Fertilizing the lawn in spring is a great way to encourage vibrant plant growth early in the year. However, many homeowners are unsure of how to do it. When exactly should you begin to fertilize your lawn? Lucky for you, we’ll help you know how to fertilize lawn in spring.
One common misconception when it comes to fertilizing in spring is that it should be done early in the season. However, this isn’t the best idea since during this period, the grasses are focusing on root development. Moreover, the cool season grasses are still in their growth cycle wherein they are just developing energy reserves made up of carbohydrates.
When you apply fertilizer in early spring, the plant energy for root establishment becomes used for leaf growth. Thus, the fertilizer can disrupt the natural growth cycle of the grasses. Consequently, your grasses might have excessive fertilizer at this stage. This is highly possible if you had applied a slow-release fertilizer during the latter part of the fall season.
In other words, you will be wasting your fertilizer. Fertilizer manufacturers and lawn care businesses want homeowners to apply fertilizer early in spring, but agronomists wouldn’t recommend this. Instead, you should begin fertilizer your lawn in the late stage of spring.
This is when the grasses have begun to grow at a robust rate. By doing this, your lawn grass are prepared for the onset of summer when using up their energy reserves. Also, the production rate of carbohydrate is reduced.
A soil test is conducted to find out the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. If the pH of your soil ranges from 6.2 to 6.5, you have to add more lime to your soil.
You can buy your own soil test kit if you want, or just send a sample of the soil to a laboratory for soil testing. Just wait for the results that point out the necessary amount of fertilizer and lime. Lime application is ideally done during fall, but it won’t harm the soil if you do it in late spring.
In addition, the soil test will show the amount of phosphorus. If your soil already has enough phosphorus, you don’t have to use a 10-10-10 fertilizer. As the name implies, this fertilizer has significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Instead, you can use a fertilizer package that either only has nitrogen or does not have high amounts of the two other major nutrients.
After the soil test, you should focus on getting a slow-release fertilizer. Usually, it’s best for lawn owners to use slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. In particular, a polymer-coated fertilizer of this type will keep your grass well-fed for as long as three months.
This provision of nitrogen will speed up the grass production of energy reserves. Likewise, the nitrogen-rich fertilizer will safeguard your lawn grass from excessive heat, pests, and plant disease throughout summer.
Here is a video about slow-release fertilizers:
While fertilizer packages have labels identifying the manufacturer’s recommended amount, you can apply lesser than that. In fact, both the quantity and the frequency of fertilizer application might be too much than what your plants actually need. Partly because manufacturers want to boost the consumption of their products.
If your lawn starts to have significantly dark and green appearance, it’s most likely due to excessive fertilizer application. You see, too much nitrogen will result to this deep shade of green. Worse, the excess fertilizer would go down through sewers and eventually harm bodies of water. A healthy lawn should look vibrant with a light shade of green.
You should also keep in mind an important thing that is fertilizing unevenly on the grass surface which will lead to this problem. Gardeners usually apply fertilizer on their lawns with a broadcast fertilizer spreader for the best result. Please read my spreader reviews article, hope it will help you to have more information.
Thus, we recommend that your first fertilizer your lawn in spring using half of the recommended amount indicated on the fertilizer package label. If you don’t notice any change on your lawn, you can add more fertilizer. After a couple of seasons, you will have a better understanding of how much your lawn needs to achieve the vibrant and light green appearance.
Overall, there is nothing wrong with fertilizing your lawn in spring. However, you should not do it during the early stage of the season, especially if you applied a slow-release fertilizer in late fall. Furthermore, it’s important to conduct a soil test and to examine for yourself how much fertilizer your lawn needs.
We hope that this guide helped you in improving the health of your lawn. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a comment.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.