Q.  I have had a lawn service for a while and I am thinking of fertilizing my own lawn this year.  Can a brown thumb gardener fertilize his own yard without killing it?

A.  Yes, I’m sure you can do the job.  All you need is about 30 minutes 2 or 4 times a year and a little observation during the growing season.  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a program promoted by municipalities and universities that promotes the use of healthy horticultural practices to reduce the amount of pesticides needed on your lawn. Besides fertilizer, lawns need proper watering and sunlight.  By monitoring the lawn throughout the season you will be able to pick up on subtle changes that indicate insect or disease problems.  Bring a small patch of lawn into your local garden center for diagnosis help.  When you identify problems early it is easier to correct the situation.

Quality granular fertilizers are long lasting and include micronutrients such as iron, manganese, sulfur, etc.. These ingredients will help darken the green color of the lawn and allow it to grow stronger. Last year Greenview introduced their Fairway blend, a new extra long lasting fertilizer that only requires 2 applications per year.   Inexpensive fertilizer usually contains quick release nutrients, which if applied incorrectly greatly increase a chance of burning your lawn.  In most situations you get what you pay for.  A quality lawn fertilizer program for a 5000 square foot lawn will cost about $40 for the season.  I have used Greenview fertilizers for many years and highly recommend their products.  They offer a satisfaction guarantee.

Insect control may or may not be needed on your lawn.  More than likely your lawn will not need it unless you have had problems last season.  Insecticides should be used sparingly and be sure not to use your lawn sprinkler system after applying. Unless you find insects doing damage to your lawn why introduce unnecessary insecticides into your environment. When you apply insect controls to your lawn year after year you will start to kill off the beneficial insects and earthworms that are your natural safeguard.

During the growing season every lawn will have a few weeds sprout.  It works best to always have a spray bottle of spot weed killer around for the occasional spray when you see new weeds developing.  Spot application of weed control will reduce the total amount of weed control products needed on your lawn and you will control most weeds before they overtake your grass.  The fertilizer you apply will help the lawn thick and control weed growth.

Filed Under: Landscape Articles

Comments are closed.