Using the best lawn fertilizer is the key to keeping your lawn green, healthy and looking perfect all year round. So how do you get that bag on the ground?
Choose the best lawn fertilizer for your goals. Do you prefer an organic mix? If you have weeds and moss your best choice could be a weed-and-feed fertilizer. Some fertilizers act quickly, while others will feed your lawn over a longer period.
Lawn fertilizer comes in two basic types, liquid or granular.
Liquid fertilizers are normally used only for small areas of lawn, but they are very useful for a quick green-up of a damaged area. They are applied using a watering-can with a rose fitted. You will need to know how much water your can holds and then follow the directions to make the correct dilution. Mix the fertilizer in the can away from the lawn as the concentrated fertilizer will burn the grass if accidently spilled on it. Follow the directions to make sure you put the correct volume of diluted fertilizer on the area of grass you have. Try to get an even amount of the mixture over the whole area.
Most lawn fertilizer come in a granular form and needs to be applied as evenly as possible over the whole lawn.
The first step is to find the area of your lawn with some simple measurements and a little basic maths. You only need a reasonably approximation, but just guessing is not a good idea. Make sure you use the same units (usually square metres) as the instructions on the bag. Keep a note of the area so you don’t have to do it all again next time!
Uneven coverage will give you a patchy appearance, with some areas greener than others. So to ensure good coverage apply half the fertilizer in one direction and the second half at ninety degrees to the first direction. Run the spreader around the outside of the lawn first so you can use that area to turn around on more easily.
For accurate application of lawn fertilizer a spreader is best. For small areas a hand-held spreader can be used. Use a setting that lets out just a small amount and keep going over the area until you have used up the full amount needed.
For larger areas a spreader on wheels is the best choice.
A drop spreader puts the fertilizer down in a narrow strip, so it is ideal for grass paths and narrow sections of lawn. It can be also be used on larger areas, but when making the rows be careful that you don’t leave a strip without fertilizer. The best way to prevent this is to put the wheel inside the mark left by the first pass, not directly on top of it, or outside the mark.
A rotary spreader throws the fertilizer over a wide area so is great for big lawns. You don’t have to be so careful about your strips, but still it is best to go over the area twice.
Lawn fertilizer has different sized granules depending on the type, so you need to set your spreader to match, otherwise you will use up the fertilizer before you have covered the lawn. If your spreader doesn’t come with a chart which includes your particular fertilizer you need to calibrate it. The easiest way to do this is to put a piece of plastic one metre square on the drive (not on the lawn!). Set the spreader to release a small amount and run it over the plastic. Collect the granules and weight them. They should weight about half the recommended rate. If you have too much or too little, re-set the spreader and try again. You will usually get a good setting after two or three trials. Don’t forget to write it down and keep it for the next time.
Always remember that you don’t want to spill the lawn fertilizer on the lawn, so fill your spreader on the driveway and don’t open it to let out the granules until you have started to move the spreader. After the initial measurements, feeding your lawn is an easy job. If you have chosen the best lawn fertilizer for your particular situation you will have a sparkling green lawn all year round.