Fertilizing the Lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Colton, CA (Zone 8B)
Avatar for albertorubio
Question by albertorubio
May 1, 2007
What type of fertilizers can I use for lawn care, and when?

Answer from NGA
May 1, 2007
Your lawn will thrive when fed on a regular schedule. It is best to meet this need for periodic feedings by using lawn fertilizers that are "slow-release" in nature. You'll find such products at your local home improvement store. Because these lawn fertilizers release their nutrients over time, rather than all at once, you're essentially stretching out the feeding. As nutrients are released, the root system of your grass fills in any bare patches. This in itself promotes lawn weed control, depriving weed seeds of a place to germinate. But in addition, there are lawn fertilizers that promote lawn weed control at the same time. Effective lawn weed control should, after all, go hand-in-hand with the application of lawn fertilizers: if the weeds suck up some of the nutrients that you're supplying, those are nutrients being wasted, as they are not going to your grass.

Scotts suggests a four-part schedule for providing periodic feedings of lawn fertilizer. The schedule will depend on where you live and your grass-type; but, as an example, here?s the schedule for a lawn composed of a mixture of bluegrass, ryegrass and fescue:

Apply a lawn fertilizer called, ?Scotts Turf Builder With Halts Crabgrass Preventer? in May.

?Scotts Turf Builder With PLUS 2 Weed Control? can be applied in June. This lawn fertilizer fills the need for additional lawn weed control, as the herbicide component fights everything from ground ivy to purslane to white clover.

In July or August, apply ?Scotts Super Turf Builder with SummerGuard.? This lawn fertilizer is billed by Scotts as a product that ?strengthens and summer-proofs your lawn while combating a spectrum of harsh seasonal threats like insects, heat and drought.?

Finally, ?Scotts Winterizer Fall Lawn Fertilizer? should be applied in fall. This lawn fertilizer will not only prepare grass for winter, but also give you a head start towards achieving that green lawn you?ll want next spring ? bringing us full circle.

Before buying these or any other lawn fertilizers, read the instructions on the bag carefully (or ask someone at the store for details). A particular product may not be suitable for your type of grass. Likewise, when applying lawn fertilizers, follow directions explicitly, concerning how much to apply, how often they should be applied, and under what conditions they should be applied.

Lawn fertilizers are best applied with spreaders. Be advised not to fill the applicator with the spreader parked on the lawn. 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 lawn.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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