Almost everyone loves the look of a gorgeous thriving lawn that enhances the scenery. Lawn enthusiasts and homeowners alike strive for a beautiful golf course style lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. Properly applying lawn fertilizer at the appropriate time is the best way to infuse your turf with the critical nutrients it needs to flourish. Lawn fertilizer stimulates lush green growth and helps keep your turf in fighting form. Properly nourished dense green grass with a strong root system is better able to resist an invasion of weeds, pests, and diseases.
While everyone agrees that fertilizer is a necessary component in a comprehensive lawn care system, choosing the right fertilizer for your yard can be difficult. There are lots of opinions and plenty of age old advice available from loved ones, but every yard is different. What works well for one isn’t necessarily best for another. Luckily, there is a reliable way to choose the right lawn fertilizer for your specific yard. Here’s what you need to know.
Deciphering the Numbers
To properly feed your lawn, it helps to understand a little bit about the nutrients it requires. Lawns require a special combination of essential micronutrients in smaller amounts along with larger amounts of vital macronutrients. The 3 critical macronutrients required by your lawn also make up the bulk of most fertilizers. These macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
The NPK numbers on a bag of fertilizer represent the percentage of each element present in that particular bag. The NPK numbers will always be represented in that specific order, with nitrogen first and potassium last. A bag of 10-15-5 lawn fertilizer contains 10 percent nitrogen, 15 percent phosphorus, and 5 percent potassium.
Preparing to Fertilize
Before you can shop for lawn fertilizer, you’ll need to know which nutrients are in short supply in your soil. It’s also important to find out if your soil is slightly acidic or alkaline because the pH balance can also impact lawn health. Professionals recommend waiting until soil reaches optimal temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to fertilize.
Using a soil thermometer will help you take an accurate temperature reading and a soil test kit will reveal the current conditions under your turf. It is best to purchase at least 2 soil test kits to help you confirm you’ve made the proper changes. You should also use the same kind of soil test kit both times.
Granular or Liquid
Next, you will need to choose between a granular and a liquid fertilizer for your lawn. This is a matter of personal choice and there are specific advantages to each. The application technique is also very important and should only be attempted with the proper equipment. For instance, a backpack sprayer is recommended for applying liquid fertilizer and a broadcast spreader for granules.
If you choose to go with a liquid fertilizer, you may also want to pick up a turf mark dye indicator to prevent over-application. It temporarily colors the areas that have been sprayed but the color naturally dissipates in about 48 hours. Too much fertilizer isn’t good for your grass and can actually harm your lawn. Adding biostimulants to your lawn care routine can also help improve nutrient efficacy. It promotes a quicker recovery for your grass and encourages root growth for a deep strong root system.
Lawn Care Routine
Establishing a consistent lawn care routine is one of the best ways to foster healthy vibrant growth. It is important to ensure your lawn is getting adequate amounts of water and is cut regularly. Most lawns require about an inch of water per week to flourish. During peak growing season, strong healthy lawns may need to be cut up to 3 times per week but establishing a regular routine is most important. While regular mowing is essential for growth, most lawns yield great results when cut twice per week.
Shop Lawn Fertilizer Today
Now that you have all the vital information relevant to fertilizing your lawn, you can start to shop. Remember to check your soil temperature and purchase a soil test kit to help determine which essential nutrients may be lacking in your yard. Once you understand exactly what your lawn needs, you can start searching for it.
Choose between liquid and granular fertilizers and be sure you have the appropriate equipment to apply the fertilizer of your choice. If you are using a liquid fertilizer, consider adding a turf mark dye indicator to prevent over-application. Then use biostimulants to enhance nutrient efficacy. Before you know it, your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood. Purchase your lawn fertilizer today.