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Fertilizing Your Lawn This Spring: Eight Tips

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With the coronavirus keeping us home more than usual in the coming weeks, you might find yourself with some unexpected time on your hands as we social distance our way through April. Why not take advantage of that time at home by donning your mask and taking on a little spring lawn maintenance in the form of fertilizer application?

Here are some basic guidelines and tips to properly apply fertilizer to your home lawn. If you have any questions or need professional advice, be sure to contact us.

Eight Tips On Spring Lawn Maintenance:

  1. Timing – The best time to begin fertilizing your lawn is in the spring, when the soil temperature reaches about 58°F. In the Connecticut area, that’s typically sometime around mid- to late-April.
  2. Know your N-P-Ks – The numbers on a bag of fertilizer represent the percentage of three types of soil nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), and potassium (K) – in that order. For example, a 20-5-10 bag (a good spring mix) will have 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium (the rest of the bag usually contains filler material that helps ensure an even application).
  3. Take it slow – Look for slow-release fertilizers, which break down their nutrients over a longer period of time, so you can wait longer between applications. A slow release fertilizer can typically be applied every six to eight weeks (depending on watering…see below), as opposed to every four weeks with normal-release fertilizers.
  4. Go with the grain – A professional landscaper knows lots of tricks to make sure fertilizer in any form is applied evenly, and he has the equipment to do the job right. As an average homeowner, however, you should use whatever tools are available to ensure even application – and that usually means using granular fertilizer and a simple broadcast spreader. Broadcast spreaders are easier to use, and since they disperse fertilizer a wider distance, there’s less chance you’ll end up with strips in your yard caused by not overlapping the rows properly. They’re also cheaper.
  5. Think in multiples – Aim for about five fertilizer applications between mid- to late-April and October; the second feeding should happen about four weeks after the first, with subsequent applications happening every six to eight weeks thereafter. For the third feeding, use an organic material, such as manure, instead of fertilizer.
  6. Get on a watering schedule – If you have an automatic sprinkler system, fertilize your lawn about every six weeks; without a sprinkler system, you can wait an additional two weeks between feedings. Also, keep in mind that granulated fertilizers need additional moisture to break down, and some fertilizers require you to soak the lawn prior to application. See instructions on your fertilizer’s packaging to learn more.
  7. Don’t feel the burn – Add fertilizer to your broadcast spreader in the garage or driveway, NOT on the lawn – spilled fertilizer granules can burn and kill the grass.
  8. Take it easy – Start out at half the application that’s recommended on your fertilizer bag, applying to the perimeter of the yard first then working your way toward the middle. Once you’ve covered the whole lawn, take a second pass in a perpendicular direction, creating a crisscross pattern; this helps prevent over application and ensures more even coverage.

Need help with your residential lawn this spring? Contact the pros at Diamond Landscapes & Athletic Fields for residential lawn services in CT.

Please note: At Diamond Landscapes, your safety and comfort are always our priority. To learn more about how we are working to keep our your family and our crews safe when we conduct our landscaping services, please contact us today.