How to Fertilize Your Lawn

All plants need more than just water and sunlight to thrive, and grass is no exception. Applying fertilizer to your lawn feeds it necessary nutrients that it needs to grow thick and lush. Maintaining a thick, lush lawn helps prevent weeds from sprouting and moving in, allows your lawn to fight off disease, and helps roots retain more water during warm summer days.

Most fertilizers are only effective for 6 to 8 weeks, so maintaining a regular fertilization schedule is essential in keeping your lawn healthy all season long. Here are the steps you should take to fertilize your lawn:

  1. Water your lawn. A day or two before you fertilize your lawn, give it a good watering. Ensuring your soil is damp, but not soaking wet, helps the soil absorb the fertilizer.
  2. Pick the best spreader for your lawn. There are a few different types of spreaders, and you’ll want to be sure you have the correct one to make the application quick and easy. For small lawns, a handheld spreader can work just fine, whereas people with bigger lawns will benefit from a push-type spreader. Make sure to adjust the spreader settings. Each fertilizer product has a spreader setting on the package to ensure correct coverage.
  3. Start by applying grass fertilizer around the perimeter. It is always best to start applying fertilizer around the perimeter of your grass, as it is the easiest area to accidentally miss spots. Simply walk around the entire perimeter, ensuring you move steadily for an even application.
  4. Fill in the middle. Similar to a mowing pattern, feed your lawn by walking back and forth in straight lines, making sure to overlap slightly with each pass.
  5. Properly store any remaining product. Once you’ve finished fertilizing your lawn, return any unused product to the bag and store it for future use. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from pets and children.

We hope that this article has helped you to learn about the benefits of fertilizing your lawn. If you aren’t certain which fertilizer is best for your individual needs, or aren’t able to fertilize on a regular schedule, Liberty Lawn is here to help. We offer all kinds of yard services, including lawn fertilization, to keep your yard healthy and looking good all season long. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation!

Can I Overseed My Lawn in Late Spring?

For many homeowners, achieving a thick, lush lawn in a battle they fight each and every year. From winter damage to summer droughts, there are many things that can get in the way of achieving your dream lawn. If your lawn is looking weak, or is thin in some areas, there is a solution beyond just fertilizing: overseeding. Many people don’t realize that overseeding is a great solution to keeping your lawn healthy, even after your grass has established itself. Read on to learn about how overseeding helps your lawn, the best time of the year you can do it, and how you can tackle this task yourself.

Why Should I Overseed My Lawn?

Overseeding simply refers to applying new grass seeds over your existing lawn. Unlike reseeding, it doesn’t require removing any of your existing growth. Instead, overseeding works to fill in bare spots, improve the thickness of the lawn, and enhance its color. In addition, overseeding newer varieties of grass into an older lawn can improve its ability to withstand insects, disease, drought, and heavy traffic.

When Should I Overseed My Lawn?

There are two ideal times of the year to overseed your lawn – fall and spring.

  • Fall is the best time of year to overseed. This is because your soil is still warm, which means that the grass seeds will germinate faster. And because there are fewer weeds growing this time of the year, your grass will have fewer competitors vying for their water, sunlight, and nutrients.
  • Overseeding in spring is still a good option. The key is to wait until the soil warms up enough that the seeds can germinate before they’re eaten by your local wildlife. You’ll also want to be sure you overseed before the hot summer months, which can kill seeds and new sprouts if there isn’t enough rain to keep them moist.

How to Overseed a Lawn

In order to give your need grass seeds the best start, you should follow these steps:

  • Choose a Grass Seed

Which type of grass seed you choose depends on your existing grass type. There are many options to choose from, including warm and cool season grasses, as well as ones that are aimed at helping to thicken thin lawns. If you aren’t sure of the best grass for your area, your neighborhood garden or home improvement center can help you choose the right seed.

  • Mow Low

Before overseeding your lawn, cut your grass shorter than normal and be sure to bag the clippings. Next, you should rake the lawn to help loosen the top layer of soil and remove any dead grass and debris. This helps to give the grass seed easy access to the soil so it can root quickly after germinating.

  • Improve the Soil

Before spreading you seend, it’s a good idea to rake in a thin layer of compost over your lawn to help the seed settle in, especially in areas where grass is thin or completely gone. Aim for about a quarter of an inch of compost so that you don’t kill your existing grass.

