Tips For Fertilizing Your Lawn The Natural Way
Fertilizing your lawn in spring might be confusing for some homeowners. The questions of when and how exactly to do it often arise. After all, failure to apply the fertilizer properly could negatively affect the overall health of your lawn. To help you out, we’ve got several tips on fertilizing for a greener and healthier spring lawn.
1) Apply the Fertilizer in Late Spring
Fertilizing in spring isn’t wrong, but one common mistake homeowners do is doing it too early. During this period, your lawn grass is primarily growing its root system while developing energy reserves. Applying the fertilizer this early encourages the grass to switch from root growth to leaf development.
This shouldn’t happen until later on, so you end up with grass that doesn’t have a strong root system. Furthermore, any fertilizer applied in the late period of autumn could still be feeding your lawn in early spring. This is more probably if you used a slow-release fertilizer that’s enough for three months. In other words, it would be a waste of resources at this time.
Instead, try fertilizing your lawn in late spring either in late May or early in June. This is right before the summer arrives and brings warmer temperatures with it. By this time, your lawn grass has already developed its roots and it is already growing its foliage. Production of the energy reserves has slowed down, so the fertilizer should prepare the grass better for summer.
2) Do Not Apply More Than the Recommended Amount
The recommended amount is likely already more than what your lawn grass needs in spring. After all, manufacturers want to sell their products fast. The nutrients in their products aren’t questionable, but the application rate needs to be considered with scepticism.
You must pay attention to the colour of your grass to determine if it has enough fertilizer or not. Lawn grass that shows a relatively light and vibrant shade of green is healthy. In contrast, you’ve applied more fertilizer than necessary if the grass has an unusually dark shade of green. To be specific, this is caused by all of the excess nitrogen in the soil. Worse, too much fertilizer would end up in streets and in bodies of water such as streams and rivers.
To prevent using too much, we recommend using just half of what’s indicated on the package label. Wait for several weeks or so to check if your lawn grass has gotten healthier. If you think it needs more, go ahead and increase the application rate bit by bit.
3) Choose Natural or Eco-Friendly Products
While synthetic products can provide the same amount of nutrients to your lawn, they can also harm it in the long run. For example, chemical fertilizers do have mineral salts that help root systems grow. The problem is that these salts are not beneficial to the microorganisms in the soil. In fact, they can increase the acidity of the soil to a point where earthworms begin to disappear.
A scarcity of both microorganisms and earthworms weakens the soil structure and its capacity to retain moisture. Worse, you’d need to use more chemical fertilizers to keep your grass growing. Using organic or eco-friendly products eliminates this problem of a chemical build-up in your soil.
4) Watch Out for Rain Forecasts
If the weather forecast indicates a huge storm approaching, do not apply any fertilizer. Similarly, do not heavily irrigate your lawn right before using the product. Both of these would likely lead to a significant amount of the fertilizer running off to streams and drains. On the other hand, you can take advantage of an impending rainfall if it will occur after the application. If no rainfall will occur, water the fertilized soil to a minimum depth of 0.25 inches.
5) Use Equipment and Follow a Pattern
An uneven application coverage would lead to different growth rates among your lawn grasses. Some might have too much fertilizer while others won’t look vividly green due to receiving an inadequate amount. Try using a broadcast spreader if you have a sizable lawn. A rotating impeller should be able to evenly spread the fertilizer up to several feet around it.
Here is a video of using a broadcast spreader:
Whether you are fertilizing by hand or with a machine, you can always rely on a straight pattern. Simply start from one end of the lawn and spread the fertilizer in a straight line. At the end of the line, turn around so you can start the next line. Slight overlaps are encouraged to prevent stripes and ensure that every patch of grass is fertilized. Don’t forget to fertilize around the perimeter so that the edges get some coverage too.
Overall, fertilizing in spring is permissible if it’s done right. Avoid doing it early on, especially if you fertilized in late spring. Similarly, don’t do it if heavy rainfall or irrigation was just conducted. Do not apply more than the recommended amount. Moreover, ensure an even and complete coverage. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.