Lawns that are lush, thick and gorgeously green require a little help to stay that way. The key is applying the best lawn fertilizer for your grass. Careful fertilization won't damage soil or soak it with toxic chemicals. Fertilizer feeds soil, giving it extra nutrients and improving its texture and water-retention properties. Follow these steps to grow a thick, smooth carpet of healthy green grass.
Choose the Right Fertilizer
You'll see many types of fertilizers in the garden center. The technical details and promises vary from product to product, so bring in your soil test and talk with someone in the Lowe's Garden Center to pick the right fertilizer for your yard.
- General-purpose lawn fertilizers — often labeled Lawn Starter — are a good first choice if you've never fertilized your lawn before. These fertilizers release a mix of the most commonly needed nutrients, bit by bit for three to four months.
- Liquid fertilizers are fast-acting. Because they're quickly absorbed, they require frequent application, usually every two to three weeks.
- Granular fertilizers are easier to control than liquids because you can see how much fertilizer you're applying. Also, these fertilizers usually release nutrients slowly over the course of six to 12 weeks.
Consider Organic Fertilizers
Nonsynthetic organic fertilizers and soil additives are available at the Lowe's Garden Center and other nurseries. Because these products typically lack ingredients that slow down nutrient release, you may have to apply them more frequently. As with synthetic products, always apply properly and with caution.
Commonly used organic fertilizers:
- Green sand — Made from marine sediments and also contains potassium and iron
- Blood meal — A byproduct of the meat-packing industry and is rich in phosphorous
- Compost — A mix of decaying plant material and is an excellent all-around soil improver — buy it at Lowe's or make it yourself.
- Cottonseed meal — A good source of nitrogen
- Fish emulsion — A byproduct of the fish-processing industry and safe for young plants — but it does smell like fish
- Superphosphate — Combines rock phosphate with sulfuric acid so plants can more easily absorb phosphorous
- Manure — Great for all-around soil conditioning. Mix a hot manure, such as horse, pig and poultry manure, with compost to avoid burning plants, or add a cold manure, such as cow, sheep and rabbit manure, directly to the soil