What’s the perfect backdrop to your home made out of? Perfectly shaped hedges, flowering shrubs in full bloom and the verdant foliage of that old oak. And yet none of it would be complete without a lush, manicured lawn to bring it all wonderfully together. However, preparing your lawn to look amazing just in time for all that golden sunshine – and all year round too – means fertilizing it just right at the perfect time of the year.
If you’re not sure of how to go about it all, you needn’t worry. Here at ‘Surf’n’Buy’, we specialize in providing you with helpful tips and pointers on how to care for your garden, lawn and patio.
And below, we’ve explained all you need to know about providing the grass on your lawn with the nutrients it needs and the best times of the year for fertilizing it. And by the time you get to the end of our article, you’ll be fully equipped to care for your lawn and achieve amazing results too.
The Best Procedure for Fertilizing Your Lawn and How to Get the Timing Right
Test Your Soil
Before you fertilize your lawn, you’ll need to find out your soil’s pH and nutrient content. Luckily, doing so is pretty straightforward and can be achieved with a minimum of fuss. All you’ll need to do is take the following steps:
- Take 10 samples of soil from your lawn each 4 inches deep.
- Next, combine the selected samples and measure a cup’s capacity.
- Package and label the combination and send it off to the garden center to get tested.
A pH of 7.0 or slightly lower means your soil is just what your lawn grass needs. But what if it’s any lower or higher? If your soil pH happens to be 6.0 or lower, it will need lime to raise it to a suitable level. If it happens to be higher than 7.0, on the other hand, it will need sulfur to make it less alkaline.
Choose the Right Kind of Fertilizer
Once you’ve ensured your soil has the right pH for your lawn to thrive, you’ll need to decide on the best kind of fertilizer your grass requires. In order to do just that, you’ll need to take a number of important factors into consideration, including the following:
- The size of your lawn: All you have to do is measure its length and breadth to obtain its total surface area.
Doing so will enable you to work out just how much fertilizer you need. And since best is always more, planning on purchasing a slightly higher amount is highly recommended.
- Fertilizer N-P-K ratios: This involves noting the sequence of numbers allocated to the alphabets N-P-K on the bag of fertilizer you purchase.
These figures represent the ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium – the essential nutrients grass needs to grow. But what if you aren’t so sure about what nutrients your grass needs? Simply check with your garden center which will assist you in making the right choice.
- Fertilizer type: Fertilizers generally come in the form of liquid or pellets (granules). What’s more, they may also be slow release or fast acting.
Slow release pellets are often an excellent choice since they’re generally safer to use on plants and don’t need to be applied frequently.
- Method of distribution: Do you have a smaller sized lawn? If so, a drop or handheld spreader would be an excellent choice for ensuring you’re able to evenly distribute your fertilizer all over it.
But what if it’s somewhat on the larger side? Simply opt for a broadcast or rotary spreader and select your preferred pattern to ensure your entire lawn gets covered.
Apply Your Fertilizer
Once you’re ready to apply your fertilizer, you’ll need to implement a few safety precautions before you get started. These should include wearing gloves and eye protection as well as taking any other additional measures which will prevent the fertilizer from coming in contact with your skin.
It’s also best to avoid fertilizing your lawn on a windy day to prevent your fertilizer from getting blown all around your surroundings. Especially since it may pose a safety hazard to children and pets. It’s also important to carefully read and note the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you get the best out of your purchase. Next, you’ll need to implement the following steps:
- Fill your spreader on a concrete surface: Doing so will ensure you’re able to sweep any spillovers away right after you’ve finished.
As a result, you’ll be able to eliminate any risks of the fertilizer damaging your lawn or seeping into any nearby ponds or sewers and causing an explosion of marine vegetation.
- Apply the fertilizer: The fertilizer should be first applied to the borders of your lawn before being spread over its entire surface area.
- Apply a thorough rinse: It’s important to hose down the grass once you’ve fertilized your lawn in order to ensure it remains verdant and fresh.
This is due to the fact that the fertilizer itself may have corrosive properties. As a result, you’ll also need to thoroughly rinse your spreader to remove every last trace which may corrode it. Rinsing it out is best done on the lawn so all that leftover goodness will seep into the soil with the rest of the water with which you’ve hosed your lawn and nutrients from the fertilizer.
When to Apply Your Fertilizer
Fertilizing your lawn does require a bit of careful planning as can be seen from the steps mentioned above. However, one of the most important aspects of the entire process is its timing. Especially since getting it right will make all the difference between your lawn transforming into a shimmering, thick emerald carpet, and a sparse, uneven spread ridden with weeds and wilted grass.
And right below, we’ve outlined a number of important factors which must be taken into consideration to ensure you get this all essential aspect of making your lawn look amazing, just right.
- Varieties of grass – warm season grasses: Warm season grasses are generally grown in the southern parts of the United States and are exceptionally tolerant to warm weather. They tend to flourish between April and October and include:
- Bermuda grass
- Buffalo grass
- Saint Augustine grass
- Zoysia grass
If you’ve planted any of the above varieties on your lawn, the best time of the year to apply your fertilizer would be right at the start of summer, due to their fondness for loads of sunshine.
- Varieties of grass – cool season grasses: Cool season grasses on the other hand, are capable of maintaining their verdant appeal all year round. However, their favorite seasons are spring and winter and examples of grasses in this category include:
- Bent grass
- Fescue grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Rye grass
Lawn grasses in this category are best fertilized in the fall.
- The weather: Checking the weather forecast before you fertilize your lawn is always a great idea. Particularly since doing so will enable you to avoid carrying out the procedure right before a heavy shower. This is due to the fact that it may wash away most of your fertilizer and also carry it into nearby lakes, streams and drains and encourage excessive algal growth.
Create the Perfect Backdrop to Your Home
What’s the perfect backdrop to your home made out of? A simple soil test and the right kind of fertilizer applied at the right moment. Now you know just what to do, you too can give it a try and watch as your lawn transforms into a verdant, lush carpet which will highlight the beauty of all those flowering shrubs and trees, and add an extra touch of natural allure to your home. And best of all, there are always more awesome articles on how to care for your garden, lawn and patio written just for you here at ‘Surf’n’Buy’.