The Dos and Don’ts of Fertilizing your Lawn

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • August 01, 2016

Keep These Fertilizing Dos and Don’ts In Mind

Now’s the time for cookouts, barbecues, and hanging outdoors admiring your beautiful, lush yard. To save your lawn and your money this season, we pulled together a list of fertilizing dos and dont’s to keep in mind.

The Dos

DO: Get a soil test done. You can purchase your own home kit for around $10 or check in with a local nursery that might offer the service for free! Basing your fertilization program around the soil results will save you money and potentially save you from ruining your lawn with excess chemicals.

DO: Consider aerating your lawn. Depending on the size of your yard, you could potentially do this with a digging fork, and then use a core aerator to remove the plugs. Aerating will ensure your roots get access to air, water, and fertilizer.

DO: Fertilize plants that are in shade less than ones in direct sunlight. We recommend about 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year in full sun, and in mid/heavily shaded areas, reducing the rate to 2 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year.

DO: Increase the amount of fertilizer in areas with high foot traffic. The more traffic you have in your yard, the more fertilizer you’ll need. If your lawn serves as a neighborhood playground or social area, increase the amount of fertilizer you use.

DO: Choose a slow-release fertilizer (breaks down nutrients over time instead of having fast action). Fast action sources yield too much too quickly and could potentially lead to serious lawn problems such as thatch, short roots, low immunity to diseases and harmful insects, and even burning.

The Don’ts

DON’T: Scatter fertilizer across hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways. If it spills out of your yard, be sure to sweep or blow it into your yard to prevent it from running off into the street and gutters which could be hazardous to public waterways.

DON’T: Use a fertilizer mixed with a bug or weed killer. It’s much better to use a low nitrogen fertilizer by itself than to buy one with poison in it. Most of the mixed fertilizer and pest control accounts for bugs not relevant in your area. It could also have weed killer, which you are spreading over areas without weeds. Buy the poison products on the side to decrease the amount of chemical runoff and to save your grass from the extra stress.

DON’T: Let price be your #1 determinant of fertilizer. When purchasing a fertilizer, check to make sure it is slow-release nitrogen and examine the bag’s label. In particular, look at the uniformity of particle sizes and the amount of dust. Fertilizers with a wide range of particle sizes and a lot of dust-are difficult to spread evenly.

For best results, contact our lawn care team about our Lawn Care Packages to help you maintain a beautiful lawn year round!

If you’re ready to tackle your lawn yourself but aren’t sure where to start, download our free Killingsworth Workbook: Lawn Care Tips, Tricks and Checklists!

 

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