Now before I go into all the tips and tricks when it comes to fertilizing, I want to circle back and talk about my soil test that I did.
I'm not going very in depth over my soil test results because, to be honest, I don't know how to break it down for you in simple terms. But the co-op extension office will. So just give them a call and they can break it down for you and go over the results and explain it to you in a way that is understandable.
For my yard the biggest take away is I need more Phosphorus in the front and less in the back. My Phosphorus count was very high in the back so the co-op extension office suggested that I put some Lime down to help balance out that pH level. And that doesn't really surprise me because that's where all the moss was. So it's pretty acidic back there.
The amount of lime you need to correct soil pH is going to be dependent upon the actual soil itself. All the more reason to get a soil test so it can help to determine how much you need to put back there to help balance things out.
The ideal soil pH is between a 6 and 7, so slightly acidic, but anything below a 6, or becomes more acidic, certain nutrients like potassium, and phosphorus, and nitrogen, and calcium, that becomes unavailable for proper growth of our grass.
Which brings us to the topic of fertilizers themselves. See all fertilize products provide some uniform information to help consumers like you and me to compare products easily and figure out what it is we need that will help our yard.
Every label carries three numbers, usually right above or below the product name, these three numbers form what is called the fertilizers NPK ratio. And those letters stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
The products NPK numbers reflect each nutrients percentage by weight. So for example if a fertilizer has 34-0-4 on it, it contains 34 percent Nitrogen, zero percent Phosphorus, and four percent Potassium.
Plants need a large quantity of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. We refer to those as the Macro Nutrients.
Now other elements such as Iron are just as critical to plant survival, but plants need them in much smaller quantities.
Each of those three main nutrients, N P K, all have their own specific job that they do.
Nitrogen, it spurs vigorous leafy growth and rich green color in the lawn.
Phosphorus really focuses on good strong root development.
And finally Potassium. That enhances overall growth, and helps regulate root and top growth, and keeps plants healthy and balanced.
Remember it like this, up, down, all around. Nitrogen's going to help with the up. Potassium going to help with the down, and Phosphorus is going to help with the all around.
For my yard and its pretty common for a lot of yards, I'm going to use a starter fertilizer. An 18-24-12. That's going to really help my Bermuda come out of dormancy, and spring into life.
As for when we want to fertilize, we want to hit before full growth really starts. For warm season grasses you want to hit it around late spring or early summer and maybe a second app at the end of summer.
For cool season grass types, hit it around early fall, around October and November before the grass goes dormant.
For both types of grass, you shouldn't apply anything that is wet or needs to get watered in during the heat of the day. Water acts like a magnifying glass and can cause the plants to get scorched! If you do apply fertilizer granules in the heat of the day, just make sure the grass is dry, and you are confident that burning will not occur.
Now the timing of my fertilizing, I had rain the day before, which brings up a good point. You want to water the lawn one to two days before application to prep it to receive the fertilizer.
You want to water just after the application of fertilizer to insure the product gets into the soil. Now the way I timed it, my aeration, my fertilizing, my overseeding, it rained the day before I tackled this project, so the soil was nice and loose, I was able to pull out some decent plugs, and the next following two days after doing all this, I've got rain forecast. So, I'm going to let mother nature do the work for me, and let it water in that fertilizer and grass seed. That way I don't have to bust out the water hose and the sprinklers and do all that mess.
As for calibrating my spreader, all I did was read the product label of the fertilizer that I'm going to be putting down. Every fertilizer and grass seed is going to tell you what you need to set your spreader to, to get the amount that you want in your yard. So you just simply go to the dial on your spreader, set it accordingly and your off.
What I'm going to do first is make a trim pass. I'm going to throw down the edge control on my spreader, so that I'm not throwing out fertilizer onto the sidewalk or the driveway. And I'll just make a perimeter pass so that I get a nice barrier on the edges. Then I'll just simply just go back and forth through the yard, until I get the appropriate amount of fertilizer that I want.
So that's fertilizing! It is an exact science and every yard is going to be different. Your needs are going to be different from mine; so what I've done to my yard is probably not going to fit yours. All the more reason to get a soil test, have somebody explain it to you, and reach out to our customer service staff, to figure out what it is you need to put in your yard to make it thrive.
This was a really fun part of the rehab program and I'm hoping for some really good results.
One other important thing your going to need when it comes to fertilizer, patience! It's not going to happen over night!
I should see some results in about four to six weeks and I'll go from there. I'm planning on hitting it with another fertilizer in about a month and a half, with a higher Nitrogen content, so I get that nice deep, rich, green color!
Like I say at the end of every video, if there's something I missed when it comes to fertilizing, you can leave them in the comments section below, or shoot our customer service staff an email, or pick up the phone and give them a call.
The next topic I'm going to touch on and flush out for you is over seeding. I did that when I did my aerating and my fertilizing, but like I said in the aeration video, I'm going to make that a seperate one, so that I can go into it a little bit further and these videos don't end up being 30 minutes long!
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And you can also click this play list to see everything that we've done in the yard so far!