How to Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Lawn

How to Choose the Right Fertilizer for Your Lawn

One of the trickiest parts about maintaining curb appeal is knowing how to care for your lawn. However, finding the perfect liquid fertilizer for your grass will set it apart from all the neighbors. Don’t fret—our guide to all things fertilizer will help you choose the best liquid fertilizer for your lawn.

 

Why Do Lawns Need Grass Fertilizer?

Of course, you want your lawn to look nice, but do you really need fertilizer? The answer is yes; it provides grass the nutrients it needs to grow. However, gardeners and homeowners don’t need to worry because fertilization doesn’t need to break the bank or take up a ton of time to be effective.

 

Top Four Reasons Lawns Need Liquid Fertilizer

  1. Fertilizer nourishes the soil.
  2. Grass fertilizer improves the quality of your lawn.
  3. It helps plants build strength to resist poor conditions.
  4. Liquid fertilizer is cost-effective.

 

  1. Protecting Your Soil

All types of plants, including your grass, need vital nutrients to sustain life and grow strong. For the most flourishing yard possible, you need to start at the soil. Your lawn will look its best if it is nourished from the ground up.

Balanced, nutrient-rich soil will provide plants with a firm foundation to grow from. Over time, your lawn might develop issues like dryness or brown spots. Grass fertilizer will resolve imbalances within the soil. To get started, we recommend performing a soil test before choosing your treatment.

 

  1. Higher Quality Grass and Plants

Once you find the perfect liquid fertilizer for your lawn, the quality of plants will improve tremendously. Adding grass fertilizer will help it grow faster, greener, and healthier, especially when combined with a liquid aerator. Fertilizing will also keep pesky weeds and dandelions at bay.

 

  1. Save Grass from Harsh Conditions

Sometimes, lawns are exposed to poor conditions outside of your control, like a dry summer day or an intense storm. Choosing a high-quality grass fertilizer will provide better resistance to stress and unfavorable circumstances. Proper fertilization will help the lawn endure and withstand disease, pests, and drastic temperature changes.

 

  1. Save Money with Fertilizer

Lawn care can be a big expense we often overlook as new homeowners. However, learning how to fertilize at home correctly will help your grass look stunning without the cost of a professional lawn care service. You can find an effective and relatively affordable grass fertilizer to apply throughout the year as you see fit.

 

Most types of fertilizers are water-soluble. Liquid fertilizer, in particular, is cost-effective because you can dilute it with water to make it last longer without losing its effects. This way, you won’t have to run out to your local garden supply store or make an order on Simple Lawn Solutions so often.

 

What are the Different Formulas of Fertilizer?

Before accurately assessing what fertilizer you need to buy, it’s essential to know the difference between each type. The two main types are granular and liquid fertilizer, and each one can fulfill different needs depending on your lawn.

 

Main Formulas for Grass Fertilizer

  • granular
  • liquid

 

Granular Fertilizer for Gardens

Granular fertilizer is a type of fertilizer that comes in a dry, pellet-like form. Gardeners can blend it with soil to provide nutrients. Granular grass fertilizer is best for preparing the soil before planting or nourishing existing plants.

The significant advantage to using a granular fertilizer is that it allows vital ingredients to flow out over time, rather than over-flooding plants with too much at once. However, you’re more likely to lose out on nutrients due to heavy rainfall or poor drainage conditions. It can also be more challenging to manage in a garden or large lawn because it needs to be applied to plants with care to avoid damage.

 

What is Liquid Fertilizer?

Contrary to a granular form, liquid fertilizer is readily available for fast absorption by the soil. Since this type of fertilizer is made of liquid materials, it has enhanced water solubility upon application. You don’t have to worry about long waiting periods before the ingredients take effect.

Liquid fertilizer also helps you create a more uniform application in a shorter amount of time. You won’t need tons of equipment to ensure the application is even, as most can be applied right through your garden hose. Simply apply it to the bottle’s spray nozzle, and you’re on track to perfect application.

Another benefit to using liquid fertilizer is that the molecular makeup of the nutrient particles is well-mixed and homogeneous, meaning you will see consistent results on the lawn. While all types can be water-soluble, liquid fertilizer makes it easy to mix with water. You can even spray onto plant foliage for an extra nutrient boost that won’t take a lot of time.

 

Choosing a Water-Soluble Fertilizer

So, what does it mean if a grass fertilizer is water-soluble? Water solubility measures how much of a given ingredient can be effectively absorbed and dissolved. Both granular and liquid fertilizers can be water-soluble; however, they will require different steps before and after application.

Finding the ideal water-soluble grass fertilizer for your lawn can bring quick results with little hassle. Making sure your fertilizer is water-soluble can help guarantee that plants absorb ingredients quickly and use the nutrients effectively. Plus, mixing your grass fertilizer with water will help ensure no product goes to waste.

 

Things to Understand When Choosing a Liquid Fertilizer

The most important thing to keep in mind about fertilizers is that they’re not “one size fits all.” Depending on your lawn, you will need grass fertilizers with different ingredients or levels of nutrients. Therefore, it’s essential to know what to look for in your yard and a quality liquid fertilizer.

 

Three Steps to Finding a Grass Fertilizer

  1. Identify your soil’s pH level.
  2. Understand the ratios.
  3. Select your fertilizer type.

 

  1. How to Find Your Soil’s pH Level

Even if proper nutrients are present within the soil, some ingredients can’t be absorbed by plants if the pH level is too high or too low. Most plants should have a soil level between 6.0 and 7.0. As previously mentioned, a soil test will measure the condition of your lawn, including the pH level.

