Use This 4 Application Fertilization Program To Have A Beautiful Lawn

Posted in Gardening Tips

Use This 4 Application Fertilization Program To Have A Beautiful Lawn

After 25 years of living in the Ozarks, in south central Missouri, I have finally got this grass thing down pretty well.  I must admit, this has taken some time, money and reading, but the program I’m going to lay out for you has made my lawn something of which I take pride.

Before I start, I’d like to recommend a very good book which is written at a level most people with a high school education will understand.  The guy also has a pretty good sense of humor.  This book, The Lawn Geek, is something you can go back to time and time again when you have questions.  He does not make specific recommendations on product (even though I will) but alludes to the fact that the products are all pretty much the same.

One other little items I’d like to address before I talk about specifics.  You will never (in this part of the world) have a decent lawn unless you have, at least, 4 inches of loamy topsoil as a base.  The clay content must be low!  I’m amazed at the number of people who think they can have a nice yard when all they have is rock!  Secondly, I recommend an in-ground irrigation system.  If you live in Minnesota, where you don’t have repeated 90 plus degree days on end in the summer, you’re probably going to be okay, but not in this area of the country.  That doesn’t mean you have to water every day, which some people unnecessarily do, but it sure helps to have it when you need it, especially when you’re trying to get a lawn established.

Okay, this is easy to remember, and yeah, I did steal this from the “Lawn Geek”, but listen up.  Feed your lawn using the “holiday” method.  I don’t think whoever laid the holidays out planned it that way for our benefit, but they happen to fall about 8 weeks apart, just the right time for application of fertilizer and herbicides.  The first application should be around Easter (or here in the Midwest, when you start seeing the forsythia bloom), the second around Memorial Day, next Labor Day, and finally, Thanksgiving.  Now, what to apply……….and this is my preference, but I’m right so don’t mess with it.

1. Easter- Fertilome Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer

2. Memorial Day- reapply Fertilome Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer

3. Labor Day- Hi-Yield Weed and Feed (post-emergent weed control)

4. Thanksgiving- Fertilome Winterizer (most important)

All of the fertilizers recommended above are formulated so that, if applied correctly, you should not apply more than 1 pound of slow release nitrogen per 1,000 sq. feet.  If this is not applied as directed, you could “burn” your lawn, especially during times of intense heat.  One of the things I see people do (and I have done it myself) is to make a pass around the perimeter of the lawn, and then go perpendicular to this back and forth.  They forget to turn off the spreader before they get to where they made their initial perimeter pass, thus applying a double amount to that area, or 2 pounds per 1,000 sq. feet.  You may notice that I recommended putting crabgrass preventer down twice.  That’s because I noticed the first couple of years that crabgrass showed up in my yard in August if I did not reapply pre-emergent around Memorial Day.  Learn from my mistakes!

Lastly, a couple other little caveats: apply early in the morning when there is dew on the grass.  First, this lets you see “where you’ve been” and secondly, when applying Weed and Feed, the herbicide must “cling” to the surface of the weed in order to kill it.

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