The trees are already budding and the daffodils have appeared. And even though there’s a cold spell on the horizon, this is an ideal time to get your shopping list ready for fertilizer or chatting with your lawn maintenance pros about problem areas that need to be addressed this year.
Lawn fertilizers give your lawn the nutrients it needs to help it become lush and green. You’ve probably noticed a little Greening ‘O the Lawn lately (just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!), so now is a great time to LIME your grass. If your soil is acid, you need to do this every couple of years. The best way to tell if you need lime is with a soil test, which will let you know exactly how much to apply. But if you’re not able to get your soil tested, use the general guideline of 15 – 20 pounds of lime per 100 square feet of lawn area. Hint: easy to apply pelletized lime is better than the white, powdered kind.
Granular fertilizer is best applied with a rotary spreader that applies fertilizer evenly across the lawn. Make sure you calibrate the spreader so it applies the fertilizer evenly and at the correct rate. And a reminder: make sure you never apply fertilizer near water sources such as lakes, wells, or storm drains.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
If you want to keep your lawn looking beautiful throughout the season, fertilizer should be applied every 6 weeks during the spring after mowing the lawn 2 or 3 times. Here are a couple of weather-related tips:
1) Try not to apply fertilizer during hottest part of the day or in extremely windy conditions
2) If rain isn’t in the immediate forecast, turn the sprinklers on after applying fertilizer to water it in thoroughly.
REALLY GOING GREEN
Organic fertilizer is usually made from plant or animal waste such as manure and compost or powdered minerals like bone and cottonseed meal. In addition to releasing nutrients, as organic fertilizers break down, they improve the structure of the soil and increase its ability to hold water and nutrients. Over time, organic fertilizers will make your soil and plants healthy and strong.
A couple of caveats with organics:
1) Organic fertilizer’s microorganisms must break down to release nutrients into the soil. That means they need warmth and moisture to do their job, so their effectiveness is limited seasonally.
2) Organic fertilizers break down according to nature’s rules, so they may not release nutrients as soon as you think. You have to be patient and you may even see a deficiency in your plants during the first couple of months until the first application breaks down. Hang in there! You’ll most definitely be rewarded!
In selecting any lawn fertilization and nutrition program, consider the following:
– The current nutrition of your lawn
– How much money is in your budget
– How much work you want to put into the application – initial and ongoing
As technology in the field of lawn care, grasses, irrigation, and fertilization keeps growing, the choices and combinations continue to increase. Walter Reeves has great advice about lawn care based on the type of grass you have.
Once you’ve fertilized your front lawn, why not top off your curb appeal dreams with a new front porch or portico? Click here to make a free design consultation appointment.