Lawn care can be more difficult than it looks. This is especially true of fertilization. It isn't as easy as simply grabbing the first bag of fertilizer you see in the store or the cheapest bag and spreading it onto the lawn. Understanding the potential mistakes people make when fertilizing their lawn can help you avoid them and improve your chances of creating a beautiful lawn.
Skipping the Prep Work
If you really want the nutrients in the fertilizer to be able to soak into the lawn so they'll be able to help the grass grow, a little preparation is necessary. This means that you'll need to dethatch the lawn to help break up the dead stuff that typically covers the ground after the winter. This process makes it easier for the fertilizer to get to the roots of the grass and help it grow.
Using the Wrong Fertilizer
It's a good idea to test the soil with one of the test kits that's readily available to find out just what concentrations of nutrients the soil needs. Fertilizers usually consist of different combinations of nitrogen, phosphorus and phosphate. Understanding the current nutrient composition of your soil will help you choose the right formula to best boost the growth of the grass in your lawn. Getting too much of any one nutrient can kill the grass, which is the opposite of what you're aiming for. Some fertilizers contain ingredients meant to kill weeds, and these shouldn't be used at the same time as you put down grass seed, or it may keep the grass from growing.
Using the Wrong Amount of Fertilizer
Another common mistake is to use too much or too little fertilizer on a lawn. Not only will too little fertilizer limit the potential grass growth, having too little of the nutrients it contains may make it more likely for weeds to grow. Using too much fertilizer will cause there to be too much of these nutrients in the soil, which can actually slow down the growth of the grass because it interferes with water absorption. The University of Illinois recommends that lawns that get full sun be fertilized two or three times a year with a total of about three pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet being applied during the year. Lawns that are shady only need about half as much fertilizer. They suggest early May, early September and early November if fertilizing three times per year.
Hire professionals, such as H 2 O Systems Inc, for additional help.