How to Properly Fertilize Your Lawn

Maryland homeowners understand the importance of maintaining a beautiful lawn. Your lawn plays a significant role in your property’s curb appeal and gives passersby their first impression of your home.

If you want to achieve a lush, green lawn that makes your property stand out, proper fertilization is essential. Fertilizer provides vital nourishment that keeps your lawn healthy. A healthy lawn will have better disease resistance and fight invading weeds, producing the attractive look you want. What’s more, a healthy lawn typically requires less watering thanks to its deep root system. 

But if you don’t apply your fertilizer correctly, it could do more harm than good. Thankfully, fertilizing your lawn is easy and effective when you follow a few simple tips.

Proper Techniques, Tips and Tricks for Fertilizing Your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn properly can seem like an overwhelming task. It involves numerous considerations, from the type of fertilizer you use to how and when you apply it. Try these straightforward tips and tricks to make fertilizing your lawn a successful, stress-free experience.

1. Use Organic Fertilizer

With so many fertilizers on the market, choosing the best one for your lawn can be difficult. We recommend using natural, organic fertilizer on your grass. Organic fertilizers contain natural ingredients and are free from harmful chemicals, making them an environmentally friendly option. 

Organic fertilizers are also much more effective at promoting plant growth. They allow plants to gradually absorb natural nutrients, ensuring a season-long supply. They also enrich microbial life and improve soil texture.

2. Choose the Right Spreader

Fertilizer spreaders fall into two main categories: drop and broadcast. Drop spreaders provide precise, controlled fertilizer distribution, making them well-suited to smaller lawns. If you’re using a drop spreader, overlap your rows slightly on each pass to ensure full coverage.

Broadcast spreaders are typically better for larger lawns, as they cover a wider area than drop spreaders. If you’re using a broadcast spreader, apply fertilizer around your lawn’s perimeter first, then move back and forth across your lawn until your lawn is evenly covered in fertilizer.

3. Practice Grasscycling

Grasscycling involves letting grass clippings lie on your lawn after cutting. These clippings serve as natural lawn fertilizer, saving you time and money on the process. They release nitrogen, which helps nourish your lawn while reducing the need for watering. 

Consider using a mulching blade to ensure  

4. Aerate Your Lawn

Before applying fertilizer, aerate your lawn to ensure your grass gets the full benefits of your fertilizer. Aeration involves putting holes in the soil to expose grass roots. These holes reduce soil compaction and provide direct access to air, water and fertilizer, stimulating healthy grass growth.

You can use a core aerator or a digging fork to remove soil plugs. We recommend aerating your lawn whenever the thatch layer is more than 0.5-inch thick.

5. Try Composting

Compost is an organic fertilizer option that does more than feed grass — it also helps build healthy soil. Compost contains organic matter, microorganisms and micronutrients that nourish the soil and promote a healthy underground environment for your lawn. 

After you aerate your lawn, consider spreading compost to give your grass roots a boost and improve your soil quality. 

6. Water Your Lawn Regularly

Watering your lawn is crucial to getting the most out of your fertilizing regimen. Regular, thorough watering ensures your roots grow deep and your lawn remains lush. 

Water your lawn during the coolest times of the day to minimize evaporation. You should also water your lawn after fertilizing to ensure all residual fertilizer granules are washed off the grass blades so they can be absorbed into the soil.

When to Fertilize Your Lawn

Fertilizing your lawn at the right time is essential to getting good results. Generally speaking, the best time to fertilize your lawn depends on what type of grass you have. Follow these tips and tricks for fertilizing warm- and cold-season grasses.

Tips and Tricks for Fertilizing Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses are typically found in southern areas of the United States. They grow best when the temperature is between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Some common types of warm-season grass include:

  • Zoysia: Zoysia grass has stiff, prickly and narrow blades that form carpet-like lawns.
  • St. Augustine: St. Augustine grass has broad, dark green blades with rounded tips. 
  • Centipede: Centipede grass has pointed blades with notches that grow soft and dense.

If you have warm-season grass, fertilize your lawn between late spring and early summer before grass growth kicks into high gear. Fertilize again in late summer after intense heat has subsided. If your warm-season grass tends to go dormant during winter, wait to fertilize until September. 

Tips and Tricks for Fertilizing Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses are usually found in northern areas of the United States. They grow best when temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Types of cool-season grass include:

  • Perennial ryegrass: Perennial ryegrass has pointed blades with visible veins.
  • Kentucky bluegrass: Kentucky bluegrass is dark green, soft and V-shaped with pointed blades.
  • Tall fescue: Tall fescue grass is dark green and course with pointed blades and visible veins. 

Fertilize cool-season grass in the fall, after the intense heat of summer and before cold weather sets in. You may choose to use a winterizer fertilizer, which is specifically formulated to protect grass during the winter months. 

Fertilize again in early spring before hot summer weather arrives. If your lawn is green and growing actively during the summer, you can continue to fertilize it throughout the summer months. However, if your grass tends to turn brown in summer, temporarily stop feeding it until it starts to grow and turn green again, likely in early fall.

Your Source for Professional Fertilizer Service in Maryland

OrganicLawns is a top organic lawn care company in Maryland. We’ve helped homeowners throughout the state grow and maintain beautiful lawns for over 50 years. 

As a family-owned and operated business, we understand the needs of families in the region. We offer top-quality services and products at affordable prices to give you a lush, green lawn that your family can enjoy without breaking your budget.

At OrganicLawns, we use high-quality environmentally friendly products and follow sustainable lawn care practices. When you work with us, you’ll get a healthy, green lawn that’s safe for you, your family, your pets and the environment.

Reach Out to Us Today

OrganicLawns is here to help you feel confident in your lawn. We offer a range of organic lawn care services to meet all your needs. Request a free lawn estimate today, and we’ll get in touch with you promptly to schedule a visit at your convenience.

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