Fertilizing - A Balanced Diet Makes a Healthy Lawn

Written by TaskEasy
on May 05, 2014

Your lawn needs a balanced diet of three meals a year, plus dessert. Are you feeding it enough? If not, spring is the time to start by applying fertilizer to keep your grass alive.

What is fertilizer?

First, it’s important to understand what’s in fertilizer and what it does. When you look at a bag of fertilizer there are three numbers separated by a dash: i.e., 20-27-5. They represent how much nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium are in the fertilizer.

Nitrogen affects the area above soil to give you thick, green blades. Phosphate works underneath the soil to development strong roots. Potassium works all over to protect your grass against drought and disease. Together, they build dense turf which crowds out most weeds.

Choosing a fertilizer

Picking the right fertilizer will affect how well your lawn grows. First, you need to know what type of grass you have. If you don’t know, try asking your neighbors with similar lawns or take a sample to a garden store.

It’s helpful to measure the pH level, or acidity, of the soil. This tells you what nutrients are low so you can choose a fertilizer with the right balance. You can either hire someone, or buy a pH soil testing kit.

Use simple math to determine the square footage of your yard so you buy the right amount of fertilizer.

Fertilizer comes in granular or liquid form. Liquid soaks in quickly which causes the grass to grow faster. However, because it releases all at once the fertilizer has to be reapplied every few weeks. It’s also more expensive. Granular lasts longer because it releases its nutrients slowly over time.

Different areas of your lawn require different fertilizers (grass, trees, shrubs, flowers). Read the bag to find the right one for your project.

When to fertilize

Think of fertilizer as your lawn’s four-course meal. Your grass wakes up hungry in the spring, so feed it breakfast in March-April. Lunch time comes in late spring (May-June) when your lawn has used up most of its stored energy. The summer months between July and August are brutal on grass. Feed it a dose of dinner and the grass will gobble it right up. Last comes dessert, which happens in fall (September-October). Apply a fertilizer to keep your grass strong enough to withstand the winter months.

Some of these recommendations may change according to where you live. Research your local area to determine the optimum times to apply fertilizer.

How to apply

For the best results and to avoid burning the lawn, fertilizer should be applied evenly. For this reason, avoid throwing it by hand. Instead, use a spreader. Walk at a consistent pace without stopping. Be careful not to overlap or skip areas. Too much fertilizer can cause chemical burn.

When finished, sweep any fertilizer off of the sidewalk and driveway. This keeps it from getting into the water system or staining the concrete.

Water the lawn to help the soil absorb the fertilizer.

By feeding your lawn a balanced diet it will return the favor by growing lush and colorful.


Don’t have the time or tools to get your yard in tip-top shape? Contact TaskEasy for an instant quote from a local contractor!

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