How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn – Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair and DIY. Tried, true and trusted household tips

Solved! This is what fertilizes a lawn. Turning last year’s skinny brown grass into a green oasis isn’t as difficult as you might think.

How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

Q: Help! Last year, our lawn was brown and not as healthy as it could be. When should I fertilize my lawn to ensure a green lawn this year?

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Answer: As the saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” But if you want that green lawn on your side this year, compost can be a useful ally. Remember how important the question of when to apply fertilizer is.

In general, you should fertilize your lawn at least twice a year to maintain good overall health and keep your grass green. But if you fertilize at the wrong time or overtreat your lawn, you can encourage weed growth or burn the grass.

To avoid damaging your lawn, consider this rule of thumb: The best time to apply lawn fertilizer is when your grass is actively growing, which in turn is determined by where you live and the type of grass.

So to figure out when to fertilize, you need to know your grass type, your growing zone, and the best fertilizer for the job.

How To Know If Your Lawn Is Over Fertilized & How To Fix It

In the United States, there are two main types of grasses: warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. There is a cross section of grasses that are considered intermediate, meaning they can be successfully grown in parts of the country that are generally too hot for cool-season grasses and too cold for warm-season grasses. Your lawn fertilization schedule will depend on the type of grass you have, but remember that consistent commitment to any routine is essential to ensure year-after-year success.

Nitrogen, a major component of fertilizer, contains growth promoters that can promote unwanted weed growth if applied passively. If you’ve had a long winter and your grass still isn’t growing, don’t be afraid to delay your scheduled fertilizer application.

Before purchasing a lawn fertilizer, check the product labels to find out how long each product will last. Some extended-release products deliver nutrients slowly over 2 to 8 months, so allow enough time between applications to avoid over-fertilizing, which can damage your lawn.

How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

If you are under water restrictions as a result of drought, stop fertilizing. Most fertilizers require a thorough watering or two to soak into the soil, and allowing fertilizers to sit on top of the lawn without watering can cause grass burn. You may want to delay application until wet weather arrives.

This Is When To Fertilize The Lawn, No Matter Your Grass Type

If a recent rain storm left your lawn wet and the soil saturated, wait a day or two before fertilizing your grass. This will allow the soil to dry out a bit, so you don’t create waste and wasted compost when you water the compost. Fertilizing dry grass ensures a greater chance for the fertilizer to slide into the ground instead of sticking to the grass blades.

Winter begins to give way to spring and when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 to 5 days, dormant plants, including grass, begin their spring activities. This is the best time to fertilize. Fertilizing before that will be a waste of labor.

When fall occurs, typical fall soil temperatures should be fine for fertilizer application. But if it gets cold after frost, you’ve lost your window. In that case, you’ll have to wait until next spring.

If you’ve just reseeded your lawn, it’s fine to use fertilizer, but you should use a product specifically designed for reseeding. These fertilizers are sometimes called “starter” fertilizers and have a nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of 1:1 (or close to it).

How To Care For Your Lawn

Seeds need phosphorus to develop strong roots and help the plant fight disease. Nitrogen is used for leaf growth, so apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer 6 to 8 weeks after planting.

If you are seeding a new lawn, the best practice is to fertilize the soil with a starter fertilizer before spreading the seeds. This is a good time to check the overall health of the soil, which can be done with an available soil test kit. Keep your grass healthy and beautiful. Find expert advice on everything from when to fertilize and how to choose the right spreader.

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How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

Fertilize your lawn properly and you’ll achieve a healthy, dense lawn that maintains a deep green color and allows weeds to thrive.

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Tip: Before filling the hopper of the rotary spreader, make sure it is closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily collect spilled compost.

Nitrogen is the most important nutrient in every lawn, and each type of grass requires different amounts to show maximum growth and performance. How often you fertilize affects not only the appearance of the lawn, but also the level of maintenance. The more you fertilize, the more you need to mow, for example.

A drive or rotary spreader works well when you are fertilizing large lawn areas. Before filling the hopper, make sure it is closed. It’s a good idea to fill it with a tarp so you can easily collect any spilled compost. Apply the fertilizer around the perimeter of the lawn first, then start moving it back and forth across the lawn in an orderly manner. Overlap the application strips slightly to ensure even coverage of the entire lawn with compost.

Choose a drop spreader for controlled fertilizer delivery. Remember to overlap the hopper a little with each pass to ensure adequate coverage and close the hopper when you reach the end of a pass. You’ll typically pay more for a drop spreader, but if you’re looking for a regular suburban-sized lawn, it’s worth the investment. If you accidentally spill compost on your lawn, scoop up as much as you can, then use a stiff broom to spread the remaining compost as much as possible. Water well and water again a few days later to help move that nitrogen through the soil and out of the lawn’s root zone.

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A portable drive spreader works well for fertilizing small areas of lawn. Walk evenly and slowly, making sure to slightly overlap the distribution patterns with each pass. A small spreader like this works well when you have shaded areas of your lawn that require a different fertilizer rate than sunny areas. Some fertilizers combine a herbicide with lawn food. These products are sold as lawn care products and are applied using a lawn spreader.

Portable, pre-calibrated, battery-powered spreaders make application a breeze for small gardens. Press a switch and start walking to fertilize your lawn. This type of manual spreader works well in areas that are difficult to handle with a traditional lawn spreader, such as small yards or slopes.

A day or two before applying fertilizer, water the lawn well. After the grass dries, apply compost. Then again some water. This second watering is essential because it removes fertilizers from the grass leaves and into the soil. You can time the application of fertilizers between rains so that the rain washes the fertilizer into the soil. Make sure you don’t fertilize before a rain, or if your lawn is sloped, you’ll end up with washed-out fertilizer. Avoid applying fertilizers during a drought when the lawn is dry or parched due to lack of moisture.

How Often Should You Treat Your Lawn

Crosscycling refers to mowing the lawn after mowing. These clippings can provide up to 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs, saving you time and money. One hundred pounds of lawn clippings can produce three to four pounds of nitrogen. The average half-acre lawn in a temperate area like Pennsylvania produces more than three tons of grass annually, so grass clippings play an important role in your lawn’s nutrition. You don’t need a special mulching mower to rotate grasses, although you may want to replace your current mulching blade with a mulching blade that cuts grass into smaller pieces that break down faster.

What Makes Grass Yellow And How Do I Fix It?

Lawn aeration encourages deeper roots, resulting in a healthier lawn. Learn how to provide fresh air to your grass with these aeration tips.

If you plan to aerate your lawn, follow that task with fertilization. Lawns benefit from soil aeration, which creates direct holes in the soil and exposes the root zone of grass plants. These holes allow water, fertilizer and air to reach the grass roots directly. For better aeration, use a central aerator that pulls the actual soil plugs out of the lawn (shown below). If you rent this machine, be aware that it is heavy and you will need a pair of strong hands (if not two people) to operate it. Many lawn mowers also have central ventilation attachments. In

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