Hey everybody it's Heath from DoMyOwn.com and today we're going to talk to you about kickstarting your lawn with spring fertilizers. The best reason to apply spring fertilizers to get an early start on the spring. It's going to help the grass come out at dormancy if your grass is dormant and if not it's going to help it recover from winter damage.
The early spring fertilizer is also going to help in root development. This is going to be especially important if you've got cool season grass that you just overseeded in the fall to help develop that root system and establish it a little bit deeper before the warm weather hits. If you're doing a warm season grass, it's going to help those rhizomes as well as the root development so that you can actually get a good standing of turf before the summer hits.
The best way to determine what type of fertilizer to use would be to do a soil test. Now that it's into late winter and early spring, this is a great time to do that. It'll actually help you out in determining what is the best fertilizer for your soil whether or not you need to apply lime or or sulfur because your pH is too high or too low... that would be something that you you may need to do prior to putting fertilizer down so that your plant can actually absorb the nutrients that you're putting on it. Use that soil test to tell you whether you're lacking in phosphorus or potassium or anything like that so that would determine on what rate you would use for that fertilizer and how much of that product that you would need based off of your soil test.
One of the biggest questions we get asked is when to apply that spring fertilizer that's going to depend on your location, your weather, and the turf type that you have. Your your location depending upon the weather is going to be the biggest. We want to make sure that we're applying our first application right after the last frost of the year. Depending upon where you're at in the country, you may have to apply it in February or you may have to wait until May to apply your first application.
So, when's the best time to apply a fertilizer to a warm season turf that's been dormant? You want to make sure that the grass is at least 50 to 75 percent green before you do your first fertilizer application as long as we're talking about a nitrogen-based fertilizer. We don't want to apply a high nitrogen-based fertilizer to to a warm season lawn and then have a cold snap right behind it because it can actually suffer from winter damage. You know that cold temperature coming in freezing that plant can actually damage the top and then we need to encourage new growth out of the bottom of it to recover.
One of the questions we get asked is when to apply fertilizer for a cool season turf and the short answer to that is it's going to depend upon your location and the weather. Weather being the the biggest part of it. We want to apply usually at the latter part of the winter we want to make sure that no more freezing temperatures are coming in or anything like that because we don't want to damage the turf. If you're using a high synthetic fertilizer with a lot of nitrogen to it and you apply it too early we can actually damage that turf, so we want to make sure that most of that cold weather has passed before we apply those high nitrogen fertilizers. If you wanted to use a lower fertilizer, nitrogen based anyways or an organic fertilizer usually those are fine to use a little bit earlier just because they're not going to be pushing out a lot of growth around anything like that so you can definitely do that.
Spring fertilizers are going to come in two different ways you can get it in a granular form or a liquid form depending upon the size of your turf. The capabilities of the equipment that you have would determine what is the best product for you so depending on which product you use whether it's granular or liquid make sure that you read over the label instructions really carefully make sure that you're not overlapping your spray or your your granular spread and make sure that you're applying the proper amount of product to that thousand square foot area.
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