Faq About Lawn Fertilization
1. How much does it cost to fertilize a lawn?
If you choose to buy fertilizer to fertilize your own lawn, youll spend about $10 to $30 per bag of fertilizer. How much fertilizer you need depends on the size of your lawn. If you hire a professional lawn care company to fertilize your lawn instead, you should expect to pay between $75 and $500 per service, depending on labor rates where you live, the size of your lawn, and the type of fertilizer you want the pros to use.
2. How much lawn fertilizer do I need?
How much fertilizer you need varies from product to product. Check the fertilizer label for information on how much ground you can cover with one package. In most cases, about 14 20 pounds of granular fertilizer will cover 5,000 square feet. If you dont already know the square footage of your lawn, there are a couple of easy ways to figure it out:1. If you know the square footage of your overall property and the square footage of your home, subtract the size of your home from the size of your property. Whats left is approximately the size of your lawn. Or2. Measure around the perimeter of your lawn with a measuring tape or measuring wheel. Multiply the length times the width for your lawn area.
3. How do you reverse fertilizer burn?4. Whats the best way to fertilize a lawn with dogs?
Clean Up After Yourself
After fertilizing the lawn, sweep up any excess granules on the driveway and other hard surfaces and throw them in the trash. If you leave excess fertilizer out, rainwater will eventually carry it into natural bodies of water, polluting them with chemicals.
Remove the leftover fertilizer from the spreader and put it back in the bag, then store it in a cool, dry place far from the curious reach of pets and children.
Once the fertilizer spreader is empty, open the hopper and spray down the whole machine with a hose. Store your fertilizer spreader inside so it doesnt rust.
Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every 2 Weeks
To avoid over-fertilizing, applying a fertilizer every two weeks is not recommended. Fertilizing as often as every two weeks will likely lead to problems such as lawn burn, excessive grass growth, as well as polluted water that can lead to toxic algae growth. A natural, healthier way of feeding your lawn every two weeks would be to simply leave the grass clippings on the lawn surface after mowing your grass.
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What Are The Main Nutrients That Soil Needs To Be Healthy
The main nutrients that the soil needs in large quantities are:
- Carbon : Plants get this nutrient through carbon dioxide in the air
- Hydrogen : The soil gets this necessary element from water
- Oxygen : This element is transmitted to plants through water and air
- Nitrogen : Nitrogen helps plants to make the protein they need to produce new tissue, but this element is rather rare in nature.
- Phosphorus : Phosphorus stimulates good root development and promotes the active growth of plants and flowers. To absorb phosphorus, the majority of plants need soil pH to be between 6.5 and 6.8.
- Potassium : Potassium helps strengthen plants’ ability to resist diseases and other stresses
- Other secondary elements such as calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are also needed in smaller quantities to ensure the proper development of plants.
Since we cannot rely on nature to provide all the essential elements, some have to be added by you or even better, one of Vertdures experts. When you buy fertilizer, you will notice that the content of the N-P-K elements is indicated on each product. For example, if you buy a bag of fertilizer and the bag reads 12-2-6, it means that your fertilizer contains 12% nitrogen, 2% phosphorus, and 6% potassium.
Adjust Soil Ph As Needed
Your soil test might reveal that your soil pH is too acidic or too alkaline . With acidic or alkaline soil, your grass will have a hard time absorbing the nutrients from the fertilizer, no matter how much of it you apply.
The ideal pH range for most grasses is 6.5 7. If your soil pH is lower than that range, add agricultural lime to raise it before fertilizing. If your soil pH is higher than that range, add elemental sulfur to lower it before fertilizing. Your soil test results should include advice on how much lime or sulfur to apply for your specific needs.
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Start At The Edge And Go Inward
Start by going around the outside of your lawn with a spreader, and then go inward. Maintaining a constant and moderate walking speed is the best way to ensure you cover the same ground. Applying fertilizer around the perimeter of the grass should be done while going back and forth across the lawn in a straight line, just like you would while mowing the lawn.
