Lawn Fertiliser Schedule

Lawn Fertiliser Schedule

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Lawn Fertiliser Schedule

Now even though fertilising your lawn may not be necessary for robotic lawn mower owners, keeping to an effective lawn fertilisation schedule can be very beneficial to your lawn and could give it that extra edge over your neighbours. Just beware you can’t apply fertiliser without careful consideration and planning – you should know the types of nutrients your lawn needs, how and when is suitable time to apply, otherwise they could have detrimental effects.

Understanding the basics of lawn fertilisation is needed in order to carry out a successful program, like when you should apply it, how you should apply it and the tools you need to do so correctly. This knowledge will set you on good stead for the season and gives your lawn the best chance of reaching its full potential.

When To Fertilise

It’s best to apply your fertiliser on a seasonal basis as this makes it easier to cope with the varying demands and growth pattern of your grass. Just make sure to check the type of fertiliser you’re using, you don’t want to use one which releases too slowly as you could end up over-applying and damaging the lawn. Always read the label and follow the instructions. Why not consider using an organic fertiliser?

Spring

When To Fertilise

 

Feeding the lawn in the early spring will strengthen its roots and gets it off to a good start before the heavy growing season. Plan to apply the fertiliser around when you first start sending your robotic mower out (or when you plan your first cut with your push mower), so at the beginning of April is your best bet. This of course depends on the weather conditions, but a good rule of thumb is to wait until you’ve mown a couple of times.

In the late spring your garden will start to get busier and use up energy so you want to supply it with a suitable feeding for this time. Just watch out, this could mean the same for weeds, so you might see a few pop up here and there after applying. To manage this it might be best to use a Multi Action Lawn Treatment instead of a standard grass fertiliser.

Summer

Now your lawn is susceptible to heat, drought (maybe not for us in the UK), excessive use and insects so helping it out with a feeding will really do it some good. You’ll normally apply the fertiliser about 10 to 14 weeks after the spring feeding, so this will be between June and July.

Again take note of the weather conditions, fertiliser will not work if the ground isn’t moist and the salt content within the fertiliser can cause even more stress for the lawn. If the conditions suddenly change then you can feed the lawn using either a granular (recommended) or liquid feeder.

Autumn

Autumn returns the more suitable growing conditions for the lawn: cool nights, warm days and reasonable amount of rainfall. National temperatures and weather patterns will still apply, but as rule of thumb wait until the rain starts in late August or September before applying the fertiliser.

This is the time for your grass to start growing again and is in need for nutrients to recover from the summer conditions. To help the soil through winter, you will want to apply the last feeding just before the winter months, so I recommend the end of October. This strengthens its roots and increase the amount of nitrogen it can store, making for a much healthier and thicker lawn for the next spring.

How To Use Fertiliser Properly

Application Rates 

Even though on every bag of fertiliser you’ll find a recommended application rate, I think it’s best not to use it, instead I would use half. To prevent over applying and for better lawn coverage, spread the fertiliser in one direction (in straight lines) using half and then spread the second half going in another direction, at a perpendicular angle (90°).

I would cover the perimeter first and then fill in the middle, this will mean there will be a little overlapping but not too much – if done unevenly the fertiliser could burn the grass. If you feel this rate has not been enough then feel free to adjust the amount you use and you can even supplement the feeding with a liquid fertiliser. Just be cautious, overfed grass can turn a brown/grey colour (fertiliser burn) and may even promote thatch.

Wet & Dry Conditions

As I have said before, you will need to adjust how you apply the fertiliser according to the weather conditions. If it’s wet then growth will be good so you can apply a little higher towards the end of the scale and if dry, but still moist, you can apply a little lower on the scale.

Know Your Numbers

Just like the application rates, on each bag of fertiliser you’re likely to find 3 numbers on it; the first stands for the percentage of Nitrogen in the mixture, the second stands for the percentage of Phosphorus and the third stand for the percentage of Potassium. To make sure you don’t over-apply, make sure you have a pH lawn soil test done so you know exactly how much of each mixture your lawn needs. Applying lime reduces the acidity of your soil, if you would like to learn more read my article Best Time to Apply Lime to Your Lawn.

Best Selling Synthetic Fertiliser

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Granules Or Liquid?

Out of the two I recommend you go with granules. They are much easier to judge in terms of application and coverage and to ensure you don’t overlap at any point. For a nonprofessional it’s difficult to get a consistent spread across the lawn using liquid.

Granules Or Liquid?e

Also granules have a longer shelf life and are less prone to deterioration compared to liquid fertilisers.

Liquid fertiliser is generally more expensive compared to granules. Bear in mind that if you have been using granules, you will need to convert your equipment to deliver the liquid fertiliser.

Also when you’re filling up your lawn spreader make sure you do so on a path or driveway. This prevents any granules from gathering in one spot on the lawn as this would just overfeed, burn and kill the grass in that particular area.

Organic Or Synthetic Fertiliser?

There are two types of lawn fertilisers to choose from. Organic fertilisers are more costly but have many advantages over the alternatives.

Organic fertilisers do not pass any nasty chemicals to your soil and grass, they last much longer as they slowly release nutrients, they are 100% child and pet friendly, they stimulate organisms that live within the soil, prevent the growth of weeds and moss.

