How Often Should I Fertilize My Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn is a key to a healthy lawn. Turfgrass needs nutrients throughout the season. Soil, sun, and water provide all the nutrients but these are not enough and fertilization keeps your lawn or garden lush and green. This article is designed to help you all about fertilizing your lawn. We have tried to cover all the necessary points from why, when, and how to fertilize your lawn.

Why Fertilization is important

We may think that soil contains all the necessary ingredients for growing a healthy turf, but it is not very true. Not all soil types contain all the nutrients. Each soil type has its mix of nutrients, and these nutrients can be lost due to grass clipping, leaching, construction, or ammonia volatilization. At times these nutrients are present in soil but leached out with time. These nutrients are essential for the plant growth, and gardeners need to fertilize their lawns for making up the loss.
Here it should also be noted that just like lack of fertilizers, overfeeding grass is also harmful to your lawn. It can damage the plants and is just a waste of time and money. A right balance is required for fertilizing your lawn, and it is better to get your soil tested so that you know what nutrients your lawn need the most.

Key nutrients in Fertilizers

All fertilizers are a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Nitrogen: Nitrogen promotes healthy green leaf. It stimulates the chlorophyll production in plants and helps them make grow thick and strong shoots. However, too much nitrogen can weaken the grass.
Phosphorous: Phosphorous promotes vigorous growth and establishes healthy roots.
Potassium: Potassium plays a key role in strengthening cell walls and helping plants digest and manufacture food.

How often should I Fertilizer my lawn

When you should fertilize your lawn depends on two factors, climate, and type of grass you have in your lawn. Yes, not all grass types are same and the key to fertilize is to apply fertilizer when your grass is doing the most growing.

Cool-season grass
Cool season grass includes the varieties like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, tall fescue and fine fescue. The growing season of these types of grass in winters so they should be fertilized in fall. You can fertilize again in early summers to late spring if your lawn looks like it needs it.

Warm-season grass
Varieties like Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, zoysia, centipede and buffalo grass are warm-season grasses. The ideal time to fertilize these grasses is of early summers, and you can again fertilize in August. These grasses remain dormant in winters and grow mostly in the summer season.

Types of fertilizers

Two types of fertilizers are available in the market each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Granular Fertilizers: This kind of fertilizer works slowly and keeps feeding your grass for a long time. Granular fertilizers do not leach out of the soil as rapidly as water-soluble fertilizers. This type of fertilizer is also easy to apply.
Liquid Fertilizers: liquid or water-soluble fertilizers are spread through a hose and are useful for providing nourishment to your grassroots rapidly. But this type of fertilizer is more transient, and you have to apply more often than granular type.
These fertilizers come in both synthetic and organic forms. Synthetic fertilizers are chemicals and give immediate results. Organic compost is prepared naturally from living organisms and their byproducts.

Benefits of fertilizers

Fertilizers are essential for the healthy growth of grass and plants in your lawn some other benefits are also worth mentioning.
Fewer puddles in your lawn
As fertilizers strengthen the roots of grass, they can absorb more water. Firm roots lessen the chances of water pooling to form messy puddles in your lawn.
Weed Control
Providing right fertilizers control weed production in your lawn. They help to produce thick, healthy grass that does not allow weed to take a foothold in your lawn at the first place.
Pest control
Healthy lawn maintains a good balance of microorganism in the ecosystem and keep away the earthworms, praying mantises, ladybirds and other dwellers that feed on pests.

How to apply fertilizer to your lawn

Following methods are used for applying fertilizers depending on their type.
Deep soil application
Compost or organic manures are placed on the surface of the soil and incorporated in the surface with a plough or rototiller. This is done before planting grass.
Many types of fertilizer spreaders are available in the market like hand-held, walk behind, or tow behind that you can choose depending on your area and budget. This method is good for gardens, flower beds, and lawns.
Liquid application
Water soluble fertilizers are applied with spray canes, sprinkles or furrow irrigation.

Some tips for applying fertilizer to your lawn

Following points should be considered:
1. Test your soil before choosing the fertilizer. Fertilizers in the market come with different proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You need to know what your lawn needs for choosing the right combination.
2. Best time to fertilize is after heavy rain or watering. Check the forecast and apply fertilizer before or after rain as heavy downpour would cause the nutrients to leach out of soil wasting your money.
3. For better results, apply granular fertilizer that would nourish your lawn in the long run.
4. After fertilizing gently water your lawn so that it is washed off the leaves into the soil.
5. Apply as often as is needed, overfeeding your lawn would not only waste your money and efforts but also can damage the environment.

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