Choosing, buying, and using the right fertilizers for your lawn can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Whether you want a lawn that looks like a golf course or just having something green growing would make you happy, it helps if you have a basic understanding of fertilizer.
Use these tips to help you choose the right type of fertilizer, how much to use and when to use it.
Tip 1 -- Choose the Right Type of Fertilizer
When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, walking through your lawn and garden section and picking up the first bag you see won't work. To choose the right type, you must first understand the types available.
Lawn fertilizer falls into three categories, fast-release, slow release, and natural. If you want your lawn to look green as fast as possible, choose a fast-release fertilizer. This type is concentrated, easy to use, and the least expensive. If you choose this fertilizer, be careful.
Adding too much fast-release fertilizer or adding it to a damp lawn can burn your grass. You also need to apply this type more often because the grass uses up the nutrients quickly.
Slow-release fertilizer is concentrated. The nitrogen in slow-release fertilizers is water-soluble so you don't get immediate results, but it is usually better for your lawn.
The third type of fertilizer is organic. These are your manures, agricultural byproducts and composts. Organic fertilizer is good for your lawn and eco-friendly, but they are slow acting, you need to apply them more often, they often have weed seeds, and usually an odor.
Tip 2 -- Apply the Right Amount
Applying the right amount of lawn fertilizer is crucial to getting a lush and beautiful lawn. Applying too much fast release fertilizer can burn the grass. On the other hand not applying enough fertilizer can starve your grass of nitrogen and you'll end up with a sickly, yellow yard.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium make up fertilizer and are listed in this order on the label. To be sure what your grass needs, have a soil test. Not all lawns need phosphorus and potassium, so get a test before applying.
Check with your local farmer's co-op or buy a home soil testing kit to know what your lawn needs. Home soil testing kits are easy to use, are easy to understand, and are inexpensive. Once you have this information, buy the fertilizer that has the right amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Tip 3 -- Fertilize at the Right Time
To avoid burn or starving your grass, you must fertilize at the right time. If you have cooler weather Northern grass, fertilize in September. Fertilize warm-weather Southern grasses in early June.
If you prefer to fertilize more frequently, fertilize your Northern grass two to three times, one month apart in the fall. Fertilize Southern grass two to three times, during the summer.
Having a lush and luxurious lawn doesn't have to be a dream. Following these three tips can get you on the right course to having a lawn that makes you proud. Use these tips and start working on your lawn today.