Tips for Fertilizing Your Lawn This Spring

Spring is the best time to fertilize your lawn and gardens! But knowing exactly how and when to fertilize your lawn can be challenging and it’s not always as easy as following the instructions on a bag of fertilizer. The lawn and landscape experts at Landcrafters have compiled an easy-to-understand guide to your spring fertilization and are here to help you through the process.

What Fertilizer to Use on Your Lawn and Garden

You can fertilize your plants in spring with compost, aged manure or an all-purpose fertilizer. The best type of fertilizer is all based on your personal preference. A great tip is to add coffee grounds to your compost or directly to the soil. It can work wonders on your garden as it’s filled with nitrogen that aids growth!

When buying fertilizer for your lawn, you’ll notice that there are three numbers printed on the bag. These numbers show the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, which are the primary nutrients needed to feed your lawn, also known as the NPK ratio. Before you apply fertilizer to your lawn, you should have your soil tested. This will also help you determine what balance of fertilizer numbers will be appropriate for soil needs and deficiencies.

It’s important to remember that not all plants, grasses, flowers and vegetables use the same type of fertilizers. Do some research or consult one of the experts at Landcrafters when determining which fertilizers are best for your needs.

Be sure to aerate your lawn prior to fertilizing to ensure that water, oxygen, and nutrients can reach the roots of your grass. In result, you’ll have a lush green lawn and a healthy garden!

When to Start Fertilizing

It’s best to wait until after your first spring mowing to fertilize your lawn. A day or two before you apply the fertilizer, water your lawn thoroughly and apply the fertilizer once the grass is dry.

It’s best to start light with maybe only half of the recommended dosage of fertilizer, and then add more as needed. Once you see the results after your first season or two, you will get a better idea of how much fertilizer your lawn needs. Too much fertilizer will cause your lawn to be a dark (almost black) green color due to the excess nitrogen. Your ideal grass color should be a light shade of green. In plants, overfeeding can cause “reverse osmosis,” where plants actually lose, rather than absorb, nutrients.

Using a broadcast or rotary spreader, you should apply fertilizer around the outside perimeter of the lawn first, and then move back and forth across your lawn in an orderly pattern. To ensure you cover the whole lawn evenly, try to overlap application strips slightly. Broadcast and rotary spreaders work best for larger lawns and commercial properties, while drop spreaders are often used for smaller, suburban-sized lawns. Handheld broadcast spreaders are also available for those very small lawn areas.

What to Do After Fertilizing

Lightly water your lawn after the fertilizer has been applied. This will help wash the fertilizer off of the grass blades and into the soil. Avoid watering or applying fertilizer before a heavy storm is predicted, as it’s likely that the nutrients will flow away into storm drains and streams.

If you want to save time and money, consider grasscycling, or letting your grass clippings lie on the lawn after mowing. Grasscycling can fulfil up to 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs and plays a big role in nourishing your lawn! By using a mulch blade on your mower, it cuts the clippings in smaller pieces that decompose quickly and help your lawn flourish!

Maintain a Regular Maintenance Plan

Spring fertilization is recommended as part of a complete lawn care program. We can create a specific seasonal plant and mulch installation plan to enhance the certain areas of your property. Our services start with the lawn and turf, but taking care of the plants and the overall landscape is what provides real results, both aesthetically and functionally. We offer a wide variety of landscape maintenance services, and tailor them (together with you) to suit both your property’s outdoor area, but also your budget. Call today for a no-obligations consultation: 727-446-2598.