Hiring a lawn fertilizer service is a great way to boost your lawn. Fertilizer service professionals can develop an optimum fertilization program for your lawn. However, whether you apply your fertilizer or use a professional service, there are a few things you should know.
Optimum fertilization program
The professional lawn fertilization service will begin by collecting a soil sample on your lawn. This sample should be taken at a depth of 3 to 4 inches and free of the excessive root mass. It should be placed in a plastic bag and sent to a lab for analysis. Results will reveal the number of significant nutrients in the soil. These include phosphorus and potassium, which are both necessary for healthy plant growth and are needed to combat environmental stresses. A lawn lacking in these essential building blocks will show problems as it grows.
The amount of nitrogen your lawn needs will vary according to its type. The higher the nitrogen percentage, the more nutrients your lawn needs. Phosphorus, on the other hand, can leach into surface water and cause problems for aquatic life. This is why many fertilizer programs don’t contain it. Instead, potassium is usually added in the fall to promote root growth and prepare for winter.
A professional can help a homeowner choose the proper fertilizer for their lawn by conducting soil tests. Soil tests will determine which essential plant nutrients your lawn lacks. For instance, if your lawn is heavily shaded, it will require less fertilization than a lawn that receives full sun. However, it can be confusing to determine how much fertilizer your lawn needs. Therefore, it is best to consult a professional or hire a professional to do this for you.
DIY fertilizer is cheaper
Using DIY lawn fertilizer can be cheaper than hiring a lawn care professional—the process results in under or over-fertilization. Depending on the fertilizer used and lawn size, you may need to invest in a fertilizer spreader. This will ensure an even application and reduce time spent on the task.
The cost of store-bought lawn fertilizer can be extremely high, and if you apply it too thick, it can be harmful to your lawn. Fortunately, several inexpensive and easy-to-make options are available, and they’re just as effective. You can find recipes for lawn fertilizers at grocery stores and big-box stores. Another benefit of homemade fertilizers is their natural ingredients. For example, beer or soda is rich in sugar and will feed microbes on your lawn. If you don’t drink beer, you can use household ammonia instead.
Another natural lawn fertilizer is mouthwash. This household ingredient has fungicidal properties, making it a great alternative to commercial fertilizers. The mixture will effectively control pests and flies without harming your plants. Add a few drops of mouthwash to your fertilizer and spread it once a week. Do not over-fertilize your lawn with homemade fertilizer, as too much can be harmful.
When to apply fertilizer
Depending on your lawn type, there are a few rules about when to apply lawn fertilizer. Some lawn types need more than one application per season, while others only need a small amount regularly. Regardless of the situation, you can take a few basic steps to ensure that you fertilize your lawn appropriately. One way to determine how much fertilizer to use is to measure the area of your property. Then, divide it into sections based on length and width. Make sure to spread the fertilizer in each section evenly. You may also need to create vertical lines in the lawn to apply fertilizer to specific areas.
You should generally wait for the first few days after the last rain before applying lawn fertilizer. Heavy rain will wash the fertilizer away, and can wash it off your lawn before it can do its job. To ensure that the fertilizer is absorbed into the soil, wait at least two days between fertilization applications. If you can’t stay long, use sprinklers or a hose to water the lawn after fertilizing. Avoid applying “Weed and Feed” fertilizer right before a rainstorm.
The time of year you apply lawn fertilizer depends on where you live and the type of grass that you have. In the northern half of the United States, the best time to fertilize is in mid-April, and in the southern half, the best time is after mid-April. However, other factors, such as ground temperature, may affect the timing.