Many people think they know how to fertilize a lawn by simply taking a walk around your yard with a spreader applying fertilizer. If you see stripes of dark green and light green or sometimes yellow, you can assume you did not fertilize grass correctly.
Nitrogen is a contributing factor in keeping your lawn green. If you don’t cover the entire grass area with the same amount, you will see varying shades of green. If you apply too much nitrogen when you fertilize a lawn, you can burn your grass causing it to turn a dead yellow color.
What Your Will Need
- Lawn broadcast spreader
Use a broadcast lawn spreader instead of a drop spreader. It is way to easy to miss spots with a drop spreader when you lawn fertilize. They are good to seed your lawn or if you have a tight spot around a pool or landscape beds then a drop spreader is effective.
Use caution if you are using synthetic fertilizers. Wear gloves, eye protection, long pants and respiratory protection. Chemical fertilizers will burn your eyes and any small cuts you may have.
Constant use will also affect your breathing. Try not to spill on ground. If you do rake or sweep it up. Spilled fertilizer will burn your lawn and is also an environmental hazard if it goes into a sewer or other water source.
How To Fertilize a Lawn
- Fill your broadcast spreader with an approximate amount of lawn fertilizer that you need. Don’t over fill, as it can get heavy to push.
- You can always come back for more.
- Step back and have a plan. Figure out how you want to approach the job before you start.
- Set the lawn spreader to the correct number as stated on the fertilizer bag. They generally have the correct settings for the most popular broadcast spreaders available.
- Start with doing the perimeter first. Avoid any water zones, landscape beds, dog pens, children’s play areas or any places chemical fertilizers do not belong.
- Begin walking then start the spreader. Do not stand still and let the fertilizer spill out of the bottom of the spreader. Again, it will burn your lawn. Be aware – spilling lawn fertilizer is easy to do.
- Once the perimeter is completed then it’s time to do the main lawn area. Once again, step back and have a plan. Find a target for you to end up at, walking in a straight line.
- Observe the width of the fertilizer coming out of the spreader. When you get to your target, shut off the spreader as you approach it. Try to hit the previous fertilized area when you did the perimeter.
- Observe the wheel marks in your lawn created by the spreader. If you can’t see the wheel marks when you fertilize lawn, then mark your starting point with a cone or something else.
- Now you need to go back the opposite direction. Keep in mind the width of the grass fertilizer broadcasting out of the spreader. Depending on the brand the width is usually 5 – 10 feet.
- With the spreader off approach the reverse direction carefully turning the spreader on as you walk. Hit the wheel marks from your last walk down overlapping half the width of the previous trip.
- If you can’t see the wheel marks or foot steps then overlap the grass fertilizer to where set the cone or other marker.
- Continue to fertilize a lawn until your grass area is completed.
- Return any unused fertilizer to the bad for future use and again try not to spill.
- Water your lawn and your grass should be greener in a couple weeks.
- Wash your spreader, hands and clothing thoroughly.
Best Way to Fertilize a lawn
- Using organic fertilizers prevent and burn of lawn and are much safer to use.
- Apply only 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of grass area when you fertilize a lawn.
- You can calculate you lawn spreader setting here.
- Only 3 pounds of nitrogen is necessary for a nice green lawn all season long.
- Higher numbers on the grass fertilizer bag does not always mean your lawn will be greener. Most of the time, it just makes the lawn grow quicker and you have to mow the grass more often.
How to fertilize a lawn is simple if you are careful with the material and follow a well thought out plan.