You can even purchase natural lawn fertiliser with the added benefit of grass seed. This will help to cover any bare patches and also thicken and renew your lawn.

After You Fertilised Your Lawn

After you fertilised your lawn you it is advisable not to mow the lawn for 5 or 6 days to ensure that the fertiliser has settled into the lawn.

You also need to consider if the fertiliser you are using is safe around your pets and animals as it could influence your fertilising schedule.

Most lawn fertilisers sold in stores around the UK are pet and child friendly, however only organic fertilisers are 100% safe. It is advisable to always read the packaging and especially with chemical fertilisers not to use the lawn immediately after the fertiliser has been applied.

If using granules, you will need to keep pets and children away from any treated areas until the granules have been watered into the lawn.

Tools

Invest in a good piece of equipment to spread your fertiliser – it is just as important as choosing the fertiliser itself. You need a quality lawn spreader in order to get a consistent application across your lawn. Don’t go for the cheapest option as they will just prove difficult to deal with and are unlikely to give a consistent flow.

Don’t think that you will only be using your lawn spreader once or twice per year, it should be used as part of your lawn maintenance schedule and can be used not only for fertiliser, but also for sand, grass seed herbicides.

Rotary Spreader

The type of spreader is like a big bucket with a rotating disk at the bottom that projects (or broadcasts) the granules across the lawn in an arch shape. It’s fast and reliable as you get such a large spread, you won’t have to push it over your lawn as much compared to others.

Most rotary spreaders have variable settings, adjustable handles are lightweight to make the job that much easier and comfortable. With the large coverage rotary spreaders are suitable for larger lawns. They should only be used when applying a fertiliser or grass seed.

Best Selling Rotary Spreaders

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Drop Spreader

This model is squarer than the rotary but instead of a wheel at the bottom it just has holes where it drops the fertiliser. This is the most common lawn spreader. Out of all products this is the only one to use for weeds, feeds, grass seeds and even lawn sand. Although it can be difficult in tight areas and you will have to be accurate when using it to prevent stripes.

Most drop spreaders have variable settings for desired application, adjustable handle with on and off switch to make the task even easier.

Best Selling Drop Spreaders

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Hand Held Spreaders

This is one of the most underused spreader. It is very similar to the rotary spreader as it uses a rotating disk to distribute the fertiliser or grass seed. The only difference is that instead of pushing it around your garden, it sits on your shoulders or is held in your hand.

You have more control over its application, it is extremely lightweight, relatively cheap and easy to store.

Best Selling Hand Held Spreaders

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Spreader Pack

This convenient option is widely seen in garden stores. It is easy to use as all you have to do is open a little spout and walk around your lawn to spread the fertiliser.

It is easy to use, lightweight and convenient, however you are paying for the spreader each time you purchase costing more in the long run. Also if the product is not shaken properly you will end up with uneven distribution and associated issues.

Best Selling Spreader Pack

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Which Should You Use?

After You Fertilised Your LawnFor homeowners I recommend you use the Rotary Spreader instead of the drop spreader. They’re much easier to use and since they disperse the granules at a wider distance, there’s much less chance of you ending up with stripes, damaged grass and over lapping.

They’re a little cheaper too!

Conclusion

Many fertilisers work on a slow release basis, however these do vary from one fertiliser to another. Some gardeners may prefer to fertilise only once during the growing season in spring, using a very slow release fertiliser. However, this is not always the best option. It is recommended that you fertilise your lawn around 4 times per year, as mentioned above, as this gives you a greater control over the amount of nutrients delivered to your lawn according to its health and weather conditions.

The other advantage of fertilising your lawn more regularly means that you can use a targeted fertiliser designed specifically for either spring, summer, autumn or winter months.

 


Once you have achieved the perfect looking lawn you will want to ensure that it stays that way. Therefore investing in a suitable and good quality lawn mower is important in order to maintain a healthy and good looking lawn. To help you out below I have included a link to my best robotic, petrol, cordless and electric mowers that I have personally reviewed.

Best Cordless Lawn Mower Reviews 2020 UK

10 Best Petrol Lawn Mowers UK [UPDATED 2020] – A Helpful Buyers Guide and Reviews

Best Electric Lawn Mower Reviews 2020

Best Robotic Lawn Mowers Reviews 2020

 

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4 thoughts on “Lawn Fertiliser Schedule

  1. hi, your one post (the one mentioned here) is incredible as it covers the dos and donts for the whole year and also what all to use and not use as well.
    the section, “know your number” and two sections before that were very informative and gave the technical details.

    1. Brilliant I’m glad you liked it!

      Thanks for the comment and if you want to have a read of more of my posts then head over to my blog. I’ve wrote about a bunch of other subjects regarding lawn care so I know you’ll love it :-)

  2. Great article Mark for the layman! I always have trouble with my lawn. I see you recommend a good spreader to broadcast your fertilizer. This is the first year that I have considered using a fertilizer on my lawn. I tried it once and burned the yard bad. I think I will take your advice and use granules over liquids. Would you ever recommend a hand spreader?

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Mike, yeah totally a hand spreader should be fine. They might not spread as wide as a broadcast but I’m sure they’ll just as good a job. Just make sure you don’t overlap too much otherwise you could end up burning the grass again.

      And yeah using granules will be much easier to use than liquid.

      Thanks for the comment and if you have any questions then please let me know :-)

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