A soil test is the best way to know for sure just what nutrients are lacking or in excess in your lawn's soil.
As a general guide, most turf specialists recommend a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients for fertilizing all types of turf as this is roughly the ratio of nutrients grass takes in. Therefore products with numbers similar to 15-5-10, 21-7-14, or 16-4-9 are about right.
Apply no more than 1/2 to 1 pound of actual nitrogen in spring after you have mowed the grass twice, and again in fall (around mid October). So, for example, if you purchased a 15-5-10 fertilizer (15% nitrogen), you would apply about 7 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .15 = about 7). If you purchased a 21-7-14 fertilizer (21 % nitrogen), you would apply about 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .21 = about 5).
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