How to Feed Your Lawn
To keep your lawn green and lush, a proper fertilization schedule is vital. Fertilizing a lawn provides your grass with the right nutrients to allow it to flourish from spring through the hot summer months and into autumn.
What to Feed Your Lawn
There are three main components in fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Each plays its own role in maintaining the health of your grass.
- Nitrogen improves the plant's ability to produce energy through photosynthesis
- Phosphorous helps the plant maintain strong roots and transfer energy between parts of the plant
- Potassium helps manage the plant's metabolism and strengthens roots and blades
Store-bought fertilizers will have a 3-number system displayed on the fertilizer bag, like this:
20 - 5 - 10
The numbers correspond to the percent of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K) in the mix. The rest of the material in the bag is filler, designed to help even out the distribution and uptake of the nutrients.
Each lawn needs a specific amount, or ratio, of these three elements depending upon the type of grass you have, your soil composition, and the time of year you are fertilizing.
When to Feed Your Lawn
Lawns should be fed at specific times of the year - and conversely, you should avoid fertilizing at other times. Just like with people, the right nutrients at the right time is the key to health.
The exact timing of when you should fertilize is dependent on a couple factors, including your climate, time of year, type of grass, and the fertilizer you are applying. In many cases, there will be information on the fertilizer bag giving you suggested application times for the fertilizer you have.
If you are fertilizing your lawn yourself, you will want to fertilize 2 or 3 times per year:
- Early spring, as the grass begins to turn green and the temperatures begin to stay above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In Kansas, this will usually be in April.
- Late summer or early fall. As the grasses begin to go dormant, they require a healthy supply of nutrients to get through the winter.
Professional Landscapers, such as Midwest Turf & Landscape, may fertilize more often, as they have the expertise and tools to calibrate exactly what your lawn requires and effectively apply the fertilizers.
Additional Things to Know
Test Your Soil
Poor soil is one of the leading causes of an under-performing lawn. Test your soil's pH levels to determine if you need additional ingredients to raise or lower the acidity of your soil.
Water Your Lawn
Ensure your lawn is ready to absorb the application by watering a couple days prior to fertilizing.
Too much fertilizer can cause damage - known as burn-in - where the grass becomes discolored. Use a spreader to more evenly distribute your fertilizer.
Midwest Turf & Landscape is your local expert in lawn care and maintenance. We have been installing and taking care of landscapes and lawns since 2006. Call or contact us today, and we will take the worry and effort of keeping your lawn healthy out of your hands.