If your ultimate gardening goal is to have the best lawn on the street, you won’t be able to get there without learning about fertilization.
Lawn fertilizers are the only way you’ll get your grass to go from blah to beautiful, but they’re a little more detailed than you realize.
Does your lawn need fertilizer? Yes, all lawns should have a regular application of fertilizer to keep them thriving and healthy.
There are lawn specific fertilizers you can use, but these should be chosen based on your soil structure, grass type, and whatever other factors need to be considered.
There’s only so far that mowing your lawn can take you if your dream is to have a luscious green lawn, and fertilizers can help you go the rest of the way.
This guide covers it all when it comes to lawn fertilizer and supplementation, so read on to find out how to get it right.
If you curious about other aspects of lawn care visit our homepage GreenIQ.
Why Does Lawn Fertilization Matter?
Fertilizing your lawn is one of the best things you can do for it, but it’s also a misunderstood process.
Some of the more common excuses for not fertilizing their grass is that it grows in the wild without assistance or that their lawn appears fine from a distance without the help of supplementation, so there’s no need to do any more than your regular mowing.
While grass does grow freely in settings like pastures and fields when you get into a residential setting, the conditions aren’t as healthy and plants and grass won’t be able to thrive as efficiently.
The combination of plentiful pollution, chemicals, pests, and weeds that are prevalent in residential areas means our lawns are lacking a lot of the nutrients they need, and can’t access them on their own.
The simple act of applying a fertilizer every few months or once a year will ensure your lawn gets access to these important nutrients, and it’s an incredibly easy gardening task to do.
With regular fertilization, you’ll also be reducing the lawn maintenance you have to perform yourself as weeds will be less present and the grass will grow more healthily.
Learn How to Sample Your Lawn
Any good gardener knows how important it is to study their lawn and plants to get a better understanding of what it needs, thus allowing them to choose the right fertilizer.
The best way to do it is to buy a soil test kit.
Fertilizer helps your lawn recover from stress, grow to its full potential, and fight off disease, pests, and weeds, so it has to be a perfect match. Some of them incorporate more then one function, some contain pesticides or weeding agents too.
Learning how to sample your lawn and soil is a skill every gardener needs, including checking pH levels and determining the grass type that is growing.
Most people think fertilizers are nothing more than some simple elements that are thrown into the soil but a key part of fertilizing your lawn is also managing the soil quality.
If your soil is too acidic there are ways to fix this, liming your lawn is one way, or adding specific fertilizers with basic materials to change the pH of the soil.
Another important topic is soil hardness. Soil rich in clay and or a very sandy soil will be very hard or soft. Grass isn’t fond of too hard or too soft soil. So how do you harden soft soil and how do you soften soft soil?
Lawn Fertilizer Varieties
Getting the right lawn fertilizer can be a difficult task, especially when you see the sheer number of features and formulas there are to choose from.
A lawn fertilizer type should be perfectly matched to the lawn it’s treating but also needs to take into account the gardener’s requirements and your goals for the grass.
The three key things you’ll have to consider when buying fertilizer are whether you want a liquid or solid form, if it’ll be slow or fast release, and what type of ingredients you’re looking for.
Most gardeners will have a preference after years of using fertilizer, but if you’re newcomer this can be an extremely daunting task.
- Can I make my own lawn fertilizer?
- What’s compost and top soil?
- How often do I need to fertilize?
- Can I just buy ready made soil?
- How do I add minerals to the soil?
- Do I fertilize before or after rain?
A lot of people get confused when they see all the lettering and numbering so it’s important to understand what the letters and numbers mean. How do you read the fertilizer labels?
Fertilizers can be divided into
Then we have fertilizer ratios NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) they often come in ratios like 10-10-10 or 10-5-5 it’s important to know what your current lawn needs. What is the best ratio for lawn fertilizers is a common question asked but there’s rarely a good common answer all depends on your soil and lawn type.
After you’ve decided on what type of fertilizer to get you need to know how much you should get. What’s the fertilizer per square foot you need?
We talked about pastures and people often wonder if the nature can take care of itself then maybe if you took nature’s way and applied manure, you’d get a better lawn but thing are rarely as simple as that.
Then there is even a more natural fertilizer that sometimes gets dismissed as a weed, clover. Farmers have been for generations rotation clovers on fields to get better soil compositions, can having a clover lawn every few years fix your lawn soil?
What are the best clover seeds to buy?
Spreading Lawn Fertilizers
Most beginners don’t really think too much about this step since they don’t really expect it until they come home and get ready to fertilize their lawn.
Some people assume you can just buy granular fertilizer and spread it by hand and in some cases you indeed can. But things get more complicated if your lawn is big or if you got liquid or some other specialized fertilizer such as manure.
Often asked questions are:
Overusing Lawn Fertilizers
Often times beginners simply go for it, only to end up with a lawn looking like this.
What happened here is called lawn burn, it’s a phenomenon that happens when you apply the wrong type of fertilizer and it’s extremely dangerous as it’s incredibly hard to reverse lawn burn.