Fertilization Do’s and Don’ts

Fertilization Do’s and Don’ts

If you want to have a healthy-looking lawn this summer and beyond, there are some important practices that you should make a habit of including in your routine, and there are some others which you should make a point of avoiding. This discussion will consider some of the most important do’s and don’ts for lawn fertilization, so you can keep your lawn looking vibrant and healthy throughout the summer and fall months.

Things you should do

Fertilization should begin approximately three weeks after the last frost. Of course, you may not know which frost is the last one, but you’ll have to keep an eye on the weather forecast for that one. After that first fertilizing, you should continue to fertilize every 8 to 10 weeks all the way through to the end of the warm season, by October or so.

You should also consider aerating your soil, and for small areas you can do that with a digging fork, but for larger areas you’ll need an aerator attachment. By aerating your lawn, you can make sure that all the water, air, and fertilizer actually reach the roots where they can be most beneficial.

Another thing you should do with your fertilizing process is to use natural compost as opposed to purchasing commercial fertilizers. If you were to apply a commercial fertilizer improperly, it could actually burn your lawn, and it might also contribute to water pollution. If you don’t have compost of your own, you should be able to purchase it at a local garden store, and generously apply it over the surface of the lawn.

Things you should not do

One of the things you definitely should not do is fertilize your lawn just prior to a heavy rain, and this is another thing you’ll have to keep an eye on the forecast for. If you make this mistake, it’s very likely that your fertilizer will be washed away, and that could be a complete waste of your time and your money.

You should never apply fertilizer to a lawn which has been stressed by prolonged heat or drought, and when you see that the grass has turned brown, this is a solid indicator that no fertilizing should be undertaken. If you happen to spill any fertilizer when you are working on your lawn, make sure to sweep it up from the driveway or your sidewalk, because if you leave it there, it can always get washed into local water supplies.

It’s a good idea to keep any grass clippings that you have from your summer mowings, so that these can be kept and used for your fertilizing sessions. Mulched grass clippings are excellent for use as fertilizer, and they don’t cause any harm to the environment. Don’t forget to fertilize your lawn early in the fall, because it will still be growing throughout September most years. If you really want to maximize the season, you can fertilize your lawn approximately one month before the first frost arrives.

Do’s and don’ts combined

Do have a professional manage your fertilizing if you’re inexperienced or uncertain about the procedure, and this is especially true if you’re using commercial fertilizer, because it can actually damage the environment if done improperly. Don’t do it yourself when you lack the proper equipment, or you’re not sure about what to use to achieve best results.

In this situation, do consult your local garden shop to find out what type of fertilizer would be best for the type of grass you have planted in your lawn. By observing the list of do’s and don’ts described above, you can be fairly certain of having a healthy-looking lawn all throughout the spring, summer, and autumn.

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