When do you fertilize the lawn?
Spring and fall? Once in summer? When it looks pale? Get on a regular program, use the
products your lawn really needs, and reap the rewards of a better looking, longer-lived
lawn. The rule of thumb relies on the kind of grass you're growing. Where cool season
grasses dominate, fertilize in spring and fall; for warm season grasses, add a summer
feeding. Most gardeners begin feeding the lawn just after it greens up in the spring, and
again in fall as the lawn goes into dormancy. Midsummer applications on warm season
grasses bridge the gap over their long, hot growing season.
Lawn experts recommend using a balanced formula fertilizer,
preferably one with about six percent nitrogen that is released slowly over time.
Generally speaking, turfgrass needs fifteen pounds of such a fertilizer per thousand
square feet. Your Growise Center can recommend fertilizer formulas designed for your area,
to accommodate local soil needs for phosphorus and potassium.
Another oft-recommended nutrient for lawns is iron. Used to green
up lawns with yellowing leaves, its effects are readily apparent. Although not a
fertilizer per se, most homeowners apply lime because adjusting pH contributes to nutrient
availability, and the all-important goal of grass growth.
The average square foot of lawn has hundreds of individual plants
competing for water, sun, and fertilizer. When you nurture the grass plants, theres
often less trouble from pests, diseases, and weeds. Nitrogen contributes to green leaves
and is primarily responsible for grass growth. Phosphorus and potassium work to build cell
walls, roots, and the essential stolons and rhizomes that knit the grass together.
Lawn fertilizers also contain micronutrients, those needed in
microscopic amounts. If you choose to use organic sources of nitrogen, phosphorus, and
potassium, be sure to read their labels for the micros. At the other end of the spectrum,
if you use combination fertilizer/herbicide products, read their directions carefully.
Watering, or not, can be crucial in the success of the popular weed and feed