How Much Fertilizer Should I Put On My Lawn – Expert advice from Bob Vella, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home improvement and DIY. Tried, true, trusted home
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How Much Fertilizer Should I Put On My Lawn
Question: Help! Last year, our grass was black and not as healthy as it should have been. When should I mow the lawn to ensure that the grass is green this year?
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Answer: As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” But if you want green grass on your side this year, compost can be your best friend. Remember that this issue is important when using compost.
In general, you should mow your lawn at least twice a year for the overall health and appearance of your lawn. But if you fertilize at the wrong time or overwater your lawn, you can encourage grass growth, or possibly burn the lawn.
To avoid damaging your lawn, consider this rule of thumb: The best time to apply fertilizer is when your lawn is growing—and that, in turn, depends on where you live and your lawn.
So, to know when to fertilize, you need to know your grass type, your growing area and the best fertilizer for the job.
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In the United States, there are two types of lawns: summer lawns and cool-season lawns. The grass also has a cross section that is considered transitional, meaning it can be grown well in parts of the country that are typically too hot for cool season grasses and too hot for summer season grasses. Your lawn fertilization schedule will depend on the type of grass you have, but remember that any schedule requires consistent commitment to ensure success next year.
Nitrogen, an important component of fertilizer, is a growth factor that can cause unwanted weed growth if applied too late. If you’ve endured a long winter and the grass hasn’t grown yet, don’t be afraid to delay your fertilization schedule.
Before purchasing a fertilizer, check the product labels to determine the shelf life of each product. Some time-release products will feed nutrients slowly over a period of 2 to 8 months, so leave enough time between applications to avoid over-fertilizing, which can damage your lawn.
If you are under-watering due to drought, stop fertilizing. Most fertilizers require a full watering or two to penetrate the soil, and allowing the fertilizer to sit on top of the lawn can burn unwatered lawns. You can delay applying until the weather improves.
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If it has recently rained and the soil is flooded, wait a day or two before fertilizing. This will help the soil to dry out a bit so that when you add water to the compost, you don’t create runoff with the compost. Applying compost to dry grass also provides a greater chance that the compost will seep into the soil below instead of sticking to the grass.
When frost production begins in the fall and soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit in 4 or 5 days, dormant crops, including grasses, increase their spring activity. This is the best time to conceive. Early fertilization would be wasted effort.
When fall rolls around, soil temperatures should be normal enough to apply fertilizer. But if it’s cold after winter, you’ve lost a window. In that case, you have to wait until next spring.
If you’ve already trimmed your lawn, it’s fine to fertilize, but you’ll want to use a dedicated product when repotting. These fertilizers are sometimes called “starter” fertilizers, and have a nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of 1:1 (or close to it).
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Phosphorus is needed by seeds to develop strong roots and make the plant resistant to disease. Nitrogen is used for leaf growth, so you’ll want to apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer 6 to 8 weeks after planting.
If you are planting new grass, the best practice is to fertilize your soil with a compost before spreading the seeds. This is a good time to check the general health of the soil, which can be done with a simple soil testing tool. Fertilizer recommendations are usually given in pounds of nitrogen to be applied per 1,000 square feet. Home gardeners sometimes have trouble translating these needs into the money needed to reduce nitrogen fertilization and grass growth. This page provides conversion charts and examples to show you how to calculate the amount of fertilizer your lawn needs.
To determine the amount of fertilizer to use, first determine the percentage of nitrogen in your compost. It can be found in compost bags. Nitrogen is always the first number in a series of three numbers written on the fertilizer bag.
Then determine how many pounds of fertilizer to use based on the percentage of nitrogen in your compost and the fertilizer manufacturer. Table 1 shows the number of pounds of material required with nitrogen content between 1 and 46%.
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One pound of nitrogen or mixed fertilizer is required per 1,000 square feet of lawn and your specific fertilizer should contain 20% nitrogen. Refer to Table 1 to calculate the five pounds of fertilizer that should be applied per 1,000 square feet.
Two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is recommended, and your compost should be 20% nitrogen. You should apply 10 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet (five pounds twice the amount from the table).
* The general recommendation when using an electronic nitrogen fertilizer is to apply one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Slow-release fertilizers, such as organic matter or controlled-release products, provide nutrients over a longer period of time and can be applied at a higher cost.
The third step is to calculate the number of square meters of lawn area. If the lawn is square or rectangular (see Figure 1), multiply the length by the width (in feet). For a triangular lawn, add the base to the height and divide it in half (see Figure 2). You can divide your lawn into sections and add the areas together for a full lawn area.
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The final step is to multiply the amount of grass from step 3 using the fertilizer determined in step 2. The actual amount of fertilizer should only include the grass and not the driveway, driveway or other non-turf areas.
A 25,000 square foot lawn will need 25 times as much fertilizer as a 1,000 square foot lawn. So, applying five pounds of 20% nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet on a 25,000 square foot lawn requires a total of (five pounds of fertilizer times 25) of fertilizer.
1 pound per 1,000 square feet per 1,000 square feet.
The following example shows you a step-by-step method of determining a fertilizer based on a typical lawn size and a commercial fertilizer.
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Your fertilizer requirement is two pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet. See Table 1. With a 25% nitrogen fertilizer (from step 1), four pounds of fertilizer must be applied to get one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Multiply four pounds by two pounds (from the fertilizer requirement) to get eight pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet.
To determine the area of your lawn, add the area of the front, back and back. Our example includes indoor and outdoor lawns.
Since your lawn is 25 times larger than 1,000 square feet of lawn (your lawn is 25,000 square feet), you must also multiply your compost by 25.
Partner institutions: Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, United States Department of Agriculture, and county commissions. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, part of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Station, is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Keep your lawn looking good. Get expert advice on how to get pregnant and how to choose the best contraceptive method.
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Mow your lawn properly, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy, full lawn that retains its green color and gives weeds a run for their money.
Tip: Before filling the hopper of the rotator distributor, make sure it is closed. Also, consider adding a bucket to the top of the container so that you can easily collect loose compost.
Nitrogen is an important element in every lawn, and each type of lawn requires a different amount to show growth performance.
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