Are you ready to wave goodbye to the crispy, dry, brown grass of winter? Encourage your lawn to sprout fresh green grass by fertilizing like a pro! Check out the Kurtz Bros. top tips for fertilizing your lawn this spring.
Tip 1: Identify Your Grass
If you don't already know the type of grass you're growing, now is the time to identify it. Are you growing cool-season grasses like rye, bluegrass, or fescue? Or is your lawn primarily composed of warm-season grasses like centipede grass, Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia? If you aren't sure, call in an expert from Kurtz Bros., Inc. to help you identify your grass.
Once you know the type of grass you have, you can determine its peak growing season. That knowledge will help you decide how to best encourage its growth throughout the spring.
Tip 2: Tidy Up the Yard
Don't fertilize until you've cleaned up! Chances are, winter did a number on your yard, dropping twigs and branches and dead leaves all over the place. Collect all that debris and dispose of the yard waste in accordance with your local regulations. You may also have some stubborn piles of snow in shady areas of the yard. If so, smooth those flat with a shovel to hasten the melting process, since you can't apply fertilizer until everything has thawed.
Tip 3: Enact Weed Control or Apply Grass Seed
Before the weeds leap out of the earth, apply some pre-emergent weed control. This type of herbicide keeps the weed seeds from ever sprouting and taking hold in your yard. Do spot treatment on patches of your lawn that tend to struggle with weedy invaders. Just remember, the herbicide will keep the grass in those areas from sprouting as well— so you'll need to choose between killing the weed seeds or applying extra grass seed to those trouble spots.
Tip 4: Lightly Fertilize Cool-Season Grasses
For cool-season grasses, think of it as "feeding" your lawn rather than fertilizing it. Gently feed these tender grasses so they will be able to make it through the summer. If you feed them too much, they will grow too fast and the new growth might wilt completely during summer heat and droughts. Instead, choose a carefully balanced fertilizer that slowly releases nutrients over time. Cool-season grasses enjoy peak growth in the fall, when you can give them a bigger feeding.
Tip 5: Heartily Nourish Warm-Season Grasses
If you have warm-season grasses, you can give them a hearty feeding in mid to late spring. Wait for the grass to begin turning green in April or May, and then supply those grasses with balanced fertilizer that makes up for anything your soil may be lacking. To determine the pH level of your soil, do a quick soil test. With the soil test results in hand, you'll know what kind of fertilizer you should purchase to make up for deficiencies in the earth.
Tip 6: Choose Your Spreader
If you have a big lawn, you can use either a rotary spreader or a broadcast spreader to apply the fertilizer. Place the spreader on a tarp to catch spills, and check the hopper to ensure that it's closed. Fill the spreader with fertilizer.
You can also use a drop spreader. Have a stiff broom handy in case you spill extra fertilizer in one spot; the broom will help you spread it out. A handheld broadcast spreader works best when you're fertilizing smaller areas of grass, or when you need to spot-treat shady sections of your lawn. Handheld, battery-powered spreaders are heavy; but if you have a sloped lawn that's not conducive to a push spreader, one of these might be your best option.
Tip 7: Apply the Fertilizer Evenly
When you begin to apply the fertilizer, start at the edges of your lawn. Think of it like a puzzle— complete the edges first, then fill in the middle. Work in strips, overlapping the strips a little bit so you don't miss a bit of your lawn. Your goal is a consistent, even application.
Need some expert advice? Kurtz Bros., Inc. has a staff of lawn care experts and landscapers who would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us through our website, email us at email@example.com, or give us a call at 216.986.7000.