Your lawn benefits most from the timely application of nutrients that help it to grow thick and full and resist environmental stresses as well as some insects and diseases. Our cool season grasses here in the North Shore need a boost of nutrients in early spring to help promote root growth and give a good early green-up.
A Green Lawn Needs Fertilizer
A lush green lawn needs “lawn food”. Just as you need to eat to survive you need to feed your lawn in much the same way. Applying fertilizer with a broadcast spreader or drop spreader gives your lawn the food it needs to grow and expand. Spring is also the time to put down a crabgrass preventer with your fertilizer to fight crabgrass germination and aid in overall weed control.
Fertilizer typically contains three macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the nutrients plants need most. Nitrogen is the one responsible for the greening of the lawns in the spring and making the blades grow up. Phosphorus and potassium help root development and expansion. A healthy root system is stronger and more resistant to lawn diseases and stays healthier during the hot and dry summer months.
The three numbers on the label tell you how much of each is in a particular fertilizer. Here in Massachusetts, however, you cannot apply phosphorus, the middle number, on most turf grasses unless a soil test shows that the area is deficient in that nutrient.
Slow-Release Fertilizer Works Best
To have a green lawn this spring, you need to supply your grass with approximately one-tenth of a pound of nitrogen per week and you want a fertilizer that is going to give you that over a six to eight-week period. For that you need to have about half of its nitrogen in a slow release form.
The rest is a quick release form that is immediately available for the plants to use. This type of nitrogen usually lasts about two to four weeks in the lawn before it breaks down. That is good because it takes about that long for the slow release nitrogen to start to become available to the plants. This is essential to have a continuous feeding and also minimizes the risk of “burning” a lawn by putting down too much Nitrogen at once. You should expect six to eight weeks of usable nitrogen from each fertilizer application.
And don’t forget to water your lawn after each fertilizer application. Water helps the nutrients find their way to the root system and helps the grass grow.
When To Treat
In Massachusetts, we have a law that limits when fertilizer can be applied to lawns. You cannot apply before March first and cannot apply after November 30th. Snow covered and saturated soils cannot be fertilized under this law either. Starting in early spring with fertilizer gives you five applications through the course of the season that will give your lawn the nutrients it needs for grass growth and root development.
Proper Mowing Height
Mowing a lawn is not like a haircut, where the shorter you cut it, the healthier it becomes. Learning how to get a green lawn with lawn mowing is pretty simple, but it will take some extra time. The key is to keep your grass longer. Raise your lawn mower blade to 3-inch height. Keeping your grass longer allows for the grass to absorb more water and nutrients. Longer grass blades also shade the roots from the hot sun which is very important during the hot and dry months of summer.
Get More Info From The Pros!
Looking for more information on spring lawn care or just ready to let the professionals take over your lawn care needs from here? The Grassmaster Plus team is ready and willing to answer any questions you have and can provide you a free quote on your lawn care services for the season. Contact our local office today!