Unlike the birds of the sky, plants require extra help getting the right food and nutrients to help them grow. They require three major things to flourish; light, moisture, and nutrients. The sun is not sufficient enough to help your lawn grow healthily and perfectly. It only provides light for photosynthesis. Moisture, that is water is already provided through rainfall. Now what’s left are nutrients. This is where you as a lawn owner come in to help. The nutrients required for plant growth are gotten from fertilizers, which could be organic or inorganic. Don’t be confused. Fertilizer is also known as lawn feed.
While some fertilizers are applied all year round, some are specially made to be applied in some seasons. Applying the right amount at the right time of its season is the secret behind a luscious-looking green lawn and of course, it gets tidier and even more attractive when you care for and mow the lawn as required.
Can You Use Autumn Lawn Feed in Spring?
If you are a person who cares and wants the best for your lawn, you would not want to use an autumn lawn feed in spring. Both lawn feeds are majorly made up of nitrogen, phosphates, potassium, and additionally, magnesium oxide required for the healthy growth of your lawn. However, one of the feeds contains more of one or two of the nutrients than the other.
The autumn weed is made of more potassium and phosphates which are responsible for the strong growth of the grass at its roots. While a spring feed is made up of nitrogen which is responsible for encouraging leaf growth with chemicals gotten from photosynthetic reactions and magnesium oxide. Bother are jointly responsible for making the leaves very green.
While applying an autumn feed on a lawn in spring might not damage the leaf, it will not work well with the lawn. But most importantly, applying a spring feed to a lawn in autumn or after spring will damage the leaf. This is because too much nitrogen in a plant can cause it to become weak and more likely to frost.
In spring, the lawn requires nutrients that would make it greener and less likely to frost. That nutrient is nitrogen and its little helpmate magnesium oxide, both to encourage growth. Keeping up with growth despite the weather conditions is where the potassium nutrient comes in.
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At What Point In Spring Should You Apply Spring Lawn Feed?
Patience is a virtue and when it comes to your lawn, it is very much applicable. There is perfect timing, the best time to carry out any activity to get results, that is also very true when it comes to your lawn. Applying the right fertilizer at the wrong time could cause quite a several damages to your lawn providing a nutrient that is not needed at the moment. Hence the need to take your time when it comes to applying your lawn fertilizer. Also, when it comes to fertilizing your lawn, a little studying would go a long way. Study? You ask.
Studying in the sense that you know what type of grass you are growing on your lawn, that way you would know the best time to fertilize. Now with that said, In spring, the best time to apply your spring fertilizer is far from the first few days or months of spring. It should be applied like most people would say when the grass is “awake”. The grass is said to have woken up when the grass is beginning to green up.
Also, it would be very wasteful to fertilize your lawn when the ground is frozen. For a plant to receive nutrients, it needs its roots to sip in the nutrient. But if the ground is frozen, the nutrients can’t get to the root. The fertilizer might even get swept away into drainage or a path that does not use it.
While it is most advisable to wait till late spring when the soil temperature is about 55° Fahrenheit, you can also apply very little doses of early spring fertilizers to release some amount of nitrogen to help with the green buildup. At that time, the soil is still quite open to receiving nutrients.
Whatever time you choose to fertilize your lawn, make sure that the soil is not frozen and be considerate of the amount of fertilizer you apply. Applying too much fertilizer could weaken the grass or even burn it up. Well, not practically but literally.
How Much Fertilizer Should I Apply?
The amount of fertilizer to apply to a lawn depends on several things:
- The soil
- It’s concentration
- The type of grass you are growing
Most bags of fertilizer contains equal amounts of nutrients. The ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (N:P: K) if not equal is mixed in the right quantities to provide your plants with the right amount of nutrients they need each season.
When purchasing fertilizer, the quantity of nutrients is stated in the order of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium respectively. Before you must have decided what fertilizers to use, you already know what type of grass you have. Just check the description of the fertilizer according to the nutrients mentioned above to know if it contains the right amount of nutrients for your lawn and if it is the best for your type of grass.
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How to Apply Your Fertilizer?
Although it is not magic to apply fertilizer to your lawn, there are a couple of things you might be doing wrong when doing it. Hence the need to let you how it should be done:
- First of all, Water your lawn
Fertilizing your lawn should be done a few days after it has been watered. If there is no rainfall, then you can water with the help of sprinklers. However, if the soil is still very wet from the watering, the fertilizers should not be applied. This is why watering a few days before applying the fertilizer is advised. The soil should not be watery but moist enough to absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer.
