You’ve heard that feeding the lawn is important for healthy, green grass. But when is the best time to fertilize your lawn? Careless lawn fertilization causes environmental damage to your lawn, groundwater, and surface water sources.
This is why it’s so important to know when to fertilize lawn areas and how to do it properly. Read on to learn these important factors to keep your grass lush and green all year round.
Lawn Fertilizer Basics
The grass is alive and requires nutrients to stay that way. Fertilizer tops up the nutrients in the soil that regular rainfall and watering wash away. Growing grass also uses up the nutrients, so replenishing them keeps the soil primed for healthy roots.
There are three macronutrients that grass requires for healthy growth. These nutrients are potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
- Nitrogen enhances green color by developing more chlorophyll
- Potassium helps grass stay thick to handle extreme weather changes
- Phosphorus helps with root growth in the early stages of life
These nutrients are water-soluble which means they wash away into groundwater with rainfall and watering. Providing excessive fertilizer to your lawn is harmful to the environment for this reason.
When Is the Best Time to Fertilize Your Lawn
There’s a science to when you should fertilize lawn soil. Over-fertilizing scorches roots and leaves blades of grass patchy and brown. But under-fertilizing leaves grass weak and unable to handle weather conditions or disease.
There are no set rules for when to fertilize either. The weather conditions across the country vary so much that tips for the hot South won’t help colder, Northern lawns. When to apply fertilizer depends on the growing cycle of the grass.
Grass requires the most food when it’s developing its root system. In colder climates, this usually occurs in the fall. In warmer climates, this happens in the spring.
How To Fertilize Lawn Soil
Many people prefer to hire a professional company to handle their lawn fertilizer. Lawn fertilizer is made of chemicals that require handling with caution. My Elite Lawn Care recommends these steps for feeding your lawn:
Step One: Soil Testing
Get your lawn’s soil professionally tested before starting a fertilizer routine. This will prevent over or under fertilizing a required nutrient. Random samples are collected throughout the lawn and examined for their nutrient content.
Step Two: Choose Your Tools
There are a few options for fertilizer spreaders. A rotary spreader is great for larger areas, drop spreaders are good for control, and handheld spreaders are perfect for small lawns. Fertilizer tools are found at your local garden store.
Step Three: Follow Instructions
Depending on the type of fertilizer your soil requires, follow the instructions on the package. Some need pre-watering while others require no water. Be sure to measure your lawn beforehand to calculate the proper amount of fertilizer needed.
Get Started On Your Ideal Lawn Today
When is the best time to fertilize your lawn? Well, that depends on where you live and what kind of nutrients your soil needs. Now you’ve got the knowledge on how to get started on the lawn of your dreams.
For more homeowner tips, be sure to check out our other articles on home and lawn care!