When and How to Apply Lawn Fertilizer

Lawn Grass

About Lawn Fertilizers

The simplest way to fertilize your lawn is to acquire a lawn care service. Simply call them and sign up. Then, all you do is pay the bill and the extra leisure time. If you are reading this article, you are probably planning to take the “do it yourself” route. Certainly, there are a number of benefits to handling the lawn fertilizer task yourself. 

Those advantages include:

It is less expensive to do it yourself. You have the initial investment of purchasing a spreader. You can then buy individual bags of fertilizer, or a packaged deal that includes a number of treatments for the year, usually three or four-step treatments.

Tip: Buying the annual, four-step lawn fertilizer program is much cheaper than buying individual bags.

You can control when you apply the fertilizer. Lawn care services schedule your lawn along with hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of others. They may not arrive at the ideal time for an application.

You can control how much to apply. Different areas of your lawn may have somewhat different soil, sunlight, and moisture. You can apply more or less in these areas, depending upon how naturally healthy that section is.

While it is only a little light exercise, any exercise is good for you.

When to Apply Lawn Fertilizer

There are a variety of different fertilizer applications. With the exceptions of “Weed and Feed”, it is best to apply them just before a rainfall as they need to be watered in. Fertilizers with weed killers need to sit on the lawn for a day or two, to allow the weed killer to do its task. Then, it should be watered in.

Try to time your applications to the next rainfall. If you can’t, bring out the hoses and sprinklers. Never apply “Weed and Feed” just before rain is expected, as you are only harming the environment.

There are a variety of different applications and types of thinking about how often to apply fertilizers. It also depends upon the area and climate you live in. Length of the season plays a role. Some people in some areas will apply fertilizer once a year, with others as many as five. The most common is three or four. Lawn and Garden stores will have packages specific to your area. If you are uncertain, stop by and ask about the options, and the pros and cons of each one.

Weed and Feed fertilizers are most effective against weeds if applied when the lawn is wet, as more chemicals will stick to the weeds. This should be done 2-3 days before the next rainfall, allowing the weed killer to be absorbed by the weeds.

How to Apply Lawn Fertilizer

We recommend applying fertilizer, using 1/2 the application setting rate, and going over your lawn twice in a criss-cross pattern. For a more uniform application, use this method any time you are applying anything to your lawn. It helps to eliminate the “Honey, you missed a spot” comments a week or two later.

Safety First When Fertilizing the Lawn

Lawn Fertilizers are chemicals and there is a safety factor to be attentive to. Here are some tips and reminders on safety in using fertilizers:

Keep fertilizer out of reach of children and pets.

Store it in a safe and dry place.

Use gloves in handling fertilizer, and any lawn chemicals. Nitrogen in the fertilizer can burn. If you have a cut, you will find this out quickly.

Be reasonable in applying fertilizers. They easily leach into streams and the water table. They can also leach into your garden.

Keep children and pets off the lawn after applying any fertilizers until you have watered it well, or significant rainfall has occurred.

Be courteous to your neighbor and tell them you have applied the chemicals.

Read instructions carefully…and follow them.

If you do get exposed to the chemicals, wash them off immediately. Then, call your doctor.

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