Spring fertilizer: when and how to fertilize the lawn in spring

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Spring fertilizer: when and how to fertilize the lawn in spring: fertilizer

If you want to be happy about a healthy lawn in the summer months, you should pay particular attention to the time and the procedure when fertilising in spring. A lawn is more sensitive than many garden lovers think and the care of the lawn is greatly facilitated by the right fertilizer. The lawn provides a fresh blanket of grass, which presents itself in the garden.

The best time to fertilize

Lawn needs to be fertilized several times a year, but spring fertilization is recommended in March. From March, the lawn should be cleaned before fertilization. For this purpose, branches, remaining leaves and mosses are removed from the lawn to allow the grasses to absorb oxygen and the sun. The cleaning of the lawn is still possible during the frost. Fertilizing itself will also take place from the end of March, when there is no risk of frost.
Be aware of the weather in your area to determine when there is no frost or snow. Those who want to play it safe should fertilize towards the end of March or beginning of April after mowing, scarifying and drying the soil for the first time. You should also leave the floor for some time after sowing. This procedure provides the best conditions for fertilizer uptake by the root system.

An alternative - fertilizing in late spring

You can not fertilize the lawn until the end of May. This is mainly due to the type of grasses that are used in Germany for the lawn. Since grasses on the German soil must endure cold winters and warm to hot summers, fertilization at the beginning of spring can be counterproductive. Since during the spring awakening the grasses begin to form a new root system in order to hold themselves thereby robustly in the earth, the fertilization can lead to the burning of the grasses or a weak growth. Here it is recommended to fertilize only towards the end of May. In the months from March to May, the lawn had enough time to rebuild and therefore benefits more from the fertilizer. This method is particularly recommended for sites that are particularly cold in winter or for lawns that were fertilized very late in the fall and the active substances accumulate in the soil over several months.

The selection of the fertilizer

lawn fertilizer

There are different types of fertilizer on the market, which are mixed with a variety of mineral substances. In contrast, there are purely organic fertilizers, of which a larger amount is needed, but do not burden the soil or the grasses. Four different types of fertilizer can be mentioned here:
  • Fertilizer with long-term share
  • starter fertilizer
  • Fertilizer with added minerals
  • Organic fertilizer

Long-term fertilizer explained

Fertilizers with a long-term content and fertilizers, which are mixed with, for example, iron or other mineral substances, are among the typical variants that the market has to offer. The long-term fertilizer has an extremely high concentration of ingredients and should be used sparingly. It is the simplest form of all fertilizers and is marketed as lawn fertilizer. There are also lawn fertilizers for the different seasons and so also for spring. These enrich the soil with a variety of substances that promote the growth of grasses. If you do not want to think long and hard about a suitable fertilizer, you can choose the slow-release fertilizer, but handle it very sparingly.

What is a starter fertilizer?

The starter fertilizer, on the other hand, is a classic spring fertilizer that works effectively on lawns that have suffered from extreme winter weather conditions. They have a high phosphorus content, which spreads quickly in the soil and restores the grasses. Thanks to the phosphorus, the grasses can form roots more quickly, which at the same time makes for a healthy lawn. Also, these solutions contain many nitrogen and also minerals. In comparison, there are also fertilizers that are designed for specific mineral and nutrient deficiencies. However, before using such fertilizers, you need to be aware of what the problem with the lawn is.

Are organic fertilizers better?

If you do not want to fertilize your lawn with industrially produced or chemical agents, you should switch to organic varieties. Compost of plant parts, kitchen scraps and other organic waste can be used ideally for fertilizing and offers the lawn a gentle alternative to the conventional variants. Since plant parts are decomposed by microorganisms into compost, the organic fertilizer has all the necessary nutrients that the lawn needs and not too high concentrations of mineral substances. Advantages of organic fertilizers:
  • Works for up to three months
  • Produces a sturdy turf
  • Use in water protection zones possible
  • Weed less by weeds
  • Fertility of the soil and grass is strengthened
  • Natural nutrient supply

Feed properly

lawn fertilizer

When fertilizing, it is particularly important not to use too much fertilizer, but to cover the entire lawn. With the following instructions, you are on the safe side when you want to fertilize your lawn.

1. After selecting the appropriate fertilizer, preparing the grass and sowing new seeds, fertilising can be started. Water the lawn about a week before so that the grasses do not suffer from dehydration.

2. You can distribute the fertilizer either by hand or a spreader. The spreader is effective at large lawns and also makes it easier for you to work. Since no liquid fertilizer is used for a lawn, this method is always recommended. Tip: Fill the spreader off the lawn or in a tub. So you avoid unnecessary loss of fertilizer and collect it quickly again, if something goes wrong.