- Get your spreader
There are mainly two different types of spreaders. There is the drop spreader and the broadcast spreader. Choose whichever is comfortable for you to use and is most suitable for your lawn.
- Do not ignore the writing on the fertilizer bag
When a bag of fertilizer is purchased, there are obvious instructions written on the bag. The instructions are unique for each manufacturer. So it is recommended that the instructions be read and adhered to when fertilizing a lawn.
- Adjust your spreader settings
On the fertilizer bag are instructions. Amongst those instructions is one saying how the spreader should be. If your spreader setting is not the same as the one instructed on the bag, then do some adjustments till it fits.
- Choose a spot and fill your spreader
After reading through the instructions and you feel good enough to start applying the fertilizer, empty the bag of fertilizer into the spreader. Filling the spreader should be done on a leveled surface and not on the lawn. This is so that fertilizer does not spill over into the lawn causing some areas to have more fertilizer than others.
- Start applying by first applying around the perimeter of the lawn
Applying around the perimeter first saves you the stress and worry of not having enough to touch all the areas of the lawn. When the perimeter is fertilized, you can go ahead to apply as much as is needed in the other areas of the lawn but be careful with emphasis on “Enough”.
- Fill the middle and other parts of the lawn
After you have applied the fertilizer around the perimeter, turn off the spreader and reposition it. Turning it off is to prevent fertilizer from pouring unevenly. Walk at the same pace with the same distance between your feet while applying the fertilizer to the other parts of the lawn. It should also be done in a straight line, that way you won’t be confused as to what parts haven’t been filled and have been.
- Water the lawn and pack up your tools
If before fertilizing, your lawn was not watered, you can just shower your lawn with little amounts of water. If not, just let it be.
Should You Use The Same Fertilizer In The Spring And Fall?
Although it might not cause one hell of damage, it would be a really bad idea to use the same fertilizer for spring and fall. Fertilizers for each of these seasons are made with particular nutrients to perform different tasks. Fertilizers in the fall charge up the lawn’s nutrients and store them for the winter. While in spring, it assists the lawn to come back to life and develop quickly.
What Is The Best Thing To Put On Your Lawn In The Spring?
During spring, your lawn requires nutrients that will keep it green and strong enough from frosting and recovering from frosts. It also requires nutrients that will keep it strong at its roots. It also needs nutrients that will help it to resist drought. This only means that it requires all three nutrients but one more than the other. The best thing a yard owner can put on their lawn is a fertilizer that contains more nitrogen and potassium. So, a bag of fertilizer with about 20-5-10 should be enough for your lawn in spring.
Practising soil aeration is another good deed you will be doing to your lawn. Through aeration, holes are created in the soil to hold water and allow water as well the fertilizer and oxygen to be absorbed into the roots of the grass on your lawn. This process keeps your lawn looking fresh and lusciously green despite the weather.
What Is The First Thing You Put On Your Lawn In The Spring?
Applying a combination of fertilizers, pre-emergent, and weed killer in the early days of spring will have your lawn thanking you. This prepares your weed for the spring and keeps your soil fertilized enough to allow healthy growth for your lawn as the soil gets tougher, at least till the later days of spring when your lawn is woke and ready to be fertilized again. The fertilizers feed the lawn while the pre-emergent is a herbicide that keeps crabgrass away from your lawn. Crabgrass is one of the first set of weeds to grow on the lawn, especially after aeration.
Putting all of that is also one of the best because it keeps your soil and lawn fed before the next time it is fertilized.
Is There A Difference Between Fall And Winter Fertilizer?
Yes, both fertilizers are different in terms of purpose and nutritional content.
Fall fertilizer is specifically made to encourage the development of new roots. It has a carefully crafted potassium and phosphorus balance intended to promote growth. Thanks to this unique blend, the grass can “dig in” and get ready for the harsh winter weather. Furthermore, fall fertilizer prepares the lawn’s roots for the winter fertilizer that will be applied later in the year.
Most yard owners do not know this but In fact, winter fertilizers also known as winterizers are the most important of all fertilizers. It aids the grass’s roots in absorbing and storing nutrients so they can keep growing until a period during the winter when the earth freezes. When temperatures rise throughout the springtime, these nutrients become easily accessible.
Applying feeds on a lawn should be done when the soil is moist. This is because, in this state, the soil is most likely to absorb the nutrients much better and easier. Applying fertilizer to your lawn in spring should be done in the late days of spring when the grass is beginning to green and the soil is beginning to unfreeze. Things to keep in mind when fertilizing in spring is that it should be done when the grass is beginning to green up and soil temperature, not air temperature is about 55° Fahrenheit.