Spring Lawn Care: How To Fertilize the Lawn
Soil compaction and poor drainage frequently occur during spring due to the winter melt and rainy season. To combat these challenges, kick-start your lawn by aerating and fertilizing. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients and deter weeds and pests, so it is a great way to ensure your grass grows thick and healthy throughout the year.
With many options, it can be a difficult to know which type of fertilizer is best for your lawn. To select the right fertilizer, first you must understand your grass and soil. Pick up a soil test kit at a nursery or home store to figure out your soil makeup, and identify your grass type.
About Lawn Fertilizer
The primary nutrients in fertilizer are: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). On fertilizer packages the percentage of each element is indicated by a number. Depending on your grass and soil conditions, you may need lower or higher levels of these chemicals.
There are two types of fertilizers to consider:
- Granular Fertilizers: Solid granules last longer because they must break down before releasing nutrients. Certain high-tech options have timed-release which allows you to “set it and forget it” and feed your lawn over several months without having to re-apply frequently. While a little more expensive, they tend to last longer but the results also take longer to become clear.
- Liquid Fertilizers: Made from water-soluble powders or liquid solutions that mix with water, this type can be quickly absorbed by plants roots for a more immediate boost of nutrients. While the results are quicker, this type usually requires multiple applications since they only last approximately a couple weeks at a time. This method is great for the start of the season if your lawn needs a jumpstart.
Fertilizer can also come in synthetic or organic formulas. Synthetic consists of chemicals while organic consists of the byproducts of organisms. Once you decided which type of fertilizer is right for you lawn care routine and grass species type you can get started applying it.
- Water the lawn a day or two before applying fertilizer. Once the grass has dried, you’re all set to fertilize.
- If using a granular fertilizer or powder, apply it evenly across the lawn with a broadcast or rotary spreader to reduce the potential for lawn burns. A handheld spreader is useful for small yards. If using a liquid solution, apply it hose-end sprayer or watering can.
- Begin around the perimeter and continue back and forth across the yard in a consistent pattern.
- After application is complete, thoroughly water your lawn to rinse the grass blades and soak the fertilizer into the soil. Avoid walking or playing on the lawn for the recommended amount of time on the label, which is usually a day or two.
Return to your regular mowing routine after liquid fertilizer has dried completely. If you use granular fertilizer, there is no need to wait. Simply adjust your lawnmower cutting height so the grass is longer and the fertilizer is not disturbed.
So go ahead, get out there and get it done! Check out our PowerSmarts Blog for even more tips to get your equipment and yard ready for the Spring season. Game on-Yard!