To fertilize or to not fertilize, that is the question.
Your decision about whether to fertilize or not to fertilize should be based on the nutrition requirements needed by your soil conditions. Below are some tips on fertilizing your lawn:
- Determine your soil nutrient needs through testing. If your soil does need nutrients, make sure you choose a fertilizer that matches those needs.
- Make sure you fertilize at the optimum time of the year for your variety of grass. Contrary to popular belief, not all grasses should be fertilized in spring. A few cool-season grass varieties do better when fertilized in the fall. June is also a good time to fertilize many cool-season types of grass.
- In general, it is best to choose a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer to reduce possible losses to the environment and increase nutrient absorption. In certain situations, it may help to use organic materials which can improve the health of your soil.
- It’s important to read the label on the fertilizer bag and know the exact size of your lawn. Using too much fertilizer can harm your lawn and cost you more than you planned. Conversely, using too little fertilizer won’t yield the results anticipated. Several university studies show that under-fertilized turf can lead to a thin turf stand resulting in soil erosion and unwanted soil runoff. ALWAYS follow the label instructions.
- Before fertilizing your lawn or plants, always check with the local agricultural extension office. Some state and local governments place limits on when, what kind, and what amount of fertilizer you can apply. Professional, licensed lawn care companies must follow state, local and federal regulations.