3. If you use a mineral fertilizer from the hardware store or garden center, you must pay attention to the dosage information. If you prefer to use less fertilizer than suggested on the package, you can avoid over-fertilization.

4. Be careful when distributing. Give yourself enough time to really fertilize all areas of the lawn, otherwise there will be bald spots afterwards.

5. Only fertilize if there are no heavy rains. The rainwater could wash out the fertilizer and ruin your work.

6. Allow the lawn enough time to rest after fertilizing. That is, you should not mow it for a while to promote growth. This creates a dense, vibrant lawn that can unfold.

Tip: After fertilizing, you may like to seed more seeds. If the soil temperature remains consistently above 8° C, the seed closes existing gaps in the lawn.

The mulching

If you decide to use an organic fertilizer, mulching will provide the lawn with nutrients for a long time without having to re-fertilize. For mulching you only need a lawnmower that chops the lawn very small compared to other devices. This results in tiny plant remains that remain on the lawn. Together with an organic fertilizer, such as compost, the nutrients are better in the soil and the grasses take only the nutrients they need. Mulching is a time-saving and cost effective method, even if you do not have compost. Compost can be bought in the garden center or hardware store and can be easily used for mulching.

Do not maul with animal dung

When mulching a lawn, it is not recommended to use animal manure as a compost substitute. The lawn would not necessarily suffer, but your nose all the more. In addition, an increased infestation of insects and microorganisms would arise, which is counterproductive for a well-groomed lawn. Tip: Do not mulch immediately after the first mowing of the lawn in spring. Use only the compost as a fertilizer and mulch later in the spring.

What to do if over-fertilized?

lawn fertilizer

If too much mineral fertilizer is used, the lawn may suffer from a variety of symptoms, all of which are easily noticeable. Look for the following signs to see if your lawn is over-fertilized:
  • Lawn "burns" (brown spots in the lawn)
  • Excessive dandelion formation
  • Excessive formation of samprobes
  • Strong moss formation
  • Other weeds are more common
  • Grass looks pale
Depending on the type of fertilizer and the amount applied, these symptoms may occur. For one thing, the lawn is not healthy and overloaded with substances that it can not handle. In addition, the infested lawns look unsightly or poorly maintained, which of course also acts against the aesthetic sense of the gardener.

What is "burnt" lawn?

Brown, dry stalks are a sign of classic over-fertilization. With these symptoms, the lawn looks as if it had gotten too much sun, because the stalks are dry and brown. The turf looks "burnt" because the grasses can not cope with the amount of fertilizer that was administered. This phenomenon is unique to chemical or mineral fertilizers, as they pump up the soil with a load of nutrients and can put extreme strain on individual grass species.

Pale lawn

In contrast, in pale grass, an overdose of lime is the cause. The lime runs from the ground into the plant and pale, whitish spots appear on the lawn. Lime is an essential part of many fertilizers, but the use of lime is especially recommended for sandy or loamy soils. Therefore, in normal soil, which is neither too sandy nor too loamy, fertilizers with high levels of lime should be avoided.

Mosses and weeds

Moose grow faster when ironed. Since iron is a typical component in fertilizers, it can often lead to an increased formation of mosses. Weeds of all kinds, on the other hand, benefit greatly from nitrogen found in many commercial fertilizers. Before buying the fertilizer, look for the amount of nitrogen and iron in the middle.

Protect the lawn from over-fertilization

Water is the best way to effectively combat the fertilizer. Pay particular attention to your lawn after fertilization to quickly spot overfertilized areas. The smaller the over-fertilized area is, the better. This simplifies the effort to flush the fertilizer out of the ground. Take a garden hose and water the affected area over a period of several days. In order to accelerate this process, it is worthwhile to first scarify the soil and then to water it. By scarifying the earth is allowed to breathe and the increased intake of oxygen fertilizer is degraded faster.
What to do in an extended case of over-fertilization?
If the entire lawn is affected or a very large area, so that the use of a single garden hose does not offer, proceed as follows.
  • Mow lawn to about four inches
  • scarify
  • water (about 15 liters of water per m²)
  • check after two weeks
This procedure flushes all fertilizer out of the ground and prepares the grasses for a strong growing season. If this is not the case, the substrate must be replaced. Depending on the infestation, this is the only solution for over-fertilization.

Video Board: Spring Lawn Fertilizing & Weed Control Tips 2017.

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