Feed Your Lawn — Everything You Need to Know About Lawn Fertilization

Spring is an exciting time for those looking for the perfect lawn. After the colder winter months, the milder early spring weather means that your soil temperature can warm up, up to around 55 º Fahrenheit. This is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn because it's when the grass is most likely to germinate. You should fertilize after your grass seed is down and you've completed your topdressing. If you’d like to see how this can be done, watch this video for guidance. So now that spring is here, it's time to grab the right tools and select the lawn fertilizer products that give your lawn the best chance of flourishing throughout late spring and the hot summer months. In this article, you'll learn lawn fertilizer tips like when's the best time to fertilize your lawn, the best products to use, and how to apply lawn fertilizer.

When Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?

We know that the best time to feed most lawns is when the soil reaches 55 º Fahrenheit, so ideally, you need a soil thermometer. If you don't have one, you can look for signs that it's the right time, such as the grass should start growing naturally and flowers begin blooming. This usually falls around mid-April for most parts of the United States.

Testing Your Soil

Once you're happy that it's the right time to fertilize your lawn, you need to test the soil to see which essential nutrients are possibly lacking. Testing the nutrients in the soil is vital because it will provide the recipe you need to follow when looking for the right lawn fertilizer. Applying the right combination of nutrients is an important step for creating a thriving, healthy lawn. Lawn fertilizers will typically have different ratios of the essential nutrients your grass and soil need.

 

soil data chart

 

To learn which nutrients your soil is lacking, you can purchase a Soil Test Kit. We prefer this Test Kit from MySoil. The kit will test for 13 plant available nutrient levels, including Nitrogen (Nitrogen (N) (Nitrate & Ammonium), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sulfur (S), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Sodium (Na)). The MySoil test kit will also provide your soil pH which is important for maximizing nutrient uptake. If you need help using your kit, take a look at this video for a more detailed look at the process.

Choosing Your Products

 

photo of a man using spreader

 

Now for the fun part — choosing the perfect products to fertilize your lawn. To apply the additional nutrients your lawn needs, you'll need to pick out a drop or broadcast spreader and a backpack sprayer.

The Best Granular Fertilizers

Fertilizer for Soil Lacking Nitrogen & Potassium

 

Yard Mastery Flagship Blend

 

During the cold winter months, many lawns become lacking in valuable nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium. Lawn fertilizers such as our Yard Mastery Flagship Blend contain immediate-release and slow-release nitrogen. This is a winning fertilizer that provides results within a week. Loaded with 6% potassium, help your lawn out by aiding in water uptake and retention. We add Bio-Nite to every bag of Flagship Fertilizer, which feeds microbes in the soil. Microbes are beneficial to your lawn for several reasons: like cycling nutrients and stimulating growth. Flagship Fertilizer also includes 3% iron which is the secret to achieving a darker blue-green color for your golf course lawn. 

   

Fertilizer for a Broad Spread of Nutrients

 

 12-12-12 Starter Fertilizer

12-12-12 Starter Fertilizer

If you're not sure what your grass is lacking, or your soil test kit is telling you that a broad spread of nutrients would be best, you could try this grass fertilizer, 12-12-12 Starter Fertilizer. It contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and a complete set of micronutrients to give your lawn a good base for active growth and achieve a lush shade of green.

 

 

 

 

Fertilizer for Soil Lacking Potassium

 

Stress Blend

 

Stress Blend

For high-maintenance lawns. If you live in a cold part of the country, prone to frozen ground over the winter months, or areas prone to drought, you may lack potassium in your soil. This grass fertilizer, 7-0-20 Stress Blend, is high in potassium and low in nitrogen, so it's great for freeze recovery and recovery from extreme drought. As slow-release fertilizers go, it's excellent because it contains 7% nitrogen, giving your lawn an intense pop of green color.

It also contains 20% of Potash, which your stressed lawn will thank you for as it helps with water uptake and retention.

 

How to Grow Your Grass but Reduce Weeds?

The other thing you need to consider is how to prevent and kill broadleaf weeds in your lawn. If that sounds like you, then be sure to select a good pre-emergent herbicide. The products below are fantastic fertilizers that also contain weed killers called pre-emergent. These will not only feed your grass but discourage any weeds from growing at the same time.

pre-emergent

 Dithiopyr

125% dimension pre-emergent herbicidew/ fertilizer 0-0-7

Prodiamine

.38% pre-emergent herbicide with fertilizer 0-0-7

 

 

Additional Products for All Lawn Types

Now that you've established which nutrients your lawn is lacking, it's a good idea to combine your lawn fertilizer with a few additional products, to give it the best chance for consistent growth and deep green color.