  • Spread the Seed

Spreading the seed is the easiest part of the overseeding process. Simply fill up your spreader, adjust the setting according to the label directions, and apply. You can choose either a hand-held spreader, or a push-type model which is very handy for large yards.

  • Feed and Water

To give your new grass seedlings the nutrients they need to grow strong, apply a quality fertilizer after spreading your seed. Then, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist by lightly watering once or twice a day until the seedlings are the same height as the rest of your lawn.

We hope that this information has helped you to learn about overseeding your lawn. If this isn’t a job you’d like to tackle yourself, Liberty Lawn is here to help. We offer all kinds of yard services, including overseeding and fertilization, to keep your lawn lush and green all season long. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation!

The Best Time to Fertilize Your Lawn

One of the easiest ways for you to ensure your lawn grows thick and green this year is to fertilize and reseed. A well-fed lawn is healthier, and has a stronger root system that can withstand heat, drought, cold snaps, foot traffic, mowing, and other stressful events. While feeding your lawn once a year is adequate, having a schedule in place to fertilize your lawn four times per year is the best option to keep it healthy through the growing season, and ensure it comes back just as strong each spring.

When to Fertilize Your Lawn

When it comes to using fertilizer on your lawn, timing is everything. Making sure your lawn gets fertilized at the right time not only helps to boost its growing potential, it also ensures you don’t apply it when it isn’t going to be as effective.

  • Early Spring

When your lawn begins to wake up in the spring, its store of nutrients is typically completely gone. Fertilizing in early spring helps to immediately feed your grass’ roots, and gets the spring growing season off to a great start. Apply early spring lawn fertilizer once between February and April, as soon as your grass greens up and begins growing. This is usually best done around the same time that your lawn needs its first mow of the season.

  • Late Spring

By late spring, your lawn has likely used up all of its stored energy from its last feed and is in need of another boost. Apply late spring fertilizer once between April and June, about six to eight weeks after you fed it in early spring. This will keep your lawn well-fed into the hot summer months.

  • Summer

The summer months bring heat, drought, foot traffic from kids and parties, as well as a host of insects. All of this can be tough on grass, and if it isn’t fertilized it can turn brown and patchy. Apply summer fertilizer once between June and August, about six to eight weeks after you fed it in late spring, to keep your lawn going strong through the heat.

  • Fall

It may seem odd to fertilize your lawn right before it goes into hibernation, but it is in fact a very important time to fertilize. Your lawn needs nutrients to recover from many summer damage, as well as to get ready for hibernation. Fall fertilization helps to strengthen roots to keep your lawn from getting damaged through the winter. Apply fall fertilizer once between August and November, right before you expect your first freeze, which should be about six to eight months after you fed it in summer.

We hope that this information has helped to to learn about when you should be fertilizing your lawn. If this isn’t a job you’d like to tackle yourself, or if you’re worried you’ll forget about it, Liberty Lawn is here to help. We offer all kinds of yard services, including fertilization, to keep your lawn lush and green all season long. Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation!

Fall Lawn Care

With winter weather fast approaching, now may not seem like a very important time to be performing much in the way of lawn care. However, it is in fact very critical to continue lawn care all the way through the fall months, as the cool and moist weather of fall help grass roots to develop far better than in the hot summer. Taking advantage of this growth spurt through proper maintenance now will help ensure a healthy start for your lawn when spring arrives. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the fall season.

Keep Mowing

Grass will continue to grow until morning frosts become regular. This means that you need to keep mowing your grass to its normal height until it is totally done growing: 2 to 3 inches for Midwest Bluegrass and 2.5 to 3.5 inches for Tall Fescue. Contrary to popular belief, taller grass does not protect turf from cold temperatures. Keeping grass too tall during winter months can actually promote diseases like snow mold, as well as increased vole activity.

Seed Bare Spots

Hot summer months can cause patches of your lawn to die, no matter how vigilant you are about watering. Now is the perfect time to fill in those areas with new seed, in order to give your lawn a head-start for spring. Make sure that the seed sits directly on top of the soil, and give it time to start growing in before the first frost.

Keep Watering

Fall showers don’t always provide all of the water that your lawn needs. Supplementing water as needed is important, even with cooler temperatures, so as not to stress your grass. A rain gauge can help you monitor how much rain water your lawn is getting, and whether or not extra watering is in order.

