If you wonder why your yard is never as lush and green as your neighbor's, it might be that you're not using fertilizer correctly or at all. For grass and plants to be their healthiest and fend off weeds, insects, and diseases, they need the extra nutrients from fertilizer, namely phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. However, other nutrients are important too. These nutrients can be derived from natural, organic matter or from traditional fertilizer blends. Here are some tips for applying landscape fertilizer so your lawn is healthy and beautiful.
Have Your Soil Tested
While it isn't absolutely necessary to test your soil, it gives you a lot of helpful information about the nutrients it contains so you'll know what needs to be added. A soil test lets you know the nutrient composition of the soil as well as the pH. The landscaper doing the test can also tell you if the soil is primarily silt, clay, or sand. With this information, you can choose the appropriate fertilizers by reading product labels or asking advice from a landscape professional.
Apply Fertilizer Throughout The Year
Applying fertilizer in the spring gets your grass off to a healthy start. When the grass is strong and growing well, it will choke out weeds so the weeds can't get a foothold in your yard. Some fertilizers even mix a pre-emergent herbicide into the formula that keeps crabgrass and dandelions from springing up and thriving. Summer is a good time for applying another round of fertilizer so your grass stays healthy when it is stressed by heat. You may need to apply it throughout the summer in dead or bare spots to get grass growing again. The fall is a good time to switch fertilizer blends because you no longer want to nourish the leaves. Instead, you want to nourish the roots so they stay healthy over the winter.
Choose Granule Or Spray Fertilizer
You can choose from two type of fertilizer. One is granular, and it is coated to make it release nutrients slowly. This is a good choice for summer application when your grass can use nutrients all summer long. Granules are also easy to spread, and in some instances, they may be healthier for your lawn. Spray fertilizer is fast-acting. It gives your grass a growth spurt, but it might make the grass weaker as a result and be more susceptible to diseases. Spray is less expensive and might be a good choice for spot treatments in the summer. It is more difficult to apply and get even coverage than using granules.
While fertilizer makes your lawn healthy, green, and lush, you need to apply the right kind in the right amount. Too much fertilizer is just as bad as too little. Contact a service, like Bishop Horticulture, for more help.