How To Fertilise A Lawn
You can fertilise a lawn by hand, but it can be a difficult process as it is hard to tell whether you have put the right amount down. It is generally advisable to use a spreader as most lawn care professionals do because they can help you to spread your fertiliser evenly over the surface and give better results. There are several different types of spreader that you can use. Shoulder or handheld spreaders are good for gardens that are not a standard rectangle shape and are very easy to use. You can also use mechanical push-along spreaders. These spreaders are better for large gardens where you have a lot of fertiliser to spread. Rotary spreaders have a spinning mechanism that throws or sprays the fertiliser while drop fertilisers have small holes in the underside out of which the feed drops onto the grass. Liquid fertiliser can be sprayed directly onto the lawn surface and is good for demand feeding in areas that need more nutrients.
Ideally you should feed your lawn as soon after mowing as possible as this will give the grass more time to absorb the nutrients before the next mow. If you mow your lawn after fertilising you may remove the fertiliser before it has a chance to sink in properly.
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What Types Of Fertiliser Should You Use
There are many different types of fertiliser on offer. Most lawn fertilisers will contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus as base ingredients but can contain other trace element nutrients that can be beneficial for lawns. You need to be careful not to buy cheap fertilisers that contain too much nitrogen. Having too much nitrogen in a fertiliser will very quickly improve the quality of your lawn but will not hold up in the long term. Generally you can buy fertilisers in granular or liquid forms and options are available for different soil types . Wiltshire based lawn care provider, Lawntech, recommends their own mix of granular fertiliser that includes a blend of nutrients including iron, magnesium and pure hydrated manure. A professional lawn care technician will be able to identify the right proportion of active ingredients needed for the time of year and type of lawn.
How To Select A Good Fertilizer
To grow properly, all plants need essential nutrients. Those that are typically needed in the greatest amounts are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The best fertilizer for your lawn is one that contains the ratio of these three nutrients needed as indicated by your soil test results.
All fertilizer packages must list three numbers . These numbersknown as the fertilizer analysisrepresent the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer.
Many soils may already have enough phosphorus and potassium. If the soil test finds that your lawn does not need phosphorus and/or potassium, choose a fertilizer that provides only nitrogen. It is best not to apply phosphorus without the aid of a soil test. If you add phosphorus to a lawn that does not need it, the phosphorus levels will build up in the soil to a point that phosphorus could move off the lawn through runoff. This phosphorus may then enter surface waters, where it may lower water quality by contributing to algal blooms and decreased fish habitat.
To calculate the amount of each nutrient supplied in a bag of fertilizer, multiply the percentage in the analysis by the number of pounds in the bag:
Amount of nutrient in the bag = Percentage of that nutrient x Number of pounds in the bag
For example: Lets calculate the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a 40-pound bag of 16-4-8 fertilizer:
Nitrogen : 16 percent x 40 pounds of fertilizer = 6.4 pounds of nitrogen
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How Long Before Rain Should I Fertilize
Ideally, you should aim to fertilize about two days after rain or watering, and when the next heavy rainfall is at least two days away. It can be helpful to have some rain before and after fertilizing. Rain a couple of days before fertilizing keeps your yard moist and the turf healthy, receptive to the nutrients.
How To Choose Fertilizer For Your Lawn
When it comes to choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn, you want a complete fertilizer. That is, it contains all of the three elements, namely, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium
How much of each will vary. But for most lawns youll want something that has 3 parts nitrogen to 1 part phosphorus to 1 part potassium.
You do need to consider all other factors as well. These are the type of grass you have, the climate in your city and the soil you have.
Soil plays a big part here. So, its important to run a soil test before going to the store. You can use a soil testing kit which will tell you the pH of the soil and a few other things.
With this, youll be able to tell the expert in the store to help you choose the fertilizer you need.
Another thing to consider when buying fertilizer is choosing one thats slow release. This type of fertilizer releases the nutrients gradually over time. This allows just enough nutrients to the soil that it can absorb.
It also lets you take more time in between applications.
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Apply Fertilizer Evenly Throughout The Lawn
As you go in a zigzag path around your yard, spray your body in a circular motion from side to side. Take note of where the sprayer stops working so that you may pick up where it left off on the subsequent run. Be cautious not to overspray or miss any places while you are spraying. The application of liquid fertilizer might be difficult for inexperienced gardeners. In many homes, uneven lawns may be attributed to liquid fertilizer usage.
