Three Things to Consider Before Buying Lawn Fertilizer

Lawn fertilizer can either be a huge asset, or a huge problem, so make sure you’re using the right formula before feeding it to your grass.

Fertilizer
Fertilizer that’s formulated for your lawn can produce fantastic results, but use the wrong fertilizer, and you could make your grass look worse.Scotts

Your lawn needs a doctor. Sometimes it’s for checkups and wellness, and other times for illness, but your lawn is a living organism needing a doctor’s care. You can be that doctor, or at least a paramedic or EMT, or you can get a consultant to advise you, but either way if you want a healthy lawn you need a doctor’s care. Here are three things you need to think about when diagnosing what’s ailing your lawn and prescribing fertilizer to treat it.

Lawn Rx

Humboldts Secret Golden Tree: World's Best Fertilizer
This product comes in a variety of N-P-K formulas and is designed to use as a stand-alone or additive to other fertilizers.Humboldts Secret

Just like a doctor checks your temp and blood pressure and analyzes your blood chemistry, you need to look at your lawn’s sun/shade ratio, soil pH and fertility characteristics, grass types, and so on. Do a soil test or have a soil sample analyzed at your county cooperative extension office. You can easily test pH and moisture with a soil meter. The results will identify any deficiencies and you can select a compatible fertilizer with an N-P-K number or other additives to address your grass type and growing conditions.

Use the Right Amount of Fertilizer

Jobe’s Organics Purpose Granular Fertilizer
This organic product is rated at 3-5-5 and contains soil-enhancing enzymes promoting soil health and disease resistance.Jobe’s Organics

If a little is good, then a lot is better, right? That’s generally not true when cooking and it sure isn’t when fertilizing. Too much fertilizer usually results in a burnt lawn and adding additional chemical loads to surrounding areas and watersheds. Most quality fertilizers will indicate the proper application ratio of pounds per square foot and often the appropriate setting on standard fertilizer spreaders.

Determine the Maintenance Level

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food
This fertilizer is fast-acting and includes an iron-supplement.Scotts

Some fertilizers are designed for application at certain times of the year. Others require more frequent application. If your fertilizer prescription includes weed and bug control, you may also need more frequent application. If your preference is “one and done” be sure to choose a fertilizer that features a slow or controlled release.

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