TheseKnowing when to apply fertilizer and/or weed killer to your lawn can be a bit intimidating, but we have compiled some tips and important information to help you get on the appropriate schedule to keep your lawn lush, green, and healthy. A general rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer and week killer in the early spring and the late fall. We will go over some key details to help you identify whether your lawn is an exception to this rule.
Types of Fertilizer: When it comes to fertilizer, they are not all made the same. There are tons of different lawn fertilizer products on the market. Most of them generally come with the most popular essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy lawn. These nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Fertilizers usually display an N-P-K rating on the packaging which identifies the percentage or amount of each nutrient present in the mixture.
There is more to it than nutrients! There are also slow release fertilizers and fast release fertilizers. The slow release fertilizers will not yield immediate results, but tend to be the safest when it comes to avoiding burning your lawn. The fast release fertilizers will give you a quick green turnaround but due to the high amounts of specific nutrients, they have a higher chance of burning your lawn. Depending on what nutrients your lawn is lacking, will help you determine which one of these fertilizers will suit you best.
Understanding Lawn Nutrition: The most common nutrient deficiencies in grass around the U.S. are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Hence the previously mentioned N-P-K rating. Lawns that are low in nitrogen will typically have an overgrowth of weeds (usually clovers), a yellow to yellow-green color, and stunted growth. This discoloration is usually patchy as you can see in the picture below. Don't be fooled into only treating the spots. You will want to treat the entire lawn for the nitrogen deficiency.
A lawn with a phosphorous deficiency will will not necessarily show any stunted growth but you may notice a purplish or reddish discoloration as you can see in the photo.
A lawn with a potassium deficiency will have an overgrowth of weeds and a yellowish color.
If you don't feel confident in identifying the deficiency yourself, you can send your soil off to a lab to be tested for a small fee to ensure you purchase and apply the appropriate fertilizer for your lawn.
Weed Killers: Just like fertilizers, not all weed killers are made the same. There are pre-growth weed killers that are to be applied before you see any weeds. They stop the growth of weeds before they break through the soil. Then there are post-growth weed killers that are applied after you have spotted the weeds. You can get a dual purpose weed killer and fertilizer; however, these typically run a higher risk in burning your lawn. See the photo what what over fertilizing and over use of weed killers looks like.
Let's Wrap Things Up! So now that you have a better understanding of what your lawn needs and when to apply fertilizer and weed killer, it's important to get on a seasonal schedule for the best possible results. You should aim to fertilize your lawn every Spring and every Fall. If you still feel overwhelmed or you simply just don't have the time, contact us at Neighbor's Lawn Care today and we will get your lawn squared away.