What Kind Of Lawn Do I Want
To maintain a lawn thats right for you, it helps to decide how much time, money and effort you are willing to spend managing it. Two practices fertilization and irrigationdetermine to a good extent the amount of work and money required to take care of a lawn.
Broadly defined, lawn management levels can be
- Low: the minimum level of management required to maintain turf density and resist weed problems.
- Moderate: the amount of management required for enhanced appearance and quality.
- High: the amount of management needed for lawns that are highly visible or must withstand high traffic or use.
Lawns do not need to be dark green to be healthy. In fact, if your lawn has too much nitrogen, you will likely need to irrigate and mow it more often.
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Does Lawn Fertilizer Need To Be Watered In
Watering-In Standard FertilizerAll fertilizers should be watered-in. This ensures that the product will be washed into the soil and become available to the grass through the roots. It’s important to water-in with enough waterbut not too much. … The best way to water-in fertilizer is to do it naturally, with rain.
Follow These Steps To Apply Measured Amounts Of Fertilizeran Alternative Way To Spread Fertilizer:
The only tools you need to weigh the fertilizer in measured amounts are a bathroom scale and a large bucket.
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Feeding The Lawn In The Summer And Fall
Warm-season grasses thrive in the heat of the summer and can be fertilized throughout the growing season. However, cool-season grasses are in a survival mode during the heat of the summer. Refrain from applying fertilizer to a lawn in mid- or late-summer if you live in a climate where cool-season grasses are in your lawn seed mix. A cool-season lawn should need nothing other than water and pest management until September.
Most lawn experts recommend a mild dose of a “turf-builder” fertilizer formulation in the early- to mid-fall, while the turf still has several weeks of active growth before dormancy. This application will help build robust root systems going into winter and restart the growing cycle in the spring. You are not looking to return your lawn to the green of summer. Heading into winter, you can expect a natural slowdown of your lawn’s growth and the loss of its green luster.
How Much Fertilizer To Apply
Once you know what your soil lacks, you will need to figure out what kind and how much fertilizer to buy and apply. To do so, you need to know the size of your lawn. Many people do not know the size of their lawns when they visit the garden center to buy fertilizer and other lawn care products. This often leads to misapplication and inconsistent results. Lawn care products are often recommended in amounts to apply per 1,000 square feet of lawn area.
To calculate the size of your lawn, start by dividing the lawn into sections and measuring each section in feet . For square or rectangular sections, multiply the length times the width to determine its area in square feet. Then add up the section areas to arrive at the total size of the lawn.
The good news is that youll need to accurately measure the lawn only once, and then you can use that calculation each time you visit the garden center. Knowing the size of your lawn and the results of your soil test will help you determine the correct amounts of fertilizer and pesticides to buy and apply. Your goal in applying any lawn care product should be to apply measured amounts to measured lawn areas.
Once you know what your soil needs and how big your lawn is, you can select a fertilizer that will give the grass the nutrients it requires and calculate the amount of that fertilizer to buy.
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When To Feed Your Lawn
In Canada, where cool-season grass types like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescues are dominant, youll want to fertilize your lawn twice in the spring and once again in the fall. Each feeding should be spaced at least 6 to 8 weeks apart. If your cool-season lawn is still green and actively growing in the summer, you can continue to give it lawn fertilizer during the summer months . However, if your grass goes dormant during summer heat and drought, temporarily stop feeding until it greens up and starts to grow again in the early fall.
Begin The Fertilizing Cycle Again
When you buy fertilizer, take note of how long the feed lasts. There are slow- and quick-release fertilizers and these differ in how long they take effect for. Slow-release fertilizers tend to be effective for three to four months quick-release ones last for a month or so. So, make a note in your diary of when to begin the process again.
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Professional Lawn Care Help
When you fertilize your grass on a regular schedule, it will grow faster than ever, which is great unless you want to spend your weekends on something other than mowing the lawn.
Want a thick, healthy lawn with lots of new growth without the hassle of keeping it cut? Weekly lawn mowing service from LawnStarters local lawn care pros is only a click away. Main Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Great Question And There Are Many Different Answers
When you should fertilize, all depends on what your expectations are for your lawn
What are your goals for your lawn?
What is your fertilizing budget?
Should you hire a fertilizer pro?
Can your Fertilize your own lawn?
These are just a few of the things you may be wondering when it comes to fertilizing your lawn.
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