You can send your soil to a lab to be professionally tested or quickly implement DIY tests at home. Keep in mind that if your pH level is especially low or high, you should slowly work on adjusting it over the course of a year or two. Dramatic, quick adjustments can result in the opposite extreme, creating more problems than it solves.

 

  1. What Do Ratios Mean in Fertilizer?

If you’ve done some fertilizer shopping before, you’ve probably noticed three letters and digits displayed on the labels. With the NPK ratio measurement of grass fertilizer, the numbers stand for the percentage of essential nutrients, which are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Each lawn will need different amounts of each ingredient depending on the current state of the soil.

 

Nitrogen

A grass fertilizer that’s heavy in nitrogen will promote healthy growth and aid in chlorophyll production. Nitrogen is essential because a lack of chlorophyll could lead to chlorosis, a yellowing of leaf tissue. A nitrogen-rich supplement will give your grass the perfect green color.

 

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is vital for healthy root systems and development. It helps your grass fight off diseases to keep it looking thick and luscious. With healthy grassroots, your greenery will flourish quicker and more efficiently absorb nutrients from the soil.

 

Potassium

Potassium gives the lawn strength, which helps to resist drought. Just like phosphorus, it can provide resistance to disease as well as drought protection and cold tolerance. It helps plants use water effectively so they won’t get flooded or dry out.

 

While your lawn may need more potassium than nitrogen or vise-versa, the best choice for most homeowners will be a combination of all three. The vast and unique combinations of ingredients require you to perform a soil test, as previously mentioned. For example, if your lawn seems good on nitrogen but lacks potassium and phosphorus, go for a 3-18-18 NPK blend grass fertilizer.

 

  1. Selecting Your Fertilizer Type

Once you have decided on the ideal NPK number, you can choose between synthetic or organic fertilizer. Either type of liquid fertilizer can help your garden grow. However, we recommend choosing a fertilizer with natural, organic ingredients.

 

Synthetic Fertilizers

Sometimes, synthetic grass fertilizers are made to give your lawn quick and easy results, often within a matter of days. They are made with various materials such as gasses, minerals, and even waste. While they might make your garden look nice, the downside is that they could actually be hurting your lawn in the long run.

Synthetic grass fertilizers have a reputation for “burning” grass when used with too heavy a hand. When grass gets burned, it essentially dies and must take time to regrow.

 

Organic Fertilizers

Organic grass fertilizers are a much safer and constructive option for your lawn. They can take a bit longer to work their way into the soil, so results will be visible after a few weeks. A bit of patience will be worth it when your lawn stays healthy through all the seasons and you don’t have to worry about health risks.

 

How and When to Fertilize Your Lawn

When you’re new to fertilizing, it’s best to start with a fertilizer that suits your specific lawn type. Fertilize established lawns during their most active growth periods when they need the extra nutrients the most. Identifying your type of grass, which you can find through the soil test, is essential for proper fertilization.

 

Fertilizing Warm-Season Grass

Warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, and centipede will get fertilized every four to eight weeks during their rapid growth period. Typically, you should fertilize this type of grass two to four times throughout the year, including right before the start of spring and at the end of the summer.

 

When to Fertilize Cool-Season Grass

For cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, their most significant growth period will be during the fall. These types of grass should be fertilized just after the lawn comes back from winter dormancy and once more at the beginning of fall. Don’t fertilize cool-season grass during the warmest summer months.

All types of grass will benefit from a final, late-summer or early-fall grass fertilizer at least six weeks before the first expected frost. The last feeding will help grass prepare before the harsh conditions of winter.

 

Best Time for Fertilizing

You should apply fertilizer in the morning or evening to save yourself from working in the blistering afternoon sun. Follow the general rule of using grass fertilizer after the last frost of spring and before the first frost of fall, but schedule them accordingly with your type of grass.

If you’re using a starter fertilizer for a new plant or grass, apply it before distributing grass seed or laying out sod. Fertilizing the soil will give the grass the optimal conditions it needs to grow and establish strong roots.

With any garden care product, it’s essential to read the label with care and follow instructions closely. A proper application will yield the most from your investment of time, labor, and grass fertilizer.

Remember, protect the safety of your children and pets by preventing fertilizer burn and other mishaps.

 

What Fertilizer Should I Choose?

Once you’ve conducted a soil test and understand how to help your lawn, it’s time to start fertilizer shopping. Does your lawn need a perfect balance of nutrients? Go for the Simple Lawn Solutions complete balanced NPK.

If you want to focus on strengthening your lawn, a phosphate-free liquid fertilizer is the way to go. This type of grass fertilizer is beneficial for enhancing mineral content for sandy soils. If you live in an area with phosphate restrictions, this will be the best option for you.

If phosphate restrictions aren’t one of your primary concerns, consider a liquid fertilizer with high phosphate and potassium. Higher levels of these ingredients will strengthen your lawn’s immunity to diseases and harsh conditions. It will also result in a thicker and more durable lawn.

Now that you know why liquid fertilizer is so helpful for your grass and how to use it, you’re on track to having a luscious green lawn. Choose a grass fertilizer that will help your lawn flourish. Remember to test your soil, consider the fertilizer ratios, and know what type you’re looking for before starting your lawn improvement journey!




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