Like people, a lawn needs adequate nutrients for good growth. That’s why it is important your lawn receive the right amount of water, care, and nutrients to grow strong and lush. Lawns also need regular fertilization to keep the grass growing and weeds out.
Determining when to fertilize is an area for concern for most homeowners. Consider these four factors: climate, grass type, fertilizer type and the way you want your lawn to look in the end. Lawns should be fertilized periodically throughout the growing season. For optimal results, consider fertilizing four to five times a year. For minimal results, fertilize twice yearly.
Research has shown that fall and late fall fertilization is the ideal time for most homeowners to fertilize their lawns. Your lawn will benefit more during these times as opposed to any other practice. However, as a best practice rule, fertilize when your grass type is actively growing.
“Be cautious when applying applications during the spring and summer months, as over-application during these times can cause disease and other problems, resulting in a lawn nightmare” said Ron Madera, President of The Grounds Guys®. “Disease and weed problems are usually less severe when fall fertilization practices are used. Heat and drought tolerance are usually better as well, thus enhancing summer lawn quality. Finally, the grass plant generally produces more root mass and a deeper root system, resulting in an overall healthier plant.”
Remember, fertilizers can burn turf if applied improperly. Fast release nitrogen is more likely to burn than slow release forms. To avoid burn, consider these simple tips:
· Do not apply more than 1 ½ pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 per square feet at once
· Spread uniformly
· Do not overlap or spill fertilizer
· Apply fertilizer only when foliage is dry
· Water after applications.
· Pulverized materials are more likely to burn as opposed to pellets or granulated materials.
Fertilizers can also be harmful to the environment. Use caution when applying any fertilizers to protect waterways. Be careful to keep the fertilizer in your lawn and not spray into any waterways.
Before beginning, it is best to create a fertilization program based on your lawns needs. The best way to determine this is to test your soil. A grounds care professional, such as The Grounds Guys can assist you in testing your soil and determining the best fertilization program for your lawn.