You can do a few things with lawn fertilization to grow a healthy lawn that is less prone to weeds and disease. In addition, you can get the yard of your dreams with advice on when to fertilize your lawn. How to save money, and what mistakes to avoid!

1. The top 4 lawn fertilizer mistakes to avoid

Mistakes are simple to make when it comes to lawn fertilization. I know this because I have worked in the grass industry for a long time. And I can confirm that homeowners and seasoned turf managers frequently commit the same four mistakes when feeding their grass with a lawn treatment. You’ll love your lawn and save money if you follow along and don’t make these lawn fertilizer mistakes.

lawn fertilization

The expert

Straight Edgez Landscaping has been active in the commercial turf industry for more than ten years.

straight edgez landscaping

2. Not conducting a soil test

Examine the soil

You can obtain your samples by randomly taking 10 to 12 separate soil samples from your lawn down to 3 to 4 inches. Verify that the soil sample does not contain vegetation or an excessive root mass. A cup of the combined soil samples should be placed in a plastic bag. Your name should be on the bag before sending it off for analysis. “How many times have I spoken with a professional or a homeowner who has never had their soil tested? Big error!”

The first thing I do when a homeowner asks me to help revive their lawn is to ensure they have a professional test done on their soil. Consider it an examination of your lawn. Important information from the results will help you decide what kind of lawn fertilization to use and how frequently to apply it.

A soil test will typically measure essential nutrients like phosphorus (necessary for healthy root development) and potassium. Your lawn will suffer if your soils are deficient in these critical building blocks.

The pH of your soil is yet another crucial finding from a soil test. The majority of lawn grasses prefer soil pH levels between 6.5 and 7.0. The fertilizer you use might only work well if the pH of the soil in your lawn is either too low or too high. Lime must be applied to soils with low pH values, such as 5.5 or 6.0, to “sweeten” the soil. Adding sulfur to the soil or using a sulfur-containing lawn fertilizer will lower soil pH levels above 7.5.

It is wise to test your soil every year until the issues are resolved if your soil test results indicate that adjustments should be made to address nutrient or pH issues. If your soil test returns negative, repeat the procedure roughly every three years to keep track of your soil’s health.

Early spring, right before your lawn awakens from its winter dormancy, is the ideal time to test your soil. However, only take samples after fertilizing the grass. Results will be skewed as a result. Additionally, avoid using DIY kits! Although they might be less expensive, they aren’t very reliable. Instead, you can get accurate soil testing assistance from your county extension office, a reputable garden center, or a nearby university. They can also help you interpret the results and provide sound advice for resolving soil issues before lawn fertilization.

lawn fertilization

3. A surplus of lawn fertilizer

Less fertilizer for the grass, more evenly distributed.

Reduce the rate of lawn fertilizer applications by half, then make two right-angle passes with your spreader.

“I’m willing to bet that at least three out of every five homeowners use way more lawn fertilizer than they ought to.”

Many retailers promote a four-step lawn fertilization schedule for homeowners. It’s overkill to fertilize more than four times per year. In actuality, the majority of homeowners could survive on two each year. Knowing when to fertilize your lawn based on the season can help you use less lawn fertilization. Later, more on that. Applying too much lawn fertilizer can cause it to leach through the soil and into our groundwater, lakes, streams, and wetlands, especially in sandy soils. Grass for lawns only requires a limited amount of food. Only sometimes, more is better.

Lawn grasses are incapable of stopping when they are full, unlike humans. The lawn grasses become weak and more prone to illness due to this luxury consumption of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Over-fertilizing your lawn will result in too much thatch, which will eventually choke out your lawn. You’ll mow your lawn more frequently than necessary if you use too much lawn fertilization. Too much mowing results in excessive soil compaction, noise and exhaust pollution, and mower wear and tear.

Applying lawn fertilizer more frequently than four times per year is unnecessary. By using lawn fertilization more wisely, you can save time and money.

lawn fertilization

4. When should I fertilize my lawn?

“Many homeowners need to adhere to a schedule for applying lawn fertilizer. They fertilize their lawn whenever they feel like it needs it, have the time, or when the product is on sale.”

When should you fertilize your lawn? Apply the fertilizer around Labor Day if you fertilize your lawn only once a year. Your lawn will respond best to the nutrients it receives when it is most hungry. After a long, demanding year of growing and before winter rigors, fertilizing will help replenish food stocks.

Apply the second Lawn fertilization application if you fertilize your lawn twice a year, around the middle of October. As we approach winter, this serves as a “second helping” of much-needed food. Mid- to late spring is an excellent time to add a third application, which you can combine with your crabgrass preventer. If you feel the need, you can add a fourth application in the middle of the summer. When applying midsummer fertilizers, keep an eye on the weather. If you fertilize in hot, humid weather, your lawn could suffer. A notable exception is the use of organic fertilizer. The dog days of summer make them much more lawn-friendly.

Apply enough fertilizer to your lawn in the spring to make it greener. It will do to use about half the usual amount. Your lawn naturally multiplies once temperatures consistently rise, even without fertilizer. Ever notice how grass grows more quickly in the late spring and early summer? Why fertilize at this time to encourage even more growth?

lawn fertilization

5. Being irresponsible

Spread carefully.

Lawn fertilization can be a helpful tool for maintaining a healthy, dense, and attractive lawn, but if it is not used correctly, it can also cause environmental problems.

Fertilizer can be a valuable tool for maintaining a healthy, dense, and attractive lawn, but if it is not used correctly, it can also cause environmental problems. I notice people fertilizing far too frequently without paying attention. They’re hurried or simply unconcerned. They believe it makes no difference if a small amount of fertilizer washes off your lawn and into the street. But what if everyone in your neighborhood believed this? Or even worse, all the landowners in your town? We can improve the environment by using less lawn fertilization and ensuring it stays in its intended location.

Never use lawn fertilization near wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. Our goal is to cultivate lawn grasses, not aquatic weeds. These water features will experience excessive weed growth and algae blooms if high nutrient loads are present. No one desires that. When applying lawn fertilization, keep at least 6 to 8 feet away from any bodies of water.

Clean up any leftover fertilizer on hard surfaces, such as your driveway, sidewalk, or street, after lawn fertilization. Fertilizers will eventually wash into water features and storm sewers if left on these surfaces.

Never saturate the frozen ground with fertilizer. This can happen quickly if you’re eager to apply your crabgrass preventer in the spring. It’s too early to apply crabgrass preventer if the ground is frozen. Just be a good person.

lawn fertilization

6. Regarding organic fertilizers

Because organic fertilizers are considered more environmentally friendly, lawn owners use them more frequently. The nutrients in meals (bone meal, feather meal, blood meal, fish meal) or poultry litter may be present in high-quality organic fertilizers. A complete organic natural lawn food will have low nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) values, usually under 10. Depending on where you live, the best time to apply these fertilizers is from May through September, when the weather is warmer for growing. By promoting microbial activity in your soil and fostering a healthier environment for your grass to grow in, organics help feed your lawn.

Particularly during the sweltering summer months, they are safer and won’t harm your lawn the way some conventional fertilizers will. However, they operate a little more slowly, so patience is required.

They are also significantly more expensive, as you will find. After all, that, give them a shot!


Fertilizer is necessary for grass to grow robustly and healthily. Your grass gets the boost it needs from the nutrients as it develops into a high-quality lawn to combat stress.
Although fertilizing your lawn may seem simple, it can take time to establish an efficient fertilizing schedule with the right balance. So this summer, avoid work and enjoy your lawn.

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