One of the most important parts of your home is the lawn, simply because the lawn grass serves several roles. For one, your lawn represents natural space – a connection that allows you and your family to enjoy nature. Your lawn also contributes to the aesthetic look of your home.
There’s no doubt that it is very important to keep your lawn looking healthy and fresh. Besides mowing the grass often with the best corded electric lawn mowers, fertilizing your lawn is also an important step. Before you just get started with the fertilization process without knowing much, here are some important lawn fertilizer tips that could change the way you care for your lawn.
Lawn Fertilizer Tips
1. Use the Appropriate Lawn Fertilizer
Generally, fertilizers are any groups of chemicals that can improve a plant’s productivity through nutrient enrichment. There are many different kinds of fertilizers on the market and without proper research, you can get the wrong one for your lawn.
For one, fertilizers are generally focused on three essential nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fortunately, you can easily find lawn fertilizers that have all three.
To ensure you’re getting a fertilizer that has all three, you must find the label that says “NPK” (the three letters that correspond to the atomic symbols of the three elements) or a similar label that states what the ratio for the three are.
Getting a grass fertilizer with all three will make life easier and is highly recommended for people who don’t have too much knowledge about the nutritional requirements of the plants.
2. Go for Granules
When you’re shopping for your lawn fertilizer, you’d realize that fertilizers can come in various forms: liquids, powders, and granules. While large farmlands typically use liquid fertilizer, granulated fertilizer are recommended for the average homeowner.
Granulated fertilizers are easy to work with and are typically designed with slow release technology, which means that the granules stay on the ground and slowly release the nutrients instead of bombarding the soil with all the nutrients right away.
3. Apply Fertilizers at the Appropriate Time
Once you’ve obtained the right lawn fertilizer for the job, you need to first determine whether it is the right time to be applying fertilizers.
Fertilizers provide additional nutrients that can enhance a plant’s growth. This means that the best time to apply fertilizers would be when plants are actively growing. This time of the year might not be the same for everyone all over the world, but all you have to consider are the seasons.
To make the most of your fertilizers, effectively apply them during the spring or the summer so that plants can readily use the available nutrients from the fertilizers. In contrast, you wouldn’t find as much effect if you apply the fertilizers during winter because the plants themselves have become metabolically slowed.
4. Apply Fertilizers at the Appropriate Rate
Before you begin applying fertilizer, you have to determine the right rate to apply it. This cannot be specifically recommended as each fertilizer is different. This is why it is imperative to check the label of your fertilizer and follow the instructions.
You might think that there’s no downside with applying too much fertilizer, but there are. Too much fertilizer applied will cause the grass on your lawn to grow too fast. Too much fertilizer can also lead to excess and unused fertilizer, thus minimizing your cost-effectiveness.
5. Apply Fertilizers at the Right Place
Understandably, if you want to apply fertilizers on your lawn then you have to make sure you’re only adding fertilizers on your lawn grass.
It is crucial to avoid applying fertilizer on concrete surfaces that may be adjacent to your lawn such as sidewalks and driveways because fertilizer runoff can become an environmental disaster.
While fertilizers are just essentially nutrients, you definitely don’t want these substances reaching natural bodies of water, especially if those bodies of water are your area’s source of freshwater.
Furthermore, runoffs containing fertilizer can cause eutrophication in bodies of water that can also lead to harmful algal blooms.
6. Use a Rotary Spreader
Once you have the right fertilizers and a proper plan to fertilize your lawn, it is highly recommended that you get yourself a rotary spreader to help you apply your fertilizers.
Essentially, a rotary spreader is a large hopper that acts as a holding bin and is situated above a rotating disk. The fertilizer drops from the hopper and gets flung out by the rotating disk. This is an effective device that will effectively cover your lawn with fertilizer and make applying fertilizers so much easier.
7. Use a Drop Spreader
If you have gotten yourself a rotary spreader, you might think that that’s all you’d need. While rotary spreaders are effective in applying fertilizers more conveniently, it’s also worth considering a drop spreader as well.
Compared to a rotary spreader, a drop spreader is simply a hopper that evenly drops fertilizer right under the grass.
If you’re wondering why you’d need a drop spreader if you already have a rotary spreader, the simple answer is: lawn edges.
Rotary spreaders fling fertilizer in a wide area which quickly applies fertilizer on your lawn grass. However, you might get excess fertilizer flung to places where you wouldn’t want fertilizers to reach. If this is the case, get yourself a drop spreader and use it to apply fertilizer on the edges of the lawn grass. Then, you can use the rotary spreader on the inside.
8. Aerate the Soil
One way to improve the effectiveness of fertilizers is by aerating the soil. This is easily done by simply putting holes in the soil. Different tools can be used to do this and the ultimate goal is to simply make it easier for nutrients to have access to the soil and the roots of the plants.
What do you do with your grass clippings after you mow your lawn? Do you collect it and throw it in the trash? Here’s one tip that would not only benefit your lawn grass but also make things even easier for you: practice grasscycling.
Grasscycling is the simple act of leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after cutting them. After you’ve applied your grass fertilizers, the nutrients go inside the plants and help them grow.
Once you’ve cut them, they can still contain some of those nutrients. Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn will actually return some of the nutrients back to the soil which will help fertilize your lawn and save you time and money in the process.
10. Grow Clovers
While plants require nitrogen in the soil, the atmosphere actually holds a lot of nitrogen. In fact, the air you breathe is almost made up of 78% nitrogen. However, the nitrogen in the air is not the same form that plants require in the soil. This is where clovers come in.
Clovers are part of a group of plants or grass that actually host bacteria in their roots that convert nitrogen in the air to nitrogen that can be used by plants. So if you want to boost the nitrogen levels in your grass soil, then maybe you should consider growing clovers in addition to fertilizing your lawn.
There are many things to consider when you want to fertilize your lawn. These 10 tips will get you far. Regardless of the tips you apply, you and your lawn will ultimately benefit from the added focus as the effort will result in a beautiful lawn. Now you know how to effectively improve the health of the soil and improve the productivity of your grass and other plants.