Why Fertilize Grass
A thick, lush lawn is a thing of beauty. When grass is fertilized, the root system is strengthened and the grass grows thicker, naturally discouraging weed growth. A strong root system allows the grass to absorb the water from rain quicker and more thoroughly to support even better grass growth. Mowing the grass to the right height also encourages strong roots and thick blades, which in turn creates a natural resistance to weeds taking hold. Correct fertilization grows healthy grass that is resistant to weed infestation.
The Do of Lawn Fertilizer
Identify the type of grass that comprises your lawn. Each grass type requires the proper amount of nutrients from nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a slow release form. Too much of one kind of nutrient can cause damage, not healthy green grass.
The pH of your soil will need to be determined, since it can reveal the deficiencies and strengths of the soil that is home to your grass. Applying fertilizer that has too much of a nutrient that is already heavily in the soil can cause more problems than good. Knowing the pH allows for the correct ratio to encourage healthy growth.
You’ll want to have your lawn fertilized twice per year at the correct times for your grass type. The spring application should usually be a little before Memorial Day. Fertilizing will need to occur more often if your lawn receives heavy foot traffic from your children, neighbors, and visitors.
Also be sure to pay attention to how easy the fertilizer is to spread. Too much dust can lead to waste because it does not spread well, while a consistent granular texture tends to work best.
The Do Not of Lawn Fertilizer
Fertilizer should not be over applied or under applied. This can cause run-off that actually pollutes the groundwater, not to mention wastes money and time. Additionally, over- or under applying fertilizer can encourage diseases to take hold in the lawn, as the grass and roots have become weakened.
You also want to be sure not to deploy a fertilizer that might harm your pets. Some fertilizers such as bone meal and fishmeal are very tasty to dogs and can cause gastric problems when ingested.
Another don’t: Do not have fertilizer applied before heavy rain is in the forecast. This simply washes away with the rain, wasting both time and money.
And finally, do not have fertilizer applied on hot summer lawns that have been stressed by too little water. This can increase the stress on the plants and cause them to turn brown.