Spring fertilization is an essential part of a lawn care routine after the winter months. After being dormant, your grass needs an energy boost to help prepare for the Florida summer. Spring fertilizer provides nutrients that help your lawn grow and thrive. By fertilizing at the right time, you can set your grass up to grow faster and prevent weed issues throughout the season.
When to Fertilize Your Lawn in the Spring
Timing is everything when setting up a fertilization schedule for your lawn. One rule to always stick by is to fertilize when your grass is actively growing. In Central Florida, our grass grows between March and November.
Fertilize your lawn in the early spring between February and April. Fertilizing in early spring helps your lawn wake up from the dormant winter months. The fertilizer will replenish the soil since it used up all of the nutrients from the last application. Use a weed control herbicide during this application. A herbicide will prevent crabgrass from germinating and stealing nutrients.
Fertilizing in the spring isn’t a one-and-done task like it is for the other seasons. Now that you have replenished your lawn’s nutrients during the early spring, it will need an energy boost again in late spring. Apply the fertilizer between six to eight weeks after the early spring application.
For your spring applications, apply at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Apply a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 2-1-1 ratio.
Fertilization Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid using too much nitrogen. Excessive amounts of nitrogen can stimulate leaf and stem production. Stimulating leaf production can increase mowing requirements.
- Avoid fertilizing in mid-summer and early fall if your home has St. Augustine grass. Fertilizing during these times can increase chinch bug and brown patch problems.
- Watch out for the increase in thatch. This can happen from high grass watering. An increase in thatch leaves your lawn susceptible to insects and disease.
- Don’t mow your lawn too soon. Give your grass two-four weeks after applying fertilizer. If you mow before then, it can disrupt the fertilizer you’ve just placed.
Create a Fertilization Schedule for Your Lawn
To keep your lawn thriving throughout the year, fertilize during the summer and late fall. Fertilizer applications boost the soil’s nutrients every few months. This keeps your grass healthy during the dormant winter and growing during it’s growing season.
Here are some tips for choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn.
- Use a soil test to help determine which nutrients your soil needs. Most soil tests include recommendations for how much of what plant nutrients your lawn needs.
- Determine your yards square feet by measuring. Every fertilizer’s instructions tell you how much to put in your yard per square foot. Avoid buying too much or too little by measuring out your yard ahead of time.
- Pouring more fertilizer does not mean your lawn will grow faster. Follow the fertilizer instructions!
- Reduce the risk of over-fertilization by choosing a slow-release fertilizer.
Organic vs. Chemical Fertilizer
There are so many different types of fertilizers on the market. One way to help narrow down the search is to choose if you want to use an organic or chemical fertilizer. Organic fertilizer is made from materials from byproducts of natural organisms. These ingredients include things like: fish emulsion, manure and sewage sludge, blood meal, etc. The natural microorganisms that make up organic fertilizer break down and release nutrients over time. You can find organic fertilizers naturally from farmers or at your local stores.
Chemical fertilizers are made of a plant’s three essential nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Many people favor them because they can be custom-made to fit most lawns’ soil requirements. Chemical fertilizers are available in both immediate and slow-release options.
The Lawn Fertilization Experts in Orlando, FL
Do you have more questions about fertilizing your lawn? Active Environmental is Orlando’s premier fertilization and lawn maintenance service provider. We can grow and maintain a weed-free lawn throughout the year. Contact us today to set up a professional fertilization service.