Nothing ruins outdoor fun quite like bare, brown spots in your lawn. A verdant yard is a labor of love, needing hospitable soil for new growth and fertilization throughout its growing season. Maintaining a lush lawn can be quite the commitment for new and veteran homeowners alike. Whether you’re fertilizing your grass yourself or turning to a professional lawn care company, here are the best lawn care services and fertilizer tips for a beautiful lawn.
Lawn Fertilization Tips
It’s important to fertilize your lawn because grass can remove nutrients from the soil as it grows. Over time, this process leads to depleted dirt and decreased grass growth. Fertilizing a lawn can restore the pH and nutrient makeup of the soil in your yard.
First, you’ll want to select the type of fertilizer.. Fertilizers are made up of three primary elements: Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). The amount of each ingredient varies based on fertilizer type. The NPK value of a fertilizer displays the percentage of each element in the mixture. For example, an NPK value of 10-11-12 would contain 10% nitrogen, 11% phosphorus, and 12% potassium.
Common options for fertilizers:
Quick-release fertilizer: This synthetic variety of fertilizer releases nitrogen into the soil immediately, showing visible results quickly but typically only last 2 to 4 weeks. If your lawn needs a quick boost, you may want to use quick-release fertilizer sparingly. But be cautious; too much can fry your grass.
Slow-release fertilizer: As the name implies, this kind of fertilizer gradually releases nutrients for a longer-lasting effect of up to 8 weeks. Slow-release fertilizer is better for grass and the environment, thanks to its lower nitrogen content and the reduced likelihood of leaking nutrients from the soil over time.
Organic fertilizer: Organic fertilizer is made from natural materials such as compost. The organic ingredients often take a bit longer to show results but can strengthen the water flow and structure of soil over time. However, since there is no formalized process for certifying organic fertilizers, you’ll want to read the ingredients list carefully and ensure that any synthetic products used comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
Liquid fertilizer: Liquid fertilizers are concentrated formulas that may be sprayed on grass using a hose sprayer attachment. These are popular for both professional and DIY applications. Liquid fertilizers are absorbed by plants faster, leading to faster results, and may be natural or synthetic.
Granular fertilizer: Granular fertilizers are dry solids applied to the ground and release nutrients as they break down. These are typically more cost-efficient than liquid fertilizers but may take longer to show results.
Time of Year and Frequency
Factors such as where you are located, your grass type, your lawn’s health, and the condition of your soil will determine how frequently you should fertilize. Experts agree that fertilizing 2 to 6 times per year is ideal, often around mid-spring, Labor Day, and the end of October. However, a soil analysis is the best way to discover what your yard needs.
You’ll want to fertilize starting in the late spring if you have warm-season grass such as zoysiagrass, St. Augustine grass, or Bermuda grass. Start when the grass is already growing and continue through the summer months. After the first application of fertilizer, you’ll want to pause until after Labor Day. Apply fertilizer through early fall, and then administer the final treatment by the midpoint of the autumn season.
No matter the type of fertilizer you choose, you’ll want an even spread of nutrients throughout your lawn. Fertilizers can be spread through several tools:
Rotary spreaders: Also called broadcast spreaders, rotary spreaders are pushed across a lawn to release fertilizer in an overlapping pattern. These are often the best choice for an even, quick fertilizer application for larger lawns.
Drop spreaders: Powered by crank or hand, drop spreaders are best suited for small lawns. These spreaders drop fertilizer as you walk but may distribute the product unevenly in some cases.
Spray spreaders: Many products come with an attachment for your garden hose to dispense liquid fertilizer. These attachments allow you to walk and spray fertilizer either directly onto your lawn or into the soil.
Professional Lawn Care Services vs. DIY
Many homeowners wonder about the pros and cons of professional lawn care services versus DIY efforts. Here are the primary differentiating factors:
Soil analysis: A potential benefit of a professional company is personalized nutrients and care for your lawn’s needs. Many lawn care companies offer a soil analysis option that allows professionals to customize your lawn’s treatment. Soil analysis kits are also available for at-home testing for $15 to $75, but the results may be more difficult to interpret.
Cost: With five to seven fertilizer treatments per year, the price of purchasing and applying fertilizer yourself are comparable, especially if you prefer natural or organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers can run between $25 and $60 per application for a 10,000 square foot lawn. While hiring a professional lawn company for professional lawn fertilizer services may be slightly more expensive, many homeowners feel that comprehensive lawn services save time.
Expert knowledge: A lawn care company can walk you through the process of maintaining a healthy lawn, from offering guidance on mowing to identifying problems with under or over fertilizing.
Additional services: If your lawn needs weed control or heavy-duty services like core aeration, bundling these in a professional lawn plan can save significant time and effort.
Identifying what your lawn truly needs to be healthy can be time consuming, costly, and frustrating. That is why Brock Lawn & Pest Control has very well-trained, licensed technicians and an exceptional program that will tend to your yard for the entire year. Our lawn program is designed with 6 timely applications to provide the proper balance of nutrients that your lawn needs. Having regularly scheduled lawn care will allow these nutrients to provide you with a strong, healthy growing lawn. Take your lawn back and enjoy your yard again!
How It Works
- Pre-emergent to slow down weed germination
- Insecticide for damaging insects (chinch bugs, mole crickets, sod webworms, etc.)
- Disease control including brown patch fungus, dollar spot, large patch fungus and more
- Weed control for the wide variety of broadleaf weeds and sedge weeds
- Fertilization in both liquid and granule form to stimulate density
- Complimentary driveway and sidewalk clearing after service
Take your lawn back and enjoy your yard again with Brock Lawn & Pest Control! As a locally owned and operated lawn and pest control company, we proudly serve Florida’s Gulf Coast and northern counties with offices in Panama City, Fort Walton and Panama City Beach.
Have a pest emergency? We provide same day services! Contact our team today.