|Written by Tom Fowler|
Its that time of year again. Here are a few tips on how best to fertilize your lawns.
In my companion article, "Hot to Prepare Your Lawn for Spring and Summer," we went over how to clean your lawns after the long winter and prepare for the warm months.
After you have prepared your lawn, now you are ready for fertilization. Choose your favorite fertilizer. If unsure of what to use, ask a nursery attendant or do as I do. I use an all season, all grasses blend. My experience has been, the fertilizers with weed killer, for some reason, do not work as well as pure fertilizer.
Apply as the fertilizer package directs. You do not wish to use too little or too much. Invest in a spreader. Some simply drop the fertilizer on the grass as you walk over it, others use a rotary device to spread it out in a ciruclar fashion. Either type will do.
Be certain you cover the entire lawn. You will know you have missed a spot, or even a row, when the grass begins to grow and the un-fertilized area is not as green as the fertilized area. For this reason, it is a good idea to adjust your spreader to under the fertilizer manufacturer's recommended feeding and go over your lawn twice. Use a different "route" on the second feeding. A good way to do this is, if you have walked north-south on the first feeding, go east-west on the second, or any other different path you choose to take. You get the idea.
Fertilize when the grass is damp or wet it slightly after you fertilize. This helps absorption.
Depending on your circumstances, such as shade, quality of soil and how much rain you get in your area, you may wish to fertilize a second time during the growing season. I have always done this sometime in June, before the hot, dry weather of July and August hit. But, it is for you to decide whether to fertilize a second time and when.
Finally, as an aside, if you get snow in your area, placing fertilizer on snow is a good idea, if weather permits. As snow dries, it settles the fertilizer in to the ground. If you are able to do this, you may be able to skip spring feeding.