Gardens and farms around the world always need fertilizers and so do lawns. Indeed, in a moment, when nutrients from soil decrease over time, it is time for you to add some multivitamins to it. However, you cannot just fertilize as much as you want and at any time that you want! Therefore, in this article, we would like to share with you some experiences we collected from specialists and local farmers in order to help you take care of your lawn!
WHY DO WE NEED TO FERTILIZE THE LAWN?
Fertilizing is something that we have to do to our lawns! Sometimes we think about it, but we don't always act on it.
Remember when we were in school, we learned that plants, including grasses, take nutrients from the soil. Beside watering lawn, taking in the sunlight and other weather conditions, soil provides some of the most important nutrients for your plants. As a result, the soil will run out of nutrients in the far future. That is true because there are no other sources that add nutrients to our soil. Consequently, plants’ roots have no “foods” left to help them grow.
The most beneficial thing is that we can enrich nutrients in the soil by fertilizing. Just by fertilizing your lawn with the right ingredients and fertilizing schedules, your lawn will keep:
- Growing well with new green leaves
- Developing roots deep into the ground and enhancing its life
- Avoiding the development of weeds
- Supplying some extra nutrients to the soil.
Even if we have already known that fertilizing is necessary, it does not mean that we will give it to our lawns once or twice a week. Excessive fertilizers could cause grass poisoning due to the imbalance of nutrients. Each type of grass requires a specific amount of fertilizers, so if the nutrients remaining in the soil are over the sufficient level, the grass will be poisoned. So, how much fertilizer is fine and when should we feed our lawns?
WHEN DO WE NEED TO FERTILIZE?
Remember, we do not fertilize whenever we want. So, when is the perfect time for feeding? Depending on the type of your grass, we have some different schedules:
For warm season grasses: for these types of grasses (Bahia, Carpet grass, Centipede…), the perfect time to fertilize is at the transition of the spring and summer. You can discuss more with the local farmer about how often you should fertilize. The schedule also depends on your soil status and the regional temperature too.
For cool season grasses: for these types (Fine Fescue, Bent grass, Rye grass…), the perfect time to fertilize is at the transition of spring and fall. Before the plants suffer the frozen season, heavily fertilizing could help your grasses survive the whole season. Besides, you can also feed these grasses lightly in the early spring. It is its growing time, so feeding can help it grow better.
HOW TO FERTILIZE LAWN?
Before starting anything, you should understand your situation first. Know about your grass and what it demands in order to define which fertilizer you should buy. Next, we will find the right equipment to fertilize evenly.
Step 1: Determine your grass type
Knowing your grass type is essential. Some grass types prefer more micronutrients than others. Besides, the grass is fertilized depending on the type of grass you have. This step is easy to figure out at the first moment when you buy grass seeds. Search the types of grass seed you intend to buy, and understand them carefully.
Step 2: Test the pH level of soil
This simple test is to define how balanced the pH level of your soil is, whether it is more acidic or more alkaline. This criteria will show the needs of your grass because the pH level of fertilizers should be appropriate with the pH level of soil. If your soil is more acidic, you need to choose the fertilizer that is more alkaline and vice versa. To know the pH level of soil, you can buy the kits at garden stores. It is easy to use these kits, and you will know the pH level almost immediately.
Step 3: Choose fertilizer
There are some types of fertilizers which can be used for your lawn. The liquid form is very easy to use, and it can be absorbed quickly into the soil. However, you should reapply this a few weeks later as the absorption is too fast and evaporation can influence the fertilizer’s quality. On the other hand, granular fertilizer absorbs slowly, but the next time for feeding is further away. Based on the source of fertilizers, we have chemical fertilizer and organic fertilizer. Either chemical or organic is good for grass. However, farmers usually recommends the chemical fertilizer because they want to prevent and remove weeds quickly. If you do not, then you should use organic fertilizer for your lawn's health.
Step 4: Fertilize lawn with right equipment
You should buy or rent the right equipment in order to spread fertilizer evenly and to save effort. With a manual spreader, try to walk with a stable speed. Do not slow down, and do not stop so that fertilizer does not build up in one place. After feeding, you can water lightly for 3 to 5 minutes to help fertilizer absorb well into soil. While feeding your lawn, do not forget to protect yourself because chemicals could harm you.
We could make some mistakes taking care of your lawn for the first time. Don’t worry because now we are sharing some common mistakes so that you can remind yourself about it:
- We usually make mistakes when trying to test the pH level. When you take soil samples for the test, do not just pull samples in one spot! Take about 10 to 12 samples from all around the yard so that we can receive the closest range. In addition, remember to test the soil before fertilizing.
- You should use the right amount of fertilizers as recommended by buyers or as instructed. Less fertilizer is not enough for the development of your grass and over-fertilized lawns could destroy your garden!
- Once again, respect the fertilizing schedule! It has the same effect as the amount of fertilizers that you feed your lawn.
Fertilizing is an essential gardening activity. In addition, the key factor in fertilizing correctly is to respect all rules and schedules. Unlike watering, once you fertilize, you cannot take back all of the fertilizers that you have fed to grasses. If you do something wrong, you may not have a chance to fix it. Therefore, make sure that you read the instructions carefully before starting to feed your grass.