Consider Aerating

Watering, traffic, and heat all contribute to the compaction of your soil, which can cause browned or thinning grass in your lawn. Aerating your lawn involves removing plugs of soil in order to allow water and nutrients to get down deep and improve soil quality. It can be a big job depending on the size of your lawn, which is why we offer core aeration services. Simply call our office to set up an appointment for a free estimate.

Apply a Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer

During the fall it is essential to fertilize your lawn, as it not only helps grass survive its dormant period, it also helps it to grow stronger in the spring. Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to your lawn after temperatures have become mild, but before the winter cold sets in. If you are going to aerate, wait until the process is complete before applying fertilizer in order to maximize the positive effects of both.

Keep Up on Pest Control

While winter temperatures may kill mosts pests that may be lurking in your lawn, the same cannot be said for their eggs. Most insects lay their eggs in soil, which insulates the egg so that it can hatch in the spring. That is why it is important to treat any pests that are present as part of your fall lawn care routine. The same is true of weed control, as seeds survive the winter as well. If you aren’t sure what is causing damage your may see in your lawn, we are happy to help you identify and properly treat any pest problem.

Consider Dormant Lawn Seeding

Seeding your lawn after it has gone dormant is often referred to as over seeding, and is a tactic typically employed by golf courses in order to ensure a lush fairway in time for golf season. Frost and snow will not harm dormant grass seeds, and the freeze-thaw cycle of fall and winter will help the seeds settle in to the topsoil. Come spring, the seeds will germinate and help to fill in your lawn. This is a service that we perform often, and we are happy to provide you with a free estimate for your lawn.

Remember to Rake

While a leaf blower may seem like a fast and convenient way to remove leaves from your yard, it doesn’t perform one of the most basic functions of a good old fashioned rake: dethatching. Thatch builds up naturally over time in your lawn, and loosening it up is an important part of lawn health and maintenance. Using a traditional rake on occasion helps to break up thatch, and allow better water and nutrient flow to your grass’s roots. This is very easily done during fall leaf clean up. For those of you who have booked a Fall Cleanup Service with us, we will endeavor to have all clean ups completed before Thanksgiving so that your yard is neat and tidy for holiday guests.

Following these tips will help your lawn be as healthy as possible when it goes into dormancy, and to be able to come back just as strong when the snow melts. Above all, the most important aspect of proper fall lawn care is consistency, and keeping a regular maintenance schedule. Proper timing of fertilizing, watering, aeration, and seeding is imperative to the sustained health of your lawn. If you’re having trouble finding time to schedule these lawn care tasks, our professional staff is always available to provide you with personalized quotes on services that your lawn needs.

Importance of watering your plants and lawns

If you are a homeowner with even the tiniest of yards in the back or in the front, then you are probably already aware of the fact that lawn care or lawn maintenance is no mean feat. Plants and landscape plants are much like children and require very close attention from their caretakers or they will suffer a terrible fate. One of the most important things to be included in your lawn maintenance or lawn care routine is the process of watering the plants. But while this is the most obvious and intuitive process because we are all aware that all living things on earth need water to survive it is also the most commonly misunderstood process as watering the plants is not as simple as splashing them every day. There are intricacies to this process that every lawn owner should be aware of.

While a lot of people may think that watering your plants on a hot day is what’s really important and it is but the benefits of getting that H2O on a relatively cooler day is far more than most people realize. Here are all the reasons why you should tend to your plants during those cooler temperatures.

To begin with, on hotter days the high temperatures will turn most of the water that you sprinkle onto your lawn into vapors that will rise into the air and provide little to no benefit to your lawn and hence your plants and landscape plants will require a lot more water to keep themselves growing and healthy and stabilized.

Contrary to which during the Cooler temperatures the air will lose its ability to hold extensive amounts of water vapor which means that very little water will be lost to evaporation and hence a relatively smaller amount of water will be more than enough and your plants will reap the maximum benefits that they can from the fixed amount of water as all of will be absorbed without loses in the form of vapors.

Another benefit of these phenomena relates to diseases of plants. Diseases of plants and landscape plants are generally bacterial or fungal in nature meaning they are caused by organisms known as bacteria or fungi. Both of these organisms thrive in the presence of any form of moisture, and this is just another reason to water your plants and landscape plants on a cooler day or maybe in just some cooler parts of the day. How so? During the higher temperatures most of the water tends to turn into vapors and provide no benefit to your plants and landscape plants which will lead you to use more water increasing the overall moisture in the region drastically which eventually gives life to fungi and bacteria and in turn to fungal and bacterial diseases that will damage your lawn drastically. In contrast, when temperatures are lower, there is much less water lost to evaporation, and you do not feel the need to add more and more water, which reduces the overall moisture in the region. Hence the lack of moisture in the region provides the bacteria and the fungi with a much less friendly environment to grow in ultimately inhibiting the growth of bacterial and fungal diseases.

