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Fertilize Your Way to a Great Looking Lawn

Apr 13, 2016 04:32AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Home and Garden

A great looking lawn can play an important role in leading a happier, healthier life and can lead to enjoying more time outdoors while connecting with family and friends. And now is the perfect time to get your lawn in tip-top shape to host those warmer weather gatherings.

The first step to a beautiful yard is fertilizing, which plays a major role in helping your yard look its best year-round. By taking advantage of this advice from the lawn experts at TruGreen, you can achieve a healthy, green lawn you’ll love.

Benefits of Lawn Fertilization
Your lawn needs nutrients provided by fertilization to prompt healthy growth. A well-fed lawn results in that desired vibrant green color; higher grass density; faster, healthier growth; lower ambient temperature; quicker recovery from pest and weed damage; and resistance to stress conditions, such as extreme weather and heavy traffic.

Choosing the Right Fertilizer
Fertilizing for your lawn’s specific needs can keep it healthy in the face of weather conditions, climate and heavy usage. Use these tips to pick the best fertilizer for your lawn:

  • Identify your grass. Warm-season grass turns brown after the first frost while cool-season grass stays green nearly all year in cool and transitional zones, but will turn brown in summer in warm-season zones. The southern states tend to support warm-season grasses, such as Bermudagrass or Zoysiagrass, while northern states house cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass or tall fescue. Across the central states, from coast to coast, are large sections of transitional areas, which are home to both warm- and cool-season grasses.
  • Determine soil type and drainage. Choosing the right fertilizer also depends on your soil type. Sandy soil drains well, giving grass plenty of access to oxygen; however, nutrients can leach out with draining water. Clays and other poor-draining soils can be fertile, but poor drainage can still result in unhealthy grass.
  • Learn the number system. Bags of lawn fertilizer feature three numbers, such as 28-3-5 or 20-5-10, which represent the percentages of nutrients. The first number is nitrogen (N), which helps grass grow and become greener. The second number is phosphorus (P), which stimulates root and seedling development, and the third is potassium (K), which promotes tolerance against disease and drought. Avoid fertilizers containing high amounts of phosphorus, unless establishing new turf by seed or a deficiency is indicated by a soil nutrient test.
  • Choose the best option. Most in-store fertilizers come in two categories: quick-release and slow-release. Quick-release granules let nutrients reach the soil fast, which helps the lawn green up in a shorter time span, but the risk of damage and disease is increased if over-applied. Slow-release fertilizers may not give your lawn that quick, green color response, but will last longer overall and require less frequent applications.

Setting a Fertilization Schedule
Striking the proper fertilizer balance is essential for lawn health. Too much can leave fertilizer burn and too little can leave your yard prone to weed problems and thin growth, so be sure to follow the directions on the bag. Or consider signing up for a lawn plan, through a company such as TruGreen, which offers a free Healthy Lawn Analysis, where an expert will create a plan – including a lawn fertilizer schedule – tailored to help your yard reach its fullest potential.

For more information on how to live life outside, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by TruGreen

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