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Getting Started with Lawn Fertilizers - Lawn Care Tips

By DoMyOwn staff

A proper lawn fertilizer application is essential to keep your lawn healthy and help prevent weeds, pests, and disease. Learn the basics of NPK Ratios and when and how to apply fertilizer.

 Getting Started with Lawn Fertilizers - Lawn Care Tips Video Play

Video Transcript

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Every bag of fertilizer has three numbers on it. These numbers are the macro-nutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Or what is known as the NPK Ratio.

Nitrogen helps green up lawns and produces healthy leaf growth above the soil.

Phosphorus helps strengthen the plant roots below the soil.

Potassium keeps the plant healthy and balanced overall all around the plant.

In order to select the proper fertilizer, a soil analysis test will be needed to see what nutrients your lawn lacks. You can either reach out to your local extension office or you can purchase a soil analysis kit and send it in to them. If you do not already know your grass type, your local extension office can assist you when you take a soil test.

Fertilizer comes in granular and liquid form.

Liquid fertilizers work fast and are quickly absorbed into plant root systems. They can be applied with a hand pump sprayer or backpack sprayer. With liquid fertilizer, there is a higher chance of lawn damage since it needs to be applied more frequently than granular fertilizers.

Granular fertilizers are slower to absorb and will take longer, however, there is a less of a chance of them burning your lawn. Granular fertilizers can be applied using a granular spreader. The granules will need to be watered in.

Your fertilizer application will depend on your grass type. Cool season grasses should be fertilized when the lawn comes back from dormancy and again at the beginning of fall. Don't fertilize in the warmest summer months. Warm season grass types can be fertilized every 6-8 weeks during the summer. Some warm season grasses are fertilized 2-4 times a year, including before the start of spring and at the end of summer.

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