The next benefit of watering your plants on cooler days relates to you more than your plants and landscape plants. The benefit is simple and intuitive, because of lower temperatures the total water lost into the air in the form of water vapors is reduced greatly, and much less water is wasted. On a hotter day, most of the water will escape into the environment and be completely wasted, but by watering your plants on a cooler day, you will prevent this phenomenon. So if you are concerned about saving water, as all responsible citizens of planet earth should be this is all the more reasons to water your plants on a cooler day.

If you have trees planted in your front lawn or back while tree care is different from landscape plant care, it can reap all of these benefits as well. Tree care involves proper watering techniques, especially if your tree is recently planted as during the early years a tree required maximum but also delicate attention in terms of provision of water. In such circumstances your tree care regime can benefit greatly from the fact that you can accurately measure the amount of water you are supplying to your tree which is made possible in cooler temperatures only as in warmer temperatures there are massive losses in water in the form of evaporation which makes the measurement of water provision very difficult.

All in all, in the coming days when the weather will be relatively on the cooler side your plants and landscape plants and trees will be in need of your careful attention and in this period you can provide the maximum benefit possible to your plants.

Healthy Lawns

A lawn’s surface appearance is only as good and healthy as its root system.

Newer lawns need concentrated root management to create a healthy sustainable turf. Treat the soils with root enhancing nutrients such as potassium and phosphorous to promote root growth in early spring and fall. It does not matter how green the grass blades are if the root system is dying.

GRASS

A well-developed root system will lead to a thicker, fuller lawn, so root fertilizers can be very important for grass. The root systems of turf grasses generally grow more vigorously during cooler weather in spring and fall, so Lawn Professionals should apply granulated root growth fertilizers in these months. Lawn care experts recommend fertilizing in April with a solid root growth fertilizer that also contains a weed control product to prepare lawns for summer, then fertilize again in late October with a 13-25-12 fertilizer, which is high in phosphorus, to encourage root growth over the winter. Do not use a product with high nitrogen content fertilizer in the fall. This would only promote diseases such as snow mold and would not promote quality root growth.

POTASSIUM FOR LAWN USE

Of the compounds you can use on your lawn, conventional bagged fertilizers are labeled with numbers, such as 10-10-10 or 5-20-10, indicating the ratio of the three macronutrients, N-P-K, in the mix. You might want one with the last number, which refers to potassium, larger than the others. Potassium helps lawns build the plant proteins that affect the macronutrient content of the plants in the lawn. Ideal amounts of potassium prompt grass to grow and mature faster, help them resist pest infestation and help them grow stronger. Potassium regulates plant growth, increases the sturdiness of deep roots. You can tell if your lawn is deficient in potassium by discovering grass blades, particularly older ones, with brown spots, yellow edges around them and brown or yellow veins.

THE ROLE OF IRON

Lawn grasses most heavily use the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in normal growth and metabolic processes. Of these three primary nutrients, nitrogen is most important to keep a lawn growing fast and thick with an evenly green color. Several micronutrients are also needed in small amounts to maintain good plant growth. The iron molecule is the central atom in all green chlorophyll pigments in plants. Lack of nitrogen can cause new growth to look yellow or white, but a lack of iron prevents plants from even creating new chlorophyll and the lawn becomes pale green or yellow-green. Iron is an important nutrient for chlorophyll production, but iron amendments to soils should only be applied to turf that has a vigorous root system and thick blading.

IRON VS. NITOGEN

While both nitrogen and iron nutrients create green turf, you cannot substitute or eliminate one nutrient and expect the lawn to remain forever green. Iron treatments can mask an unhealthy lawn and be a procurer to lawn diseases. When growing, lawn grasses utilize large amounts of nitrogen to elongate their leaf blades, resulting in an increased need for mowing. If iron is deficient, the lawn can still look pale green or yellowish. Eliminating all nitrogen from lawn soil slows or stops growth, but iron molecules keeps extant grass blades green.

Read more: www.ehow.com/info_8561984_ironite-do-lawns.html