Tips for improving my lawn by fertilising
Grass clippings can provide most of the nutrients, nitrogen in particular, if the clippings are small enough to decompose quickly without forming mats on top of the living grass.
Some recommend this method and I accept for the experienced it can be an effective way to recycle nitrogen and other nutrients back into the lawn soil.
The issues for me are, rarely are people advised when to do this – ONLY DO THIS IN THE MAIN GRASS GROWING SEASON which means, DO NOT do this in the dormant season or when it will become likely, because of temporary adverse weather conditions, the grass will not be actively growing.
With this method it is often difficult for beginners and novices to know when, how often and how much, so I would always advise, unless you are experienced, don’t do it.
There are plenty of Lawn care fertilisers on the market, just take a trip down to your local garden centre or do-it-yourself store and you will be spoilt for choice, to the point of being overwhelmed.
My advice, if you have a friend that has a good lawn, ask them what they use or if you happen to notice a nice lawn in your neighbourhood and the owner is about, stop and chat, they are often well experienced in lawn care and can provide you with valuable lawn care knowledge.
Failing this, talk to the sales staff at your local garden center.
Tip – Avoid the weekend, go in the week when less busy.
Never over fertilise your lawn, always use the manufactures recommendations – More fertiliser does not mean, greener grass.
Most lawn fertilisers contain a higher percentage of nitrogen, especially the ones that are applied in the Spring.
Nitrogen is needed to maintain good lawn colour and growth but too much nitrogen will give excessive weaker growth resulting in making the lawn more susceptible to disease.
If your soil structure is sandy, nutrient deficiencies are more likely and you will almost certainly need to fertilise regularly.
If on the other hand, you have a well structured or a soil base that has been cultivated in the past then regular feeding may not be necessary.
You can have your soil professionally tested if desired.
If you need to feed your lawn, always try to use natural fertilisers where possible.
Fertilising the lawn grass is generally done in the Autumn and Spring.
There are lawn fertilisers readily available focused on feeding at a given time, Autumn or Spring.
Also available are what I call combination lawn care products, you can purchase for instance ‘Weed and Feed’. It will both, feed and weed kill from one application.
Another more labour intensive method for feeding a lawn is the traditional ‘Top Dressing‘ the lawn, still used by green keeper professionals and the experienced but seldom used by home owners.
It is a lawn care job done in the Autumn and involves spreading out across the top of the lawn either a combination of loam – sand – grit – fertiliser mix or sometimes just organic matter.
Normally done after aerating.
Raking or brushing it across the grass and then leaving to weather in.
If you feel that this area of lawn care is not for you, for whatever reason, then there are now plenty of lawn care specialist contractors around.
They will come in and carry out any treatments necessary.
Always make sure they are qualified, especially if chemicals are involved.
Personal recommendation is best when looking for a lawn care contractor.