Lawn Fertilization Mistakes to Avoid This Spring

Fertilizing is an essential step in maintaining the look and health of your lawn. The right fertilizer can help eliminate that dull winter lawn look and restore damaged areas in the yard. Although helpful for plants, fertilizer can sometimes do more harm to your lawn than good, leaving your lawn dry and discolored. Being knowledgeable about the different types of fertilizers, how they affect your grass, plus how to properly fertilize your lawn can help improve growth and maintain its overall health.

Here are a few common fertilizer mistakes to avoid when restoring your lawn for spring.

Wrong Formula

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make when tending to their lawn is choosing the wrong fertilizer. Factors like grass type, soil type, and your yard's foot traffic and climate conditions should all be considered when shopping for a fertilizer. The wrong combination of nutrients can poison your soil, affecting your grass and other nearby plants. It's also important to pay attention to the fertilizer numbers located on the packaging. Fertilizer numbers refer to the amount of core nutrients; nitrogen, phosphate and phosphorous, that the fertilizer contains. Being knowledgeable about this standard will help you select the best formula for your lawn. Keep in mind that some fertilizer brands tend to have more filler content than nutrients, so pay close attention to the ingredients before purchasing fertilizer. Also when trying to regrow grass, be cautious of mixing weed control fertilizers and grass seed. The weed control can prevent grass seeds from growing.

Failure to Dethatch

Dethatching is an essential step in maintaining the look and health of your lawn. Layers of dead organic material can accumulate on your grass beneath the snow. Before applying fertilizer, use a dethatcher, like the Troy-Bilt® FLEX' Dethatcher attachment, to remove this harmful material. Dethatching will stimulate grass roots while allowing fertilizer to penetrate the soil to germinate in a healthy manner.

Too Much or Too Little

While using too much fertilizer can be harmful to your lawn, using too little fertilizer can hinder grass growth. Overfertilizing causes nutrient buildup in the soil, which makes it hard for grass to absorb water.  When grass is underfertilized, the lack of nutrients in the soil attracts weeds and crabgrass. A soil test kit can help determine how much fertilizer and what nutrients are needed. It is suggested to fertilize before and after winter to strengthen roots and replenish grass.