Lawn Fertilizing Tips
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Dry or liquid? Quick release or slow release? How many applications? How often? With or without weed control? With all the options, this decision can seem daunting. If you do your own lawn fertilizing the only choice is dry. If you plan on using a professional, the answer should be the same.
Although liquid has a dramatic seemingly almost instant effect, the results are short lived. Liquid fertilizer is quickly absorbed through the blades of grass. This gives the lawn a surge of growth. The remaining fertilizer is washed off the plant with irrigation or rainfall where it can be absorbed by the roots. This can make your lawn difficult to mow immediately following the treatment due to the excessive top growth. These fertilizer applications are generally short lived and last no more than four weeks. Lawns become thin and weak as the growth tapers off at the end of the four weeks. Most often, these applications lack the necessary nutrients to feed the roots.
Dry granular fertilizer is a better choice. The biggest difference is the method in which it feeds the plant. After a dry granular fertilizer application, rainfall or irrigation gets the fertilizing process started. This slowly breaks down the nutrients into the soil level. The grass absorbs the nutrients though the roots – the way it’s designed to. One of the biggest advantages of using a granualar lawn fertilizing program is how long is feeds the lawn. Not only is the lawn fertilizer slower to break down, it is also slower to become absorbed. Slow release fertilizer also delays some of the product from being used right away. By using slow release fertilizer, most granular lawn fertilizer will feed a lawn for about six weeks. To keep the lawn fed continuously, these applications should be approximately 4.5 weeks apart. This provides just enough overlap to make sure that as one lawn fertilizer is wearing off, the following lawn application is picking up where the last one left off. During the summer months, these fertilizer applications should contain a higher percentage of slow release fertilizer allowing the treatments to be spaced out as much as six weeks.
Using a fertilizer with little or no slow release will generally not cause any harm in spring or fall due to the lush wet growing conditions accompanied with lower temperatures. It is most important to use lawn fertilizer with a high percentage of slow release during the hotter summer months. Using a dry fertilizer with little or no slow release fertilizer will result in a “thirsty” lawn. The same is true for a lawn that is overfertilized. You will notice an increase in the amount of water needed to keep it green.
Dry granular lawn fertilizer may also contain the necessary nutrients to feed the entire plant including the roots. Nitrogen is the most abundant component in lawn fertilizer. Phosphorous, once known for its benefits of building a strong root system, has been banned in many communities and states because of the dangers of its runoff polluting our lakes and rivers. Potash is another component that builds the root system. A lawn with adequate levels of potash will also stave off drought stress
A proper lawn fertilizer will have adequate amounts of nitrogen, slow release nitrogen and potash. Since the absence of phosphorus, many blends now contain an organic base called boi-solid fertilizer. These blends rival the performance of fertilizer from the past that once contained phosphorous. They also introduce organic material that is good for your lawn, and good for the soil. After all, when we fertilizer our lawns with granular fertilizer, we are feeding from the ground up.
This seems like a lot to remember...
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If you are in need of proper lawn maintenance, we service Livonia, Northville, Plymouth and more. Call now at 734-451-2929 for a free lawn care estimate and we will inspect your lawn, identify any problems and get your lawn service started today. You can also request a lawn quote online.