First is this excellent soil biostimulant and lawn feeding product by Mirimichi called Essential-G. You can use this biochar and compost product alongside your lawn fertilizer to enhance the effects. It contains reclaimed coffee grounds, premium organics, humate, and USDA Certified Biobased Carbon — essentially, everything your soil needs to drive deeper root growth, quicker recovery, and a richer shade of green.

Along with this composting product, consider incorporating liquid fertilizers for feeding your lawn while adding additional nutrients.

 

Which Liquid Fertilizers to Choose?

backpack spreader

 

Using a selection of liquid fertilizers lets you play at alchemy by mixing and matching your fertilizers to best feed your lawn. This creates faster growth and a richer green color when you get it right. Below are a few of our favorite products.

Release 901C from Mirimichi Green — Use this as your base if you're looking to limit the amount of phosphorus in your soil while also adding a premium carbon biostimulant.

TurfPlex — A great option if you're looking for an all-round base fertilizer, though we recommend mixing this with other products.

Nutri-Kelp — Like a vitamin pack for your lawn, this product contains sea kelp as you'd expect and carbon to assist with nutrient uptake in your lawn.

NutriSolve — This product is a great way to ensure your lawn gets a good spectrum of micronutrients. It can be mixed with the choices above to produce a dark green lawn.

Applying Your Fertilizer

It might sound like we've recommended a lot of different fertilizer products, but the key is to only apply them in small amounts. Here we'll guide you on how to best apply your lawn fertilizer to give your grass the best chance of success.

Granular Fertilizer

Apply your main granular fertilizer product about once per month. Always carefully read the product label to fully understand how much your lawn needs, but to give you an idea, three pounds per thousand square feet is a great starting point. Using your broadcast spreader, you should aim to achieve even application coverage across the entire lawn.

Your composting product, in this case, Essential G, should also be applied to your lawn once per month. There's no limit on how much of this you can use, but again we'd advise you to use your spreader for the best coverage. To give you an idea, you could use up to five bags of this granular biostimulant over 11,000 square feet.

On most granular fertilizer products, you'll find instructions on how to calibrate your spreader, but if you're looking for more information, you can take a look at our video here. Don't be tempted to over-fertilize your lawn. Too much fertilizer will cause excessive growth, light-colored grass and can even promote disease. If you happen to spill excess fertilizer onto the lawn, it's best to remove it as it will have the opposite of the desired effect.

Liquid Fertilizer

While your granular fertilizer needs to be applied just once per month, you might choose to apply your liquid fertilizers twice per month throughout spring. Your grass will still grow if you apply it less, but you'll achieve a gorgeous color and consistent growth by applying it twice per month.

The good news is that you don't need to use many products. You'll need to carefully check the fertilizer product label for accurate instructions depending on which grass fertilizer you opted for. For example, Release 901C is applied at a rate of 2-7 fluid ounces with 1 gallon of water per 1000 sq ft.

We also recommend mixing a little ByoSpxtrumin with your lawn fertilizer. A little goes a long way, with one small bag covering between four to five acres.

The liquid fertilizers discussed need to be applied using your backpack spreader for the best result. Hose-end sprayers are not recommended since you can’t control the coverage to the degree required for even application. You can apply lawn fertilizer from spring through late summer as part of your complete lawn care program.

Closing Thoughts

Once you’ve selected and applied your combination of granular and liquid fertilizer, you should start seeing results within just a few days. While we’ve focused primarily on lawn fertilization, regular mowing is also an essential aspect of getting a great lawn. It's essential to choose the right lawnmower and mow your lawn as often as possible. Most people get great results with a mowing schedule of 2 times per week.

Begin your mowing program once the grass starts growing in the spring and continue it throughout the growing season. As you enter summer, you may need to mow up three times per week since this is often when the grass is growing fastest.

Along with regular mowing, be sure that your lawn is getting enough water. If you live in a dry area, you should water your lawn regularly throughout spring and summer. Most lawns need around 1 inch of water per week to thrive.

 If you'd like to learn more about achieving the perfect lawn, applying fertilizer, and getting rid of your broadleaf weeds, sign up to our Golf Course Lawn Academy.