A lot of people don’t think about lawn fertilizer until summer.
Even if you don’t have young kids, it seems the summer doesn’t officially start until school lets out, and that’s when people suddenly start thinking about their lawns.
Grass likes to be fed as soon as it wakes up from its winter nap, but if you haven’t done it yet, don’t worry. After all, the earth is 4.5 billion years old, and grass has been growing on it for much of that time without the help of Vigaro.
But your grass will look nicer with a little encouragement.
Lawn Fertilizer Isn’t Rocket Science, but it’s Science
Fertilizing your lawn isn’t as simple as going down to Home Depot and buying a few bags of Scotts Turf Builder and sprinkling it around.
Most commercially available fertilizer is a mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The percentage of each is often expressed on the bag or container, and the fallback ratio when you’re not sure what your lawn should get is 20-5-10. Some people put this on their lawns every spring, then check “fertilized lawn” off their list of things to do, but what if that isn’t the best chemical ratio for your particular lawn?
Do you know what percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is in your soil? We didn’t think so.
Test Your Soil
You can buy a soil test kit in a store, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of testing your soil, you should send it to a lab, because the results will be more accurate. Costs vary widely for this, from $10 up to $100, depending on what you want your soil tested for and how quickly you want the results.
When you get the results, you can decide what remedies to use to perk up your lawn. Nitrogen levels in particular are important for plant growth, but make sure you understand the readings you get — organic nitrogen is not useful to plants, they can only take in inorganic nitrogen. And too much nitrogen will make your grass grow too quickly, robbing of the time it needs to thicken.
It’s also important to consider weather when applying fertilizer. Soil temperatures and rain levels affect lawn fertilizer absorption, to take this into account when deciding how much your lawn should get.
Lawn Fertilizer Equipment
Professional lawn care companies apply fertilizer with a sprayer. Homeowners can buy or rent these, but we don’t recommend it. It’s easy to apply too much because you are not practiced at using the equipment. Stick to a spreader instead — it’s hard to go wrong with that type of application.
As you can see, fertilizing the lawn is not that easy. Sure, anyone can do it, but to get the results you want, you need knowledge and experience.
If you’ve tried lawn fertilizer with less-than-satisfactory results, or if you don’t have the time to devote to tackling this job yourself, call us here at Earthworks Landscaping. We’re the professionals who know exactly what type of lawn fertilizer your yard needs and how to apply it so your grass will be thick and green all summer long.