In the spring, it is a great time to apply lawn fertilizer to your lawn. Throughout the growing season, you might want to add one or more applications. Timing is key to a successful and healthy lawn. If you apply fertilizer too early, you might not see the best results. Here are a few reasons why spring fertilization is essential for your lawn.
Best Time To Apply Fertilizer
You will want to apply fertilizer during the late spring as the grass starts developing a green color. If you use this product in the early spring, the grass will divert energy away from root development and focus on leaf development.
Do You Need Fertilizer on Your Lawn?
Some people debate the need for fertilizers. With organic and low-impact gardening practices on the rise, some people turn to other methods to feed their lawns. One main concern is the fertilizer run-off that can leach into the local water supply. The nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer can contaminate rivers, streams, and groundwater.
Fortunately, a few organic methods are available to feed a lawn. You can use a mulching mower that grinds the fine particles and adds them to your lawn. With this process, it can add as much nitrogen as a single fertilizer application. You also might want to use organic fertilizers with natural materials in place of chemicals. While organic fertilizers are natural, they will have less potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus than those chemical feeders.
However, traditional chemical fertilizers are still the top choice, and they can be found at big box stores and garden centers. You can find these fertilizers in several varieties, including early-spring feeders, mid-summer fertilizers, and late-season turf builders. Some of these fertilizers are well-suited for flowers and vegetables. Many fertilizers also contain herbicides that can kill weeds, feed the lawn, and prevent weed growth.
If you are looking for a combination of products, you might want to choose a pre-emergent herbicide. You should add these products in the early spring. However, pre-emergent products will not give your lawn a full feeding of essential chemicals.
Pay Attention To Feeding Rates
In most cases, you want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for feeding your lawn. However, some of them are often overzealous in their recommended feeding schedule. You might want to start with a light feeding of fertilizer. If you don’t notice any results, you can reapply the products.
You can spot a healthy lawn with its light shade of bright green blades. Any lawn that has a deep green appearance is heavily fertilized. All that nitrogen produces a dark green hue on the leaves. However, a heavy dose of nitrogen is more likely to run off in the local sewers and enter into the water supply.
Choosing the Time To Fertilize
For those property owners who want to stick to more organic measures, it could be beneficial to do a single application of those “turf building” products in the early fall. With a simple application, these builders can rebuild a healthy root system. Some organic methods include omitting any fertilizing applications in the spring and relying on the nitrogen from mulched grass clippings to feed the lawn.
Traditional feeding methods include two or three applications of conventional fertilizers per year. The best times to feed include once in the spring and one application during the mid-summer. You can add a third feeding of a “turf builder” product around the early fall.
The type of grass and your climate will determine when you should feed your grass. You can always ask a company with commercial lawn care services for advice. They have the expertise to help you choose the best times to fertilize your lawn.
After you have figured out your feeding schedule, you need to apply fertilizer after a short period of rain. If you live in dry conditions, add about a quarter-inch of water to the soil. The water will help the fertilizer to absorb into the ground. However, never add fertilizer after a heavy rainstorm. With soaked soil and a heavy run-off of water, you can increase the risk of fertilizer flowing into the local water supply.
Maximizing Your Spring Application
If you fertilize your lawn in the fall, then the fertilizer will help to grow grass in the spring. When those cool-season grasses awaken, they will begin a natural growth cycle that builds energy reserves to start the root system’s development. You might want to wait until late spring to help your lawn thrive throughout the summer.
At this stage, any feeding will help your lawn for the summer. When it gets hotter outside, the carbohydrate production begins to slow, and the grass starts to rely on those energy reserves. A pound of slow-release nitrogen will help to rebuild those reserves and reduce any summer stress. Polymer-coated fertilizer can help to feed your lawn for about 12 weeks.
Feed in the Summer and Fall
If you have warm-season grasses, they can thrive in the heat of summer, and you will want to feed them in the growing season. Those cool-season grasses enter a survival mode in the summer. You might want to hold off on feeding until the mid- or late-summer. These grasses just need water until about September.
You should think about a small dose of “turf builder” for your lawn in the early to mid-fall. During this time, the lawn will have several weeks of active growth, and you can boost the root system until the winter. Once spring arrives in your area, the growing cycle will begin.
With these helpful lawn care tips, you can successfully feed your grass. There are plenty of fertilizers on the market, and you can find one that addresses any issues in your lawn. The feeding schedule and type of fertilizer depend on your climate and grass species.
Charlestown Landscaping Can Help With Feeding
If you are looking for commercial lawn care, reach out to Charlestown Landscaping LLC. We have a team of professionals who can help you create and maintain a healthy lawn. You can schedule a consultation by calling (610) 608-3965.