Feb 23, 2016

Lawn Fertilization. What kind, how much and how often?


Lawn Ferilization: What kind, how much and how often? You know your lawn needs to be fertilized. More is better, right? If you have ever over fertilized you know this leaves dead brown spots. On the opposite spectrum, under fertilizing causes a yellow lawn. To get plush green lawn you desire, there needs to be just the right balance. Read below for our professional tips on how much, how often and what kind of fertilizer to use.

What Kind of Lawn Fertilizer?

Knowing the basics of fertilizer will help you in choosing the right product for your lawn. Fertilizer chemistry, comes down to three letters N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus) and K (potassium) ratios. Looking at these ratios will tell you how fast your lawn will green and for how long. Nitrogen is responsible for the "greening effect" on lawn and overall growth (including shoot growth on plants). Phosphorus effects the rate of seedling development, maturation, and root growth. Potassium effects drought tolerance, cold hardiness, and disease resistance. These three elements make a complete lawn fertilizer. Turfgrass fertilizers, as a general rule, are in a rough ratio of about a 3:1:2. So meaning there’s about 3 times as much Nitrogen as Phosphorus, and about 2 times as much Potassium as Phosphorus. So look for a bag of fertilizer with these approximate ratios, brand difference is only seen in professional grade vs. residential grade. Be mindful if your fertilizer is a fast or slow-release product. We recommend a slow-release fertilizer, unless you want green lawn, fast.

How Much Fertilizer To Apply to Lawn?

We recommend an application rate of 7 lbs per 1,000 square feet. You want to ensure you leave no clumps of concentrated fertilizer as that will burn your lawn. Make sure distribution is even through out entire lawn. You can do this by walking with the hand spreader then turning the handle. Simply turning the handle without movement will result in concentrated product. If you are using a walk behind spreader, began walking first before releasing product.How Often to Fertilize Lawn?

Typically, we fertilize every 6-8 weeks, which ends up being around 5 times per year. If your lawn needs more fertilizer (yellowing is observed) you can add an additional application. Keep in mind you need a minimum of 5 weeks between fertilization's. A common misstep we see is too many applications, resulting in burnt lawn.

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Erica Mooney
Email Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

lawn, spring, advice, fertilizer

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