How Lawn Fertilization Helps Your LawnBy Eric Winston
It is perceived by most home-owners and proprietors of lawns that lawn care can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Given difficult climatic conditions and the abuse that most lawns suffer through compaction (by pet and human traffic, snow and rain, items resting on grass), thatch build-up and lack of micro-organism activity with the soil, it is not surprising that most lawns can often look past their best. These factors combine with a lack of time, perceived upkeep costs, and available machinery and knowledge, to produce lawns that are bare and unhealthy. However, given the correct approach, information and tools, lawn care, either by the owner or a paid company, can be far simpler and cheaper than one would realize. An effective lawn fertilization system can help you achieve this.
A healthy lawn contributes to your property value and the appearance of your surroundings. It provides a natural, safe surface where your family can play and relax. A beautiful lawn doesn’t just happen by itself. Your lawn could be host to a number of problems, diseases, or disorders which could cause it to either not look at its best, or have an even more detrimental impact. By following a few simple lawn fertilization and treatment tips, you can keep your lawn. It is also wise to always consider environmentally friendly processes and products if possible. The earth, your neighbours and future generations will thank you for choosing less harmful and toxic lawn fertilization options.
The grass on your lawn demands periodic feedings, and it is best to meet this need for periodic feedings by fertilizing lawns with "slow-release" polymer-coated products. It is simple enough to find such products at local home improvement stores, such as Lowe's and Home Depot, or local garden centres. These products release their nutrients over time, rather than all at once, fertilizing lawns with them allows the grass to use these nutrients at its speed. As nutrients are released, the root system of your grass fills in any bare patches, depriving weed seeds of a place to germinate.
Ideally, a home lawn only needs to be fertilized when nutrient levels drop below what's needed to maintain it in a healthy condition. Some people may add compost as a top dressing to their lawn. Compost will add organic matter and provide the major and minor nutrients in a slow release form. Caution must be taken when adding compost to ensure that it is thoroughly composted. Failure to ensure complete composting can result in weeds and seeds being added to your turf. Most modern fertilizer blends contain major and minor nutrients and will help you avoid introducing a problem to your lawn. The type of grass, type of soil, age of the lawn, weather conditions and other factors mentioned above, such as returning clippings and watering frequency, will determine the rate and timing of fertilizer applications. In general you will need to apply 4 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet or lawn per year.
Lawn fertilization is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lawn. With strong grass other weeds will be forced out. Many experts recommend adding lawn fertilizer on a four part schedule. Fertilize in March, late May, late Summer and early Fall with the "slow-release" fertilizer. Use organic fertilizer if possible. Over-reliance on "quick-release" fertilizer will speed up growth and has negative connotations for the environment.
Always read the instructions on the bag carefully (or ask someone at the store for details) before commencing with a lawn fertilization system. Particular products may not suit your particular type of grass. Always follow directions explicitly, concerning how much to apply, how often they should be applied, and under what conditions they should be applied.
Lawn fertilizing is best done with a spreader. Be advised not to fill the applicator with the spreader parked on the grass. Doing so invites grass-burn, as you may accidentally discharge too much while loading. Instead, fill the applicator somewhere else, then wheel the spreader onto the grass.
About the Author: Eric Winston is a lawn expert with BUR-HAN Lawn Care, a Vancouver lawn maintenance company that specializes in lawn fertilization. For more lawn care tips please visit their website at http://www.bur-han.ca