize my lawn every 2 weeks?" It will all depend on how the lawn does after the feeding period. If the lawn is set up successfully, it will require regular spreads of fertilizer, about four times per season. If not, the lawn will have to undergo more treatments. If your local climate is too hostile to the grass, the treatments will also have to be intense. Grass-type influences the amount of fertilizer used too. How well the grass grows will determine how often you have to apply the fertilizer. Most importantly, you need to keep up with your lawn fertilizer schedule. People also ask, "When should I fertilize my lawn for spring?" "Should I fertilize my lawn in the winter?" "When should I fertilize my lawn in the fall?" To answer all these questions, one must note that the fertilizing period is different for different grass types. If your question is, "When should I fertilize my lawn in the fall," then you need to consider the grass type on your lawn. Since cold-season grasses grow during the spring and fall, fertilizing will be done heavily in fall and lightly in spring. Those asking, "Should I fertilize my lawn in the winter?" will be pleased to know that they can. This is because they can use the special winter fertilizers made to protect grass during the cold weather. The warm-season grasses grow during the late spring and summer. This means that fertilizing should be done in spring and a second-round once the summer passes. Nitrogen is the best fertilizer in the fall. Phosphorous is also equally important for the grass since it will stimulate root growth. The type of fertilizer is also important because different fertilizers cope well in different situations. Besides considering the type of fertilizer you are using, you also need to consider how you apply it and in what amounts. For instance, nitrogen is an important nutrient for grass. However, applying nitrogen-based fertilizer on your lawn when the grass is dormant means that weeds will grow excessively dealing a big blow to your lawn. Before you ask "Can I fertilize my lawn every 2 weeks," therefore, remember to check on the growth of the grass. Sometimes, dormancy is not an indication of failure but a sign of slow growth. So, don't rush to apply fertilizer. In addition to that, you have to check the durability of the fertilizer. Some fertilizers can last longer with small spreads and frequent use whereas others only work for a given period even with heavy use. If you fail to make these considerations, you risk over-fertilization. Besides considering the durability of the fertilizer, you also need to know that most fertilizers are volatile and corrosive; do not apply them directly on the lawn. Doing so will result in the fertilizer burning the lawn grass. It will also not spread evenly, which means that some grass might not grow at all. There are two main types of fertilizer: organic and synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are natural and come from plant or animal sources. They are also called slow-release because they help develop your soil so that it can sustain your grass. On the other hand, synthetic fertilizers are derived from chemical compounds. These are called fast-release because they help your grass grow faster and are stronger, but they do not develop the soil. What should you use for your lawn? Try the former if you want long-term results and the latter if you want immediate benefits. The methods of fertilizing the lawn are dependent on the form of the fertilizers. Both organic and synthetic fertilizers have liquid and granulated forms. Granular forms of fertilizers are simple to use. Liquid forms are quite difficult to use, especially if you are using the synthetic ones. This type requires professional services to be applied because measuring it and attempting to apply evenly could prove problematic. For the granulated fertilizer, you can get a spreader to apply. The device is cheap and easy to use. First, fill the hopper up on the pavement then walk the spreader across your yard. As you do so, use an edge-guard to keep your material within the lawn. Spread the fertilizer at a lower rate to avoid damaging your lawn and incurring unnecessary costs.