Summer is coming, which means it’s time to learn how to fertilize your lawn. As you might have suspected, not all lawns are the same, which means getting the best results for the growing season means identifying what type of grass you are working with, as well as understanding the type of climate you live in. With this information you can develop a fertilizing strategy that should maximize your green all summer long.
Know Your Grass
When you fertilize your lawn you need to adapt to the specific type of grass you are working with. If you live in the northern part of the United States then your grass will be different from someone in the south, while those in the central part of the country can see a mix of different grass types that could require more than one fertilizer type. Not all lawns will respond the same way to the same fertilizer, which means understanding your grass is half the battle. You may also want to check the pH balance of your soil by way of a simple test that will also help you determine what nutrients your fertilizer needs to provide.
Measure Your Lawn
You don’t want to buy too much fertilizer when you’re first determining how to fertilize your lawn, so you’ll need to carefully measure your property to figure out how much of the property is grass versus garden as well as which areas need to be sprayed. Most fertilizer comes in bags that are designed to cover either 5,000 square feet or 15,000 square feet, so simply divide the total area of your lawn by either of those numbers to know how many bags you need to purchase.
Choose the Right Time
If you live in a cool area of the country, then fertilizing isn’t only something you do in the spring. You should fertilize your lawn in the fall, too, before the snow hits. In fact, in the northern U.S. your grass will most likely grow more during the spring and fall months than it will all summer, which explains the need to dual-fertilize. Warmer areas are the opposite: the grasses there love to be fertilized in the spring to prepare for summer’s heat.
There are a number of ways you can fertilize your lawn. Some fertilizers come in liquid form, while others are granular powders. For dry fertilizer, you can use a push-spreader that rotates, a push drop-spreader or a small hand-held spreader to get an even distribution. Make sure to water the lawn before, and immediately after, you’ve walked your property in straight, overlapping strips. With wet fertilizers you can use a hand-held sprayer or attach a spray canister to the end of a garden hose for quicker coverage.
You are now ready to have the best looking lawn on the block!
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Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.