Spring is here! Now is the best time to fertilize your lawn!!

When the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (You'll know when the soil warms up to 55 because the lilacs begin to blossom and the grass starts growing.) For most parts of the country, that means the first feeding should take place by  mid-April. When you buy fertilizer, you'll see three numbers on the label. These numbers show the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, respectively, which are the primary nutrients needed to feed your lawn. So a 20-5-10 bag will have 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium. The rest of the bag usually contains filler material that helps ensure an even application. The 20-5-10 mixture is a good basic mix for spring.Slow-release fertilizers break down their nutrients over a longer period of time, so you can wait longer between applications.

With slow-release, you can go every six to eight weeks, depending on your watering, instead of every four weeks.

  "The most nitrogen you need on a lawn is one-tenth of a pound per week. The grass can't get any greener than that. If you use more, you're only going to make the grass grow faster so you have to mow more often..

The secret is to get it as green as possible without growing it fast. It is recommended giving your lawn between 2 and 3 pounds of nitrogen over the entire growing season. If you go with 25-0-4, that gives you 1 pound of nitrogen, so over four weeks, that's a quarter pound per week...That's too much!. At that point, you're baling hay instead of mowing a lawn.When pros apply fertilizer, they often pull up in a tanker truck and spray your entire lawn in an impressively short amount of time. But pros do this every day, so they know how to factor in the wind and make sure the yard gets even coverage and have the equipment to get the job done right. Homeowners should use granules and apply them with a spreader..Granular fertilizer is very easy to apply accurately.The second feeding should happen about four weeks later, in early to mid-May. Then fertilize every six to eight weeks after that through October For the third feeding, use an organic material, such as manure, instead of a traditional fertilizer.

And remember that fall feeding is critical. Grass is still growing in the fall. The roots are going down and they need fertilizer.This is the most important application of the year.Contrary to what some people think, the more you water your lawn, the more fertilizer it needs. With more water, there is more growth, so you need more fertilizer..As the grass grows, it uses more nutrients" If you have a sprinkler system, you'll need to fertilize about every six weeks. Without a sprinkler, you can wait another two weeks between feedings.

Be sure to read what the fertilizer label says regarding watering before or after the application. Granules need moisture to break down, and some fertilizers require you to wet the lawn with about a quarter-inch of water before applying them.When you're ready to fill the spreader, park it in the driveway—or, if you can't, at least put a tarp under it. This keeps any spilled granules from accumulating in one stop on the lawn, where it can burn and kill the grass.

Make sure your hopper is shut when filling up the spreader,That's lesson number one that everyone forgets at least once

A broadcast spreader is a better choice than a drop spreader for homeowners. Broadcast spreaders are easier to use, and since they disperse the fertilizer a wider distance, there's less chance you'll end up with strips in your yard caused by not overlapping the rows properly..The fertilizer label will give you the application rate. But don't follow it. Start out at half of what's recommended on the bag

 Lawn professionals recommend spreading the fertilizer at half the recommended rate, or slightly less, in one direction on the lawn, then spreading it again at half the rate in a perpendicular direction. This pattern gives better coverage and helps prevent over-applying.

Cover the perimeter of the yard first, then fill in the middle. Since you're applying the fertilizer at half the recommended rate, it won't spread out very far, so you don't need to estimate how much spacing to keep between rows. Go tire track to tire track, ensuring good coverage.Sometimes, fertilizer ends up on your driveway or patio, "If you don't sweep it up,it gets washed away and ends up in the rivers and streams. Sweeping up the fertilizer is good for nature."

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