If you’re lucky enough to own a yard, your lawn is probably one of its main focal points, and there is now a huge range of lawn care products designed to help you keep it looking its best throughout the year.
But choosing the wrong product, or using it in the wrong way, can be just as damaging to your lawn as neglecting it altogether.
So here are some simple tips to help you get the best results.
Choose the Right Fertilizer
Before applying any fertilizer to your lawn you need to know the composition of the soil you have, and this can only be determined by proper testing. You can get DIY kits, but the better option is to send some samples for a professional test.
This will determine the levels of essential nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium and also your soil’s pH balance. A pH reading which is too high or too low will likely negate the effect of any fertilizer, and you will first need to bring it into balance by applying lime or sulfur.
Once you know the right fertilizer, it’s important to apply it in the right amounts and at the right time.
Use a good quality and properly calibrated spreader to ensure the even distribution of the product, and take care not to fertilize too often.
Four applications a year will usually be the maximum your lawn requires, and twice a year will nearly always be sufficient. Around Labor Day and again in mid-October are the ideal times for feeding your lawn in this way.
A healthy lawn should grow vigorously in spring and early summer without any artificial assistance, but you might give a light feed in spring if necessary. Fertilizing in hot, humid summer weather is best avoided unless you use an organic fertilizer. These can give excellent results but tend to be slower to work than conventional products.
A strongly growing, well-fertilized lawn will in itself go a long way to inhibit weed growth, but weed killers remain one of the most extensively used lawn care products.
There is a great variety to choose from, and to make the best use of them it is important to know exactly what weeds you are trying to eliminate.
Lawns are typically plagued by three types of weeds –
- undesired grasses
- other grass-like plants
- broadleaf weeds
You can try to prevent these weeds from developing by using what is called a pre-emergence herbicide to kill the seeds during germination. The problem is that this will also kill any germinating lawn seeds so it is probably not an option for a young or re-seeded lawn.
Visible weeds can be removed using either “contact” or “systemic” herbicides. A contact product will kill only the part of the plant to which it is directly applied, but a systemic one will kill the whole plant. A contact herbicide is probably fine against annual weeds, but for perennials a systemic product is preferable.
In either case, you need to be careful to use a selective product designed to kill only certain weeds (and not your lawn!).
Weed and Feed Products
A variety of labor-saving “weed and feed” products are also available, which combine fertilizing and weed killing properties. But you need to take the same precautions as you would when using the individual products.
To be sure you’re getting the right lawn care products and the best return on your investment of time and labor, why not talk to one of our representatives today.