When properly fertilized, a lawn maintains good color, density, and vigor and it does not easily succumb to insects, weeds and diseases.
Your lawn will have the best overall health and vigor if it’s given a complete fertilizer (containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) at least twice a year.
Additional iron, applied if needed, helps give the lawn a dark green color.
The label on fertilizer bags lists the percentages of the three primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) as a series of three numbers called the fertilizer grade.
A common lawn fertilizer grade is 23-3-6. In this case, the fertilizer contains 23 percent nitrogen, 3 percent phosphorus and 6 percent potassium.
If you only fertilize once a year, fall.
Contrary to popular beliefs, most lawn fertilizer should be applied in late summer and fall.
By fertilizing in the fall rather than spring, your lawn stays green longer in the fall, greens up earlier in the spring, maintains higher energy reserves in the summer, and perhaps most importantly, increases its tolerance to summer stresses such as disease.
This applies if you fertilize once per year.
A fertilization program scheduled throughout the season is best.
Early spring applications of nitrogen cause a surge of top growth. I’ll grant you, that makes the lawn look nice in the spring, but it depletes the plant’s energy reserves. Consequently, when summer stress periods occur, plants are weaker and less able to survive.
It is recommended to apply fertilizer in late October or early November when top growth is minimal but soil temperatures are still warm enough for nitrogen absorption.
With this fertilizer schedule, plants resume growth and green-up early the following spring without the excessive shoot growth associated with early spring nitrogen applications.
Not in the heat
- If it’s liquid, from the sun up to 11:00 a.m.
- If it’s dry, wait until the dew is gone (but before 11:00 a.m.) and be sure to water it.
One pound of Nitrogen per thousand square feet of lawn.
Fertilizer recommendations are usually based on the amount needed to meet your yard’s nitrogen requirements.
To determine the amount of fertilizer required to apply one pound of nitrogen to 1,000 square feet, divide 100 by the percent of nitrogen in the fertilizer.
Poor health and weeds
The lawn is not only less attractive, but it’s also much more susceptible to environmental stress such as drought, disease, and weeds.
Fertigation is the application of amendments or fertilizers via an irrigation system.
Periodic use of petroleum based fertilizers can create a stressed, feast-and-famine condition for plants and turf.
The traditional way to apply topical fertilizers can result in turf “burn” and fertilizer waste.
Hand or equipment spreading requires additional labor.
Fertigation systems will provide precise micro doses of soil amendments and/or fertilizer each time the landscape is irrigated.
Precise micro-dosing through fertigation is a far more efficient method of fertilizer application than with manual application of fertilizers.
Traditional fertilizing results in a low product absorption, with a great amount of run-off.
Constant micro application of organic based nutrients increases soil health, plant health and reduces potential insect infestation.