What You Need to Know About Fertilizer
It can be very overwhelming to choose your first fertilizer. There are tons of choices out there, and most of them claim that they are the best for your lawn. A Scotts Turf Builder buyers guide can help you narrow down your choices. Here are a few tips from the experts.
Determine the type of grass you have. Do you have warm-season grass, cool-season grass or a mixture of both? You also have choices for your soil. What nutrient would you like to add to your lawn starter fertilizer? Do you want the same nutrients in every application or do you need to vary the amount? For instance, adding just one tablespoon of nitrogen may sound like a lot, but if you have warm-season grass with high nitrogen demands, then too much will reduce its growth.
Next determine what type of grass seed you are buying. If you are looking at nitrogen-based lawn starter fertilizers, then you will want to choose a brand that incorporates this into their formulation. Scotts makes many different formulations. Some use a free-release blend while others require a slow release formula. Some companies like Lowes and Home Depot offer both.
Another important aspect is how long it takes to break up the seed. Most companies recommend that you fertilize your lawn starter lawn fertilizer within sixty days. This time period gives you ample time to get the correct amount of product into the soil. On the other hand, some fertilizers will break up faster and have greater amounts of nutrients penetrate the soil quicker.
There are three different types of nitrogen compounds available. These are the regular fertilizer, the nitrogen-free fertilizer, and the potassium nitrate-free. The regular fertilizer is generally the most popular because it is the most readily available form of nitrogen. However, it does not work well for all types of grass. For climates that are extremely hot, particularly during the summertime, regular fertilizer will not work as well as the potassium nitrate-free.
The potassium nitrate-free is the preferred type of fertilizer for new grass seedlings. It offers a balanced formula that offers the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. It is best mixed with another kind of nitrogen source such as the regular fertilizer. It works well in hotter climates and is available at most garden centers. Home Depot and Lowes also carry this fertilizer.
As with any type of fertilizer, it is important to mix the fertilizer thoroughly and follow the package directions carefully. Whether you buy a nitrogen-based or potassium-based fertilizer, ensure that you follow the package directions closely. By doing so, you ensure that your grass and seedlings are getting the proper amounts of nutrients. If you don’t follow the package directions, you could end up with uneven nutrient distribution or even burning your new grass.
When mixing the NPK formulation for the first time, mix a small amount using a stirrer. If the dry form comes out too watery, add one-half cup more than what was initially mixed. Use a sprayer to evenly distribute the fertilizer over the grass. You may want to leave a couple of inches around the edges of the lawn.
For the fall fertilization, use a rotary spreader on the back of your machine to evenly distribute the product throughout the lawn. Make sure to spray the fertilizer early in the morning as this is when the grass is turning color. This is also a good time to make sure there are no rocks or other obstacles that may be clogging up the nutrient distribution. If necessary, clear these things away before spring.
When mowing your new grass, be sure to use a different size gas or electric mower from the one you used to fertilize the lawn. You want to allow for more grass to mow per day. In addition, be sure to let the mower run all the way to the edge of your new grass. The reason you do this is because you don’t want to run the blades very far past the edge of the lawn. You will find that the blades will eventually wear down and need to be replaced.
As you can see from the information in the Grass Fertilizer Buyers Guide, there are many options available when it comes to fertilizing your lawn. You have several options to choose from including granular fertilizers, liquid fertilizers and either seeding or sod. It is very important to know the differences between each type so you can make the right choice. There are also several options to help keep your costs down.