Lawn Fertilizer 101: How and when to use fertilizers in MN

Tips For A Great Lawn

Lawn Fertilizer 101: How and when to use fertilizers in MN

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
5 years ago | April 11, 2017

When to use a fertilizer in MN? Sometimes your lawn needs more than just a regular mowing and watering. When your lawn is lacking a bright green color and needs some extra care, it may be time to start thinking of applying a fertilizer.

Why Use Fertilizer?

Fertilizing your lawn is one of the easiest ways to care for your lawn and prevent future problems. Like all plants, grass needs proper nutrients to grow well and establish deep roots. Keeping your lawn healthy will prevent growth of weeds and pests, require less watering, and make your lawn more enjoyable to use.


When Should You Use It?

According to the University of Minnesota, the best time of year to apply fertilizer is late August to early September with another application in late October to early November. Contrary to popular belief, they typically advise against fertilizing in the spring due to the grass greening up early, resulting in a weakened grass with depleted energy resources over the summer months. Late fall applications should help with the keeping your lawn healthy during the spring months for the following year.


What Fertilizer Should You Use?

In order for grass to grow properly it needs three different nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). On fertilizer bags, you may see these marked as N, P, or K. The best way to determine what nutrients your soil needs is to perform a soil test. These can be bought and done at home or, for more accurate results, can be sent to a lab in your area. Other factors in determining the right fertilizer would be what type of grass you have (warm or cool season) and when the fertilizer needs to be applied to your lawn in your gardening zone.

It is important to note that fertilizers may come in a liquid form or a granular form. Typically, liquid fertilizers absorb more quickly into the lawn whereas granular fertilizers release more slowly. Some granular fertilizers have an extended release which can disperse slowly over the growing season.

Fertilizers are also available in organic and synthetic forms. Organic fertilizers are naturally made from once living organisms whereas synthetic formulas are made from chemicals.


How to Apply Fertilizer

Once you have chosen the fertilizer that best suits your lawn, it’s time to apply it. There are two types of spreaders that are most commonly used with granular fertilizers: a broadcast (or rotary) spreader and drop spreader. A broadcast spreader covers a larger area at one time spreading the granules over a larger area. The drop spreader is made to be more precise and controllable but does not spread over larger areas. Both spreaders are made to be pushed in front of you while you walk behind. Both spreaders are equally useful, so find which one is right for you!

Liquid fertilizers can be done with a handheld, hose-end applicator. They typically are harder to apply correctly on lawns and require more refilling so it is important to be comfortable with fertilizers before applying a liquid fertilizer to your lawn.

Also, try to follow a pattern when applying your fertilizer so your lawn gets an equal application, Do this by spreading the fertilizer around the perimeter of your lawn first and then, at a normal walking speed, spread the fertilizer back and forth between the edges that were just done. (Think of this as being pattern as being similar to how your lawn would be mowed.)


Overall, fertilizer application is essential to keeping your lawn healthy and green all season long. If you find that you want to take the guess work out of the applications, give us a call for a free estimate to help you with all you lawn care needs.

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