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Lawn Fertilization for a Healthy Lawn

A proper diet will keep your lawn healthy and better able to fight off weeds and pests.

Midwest and northern gardeners should follow the holiday fertilization schedule for a good looking healthy lawn.  Start with a light feeding on Memorial Day, followed by Labor Day and then make your final application around Halloween.  Increase success and decrease the risk of damage by using a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer. 

First measure then multiply the length times the width of your lawn to get the square footage of grass to be fertilized.  The bag or your soil test will tell you how much fertilizer you need to apply to this area.

Apply half the recommended rate in one direction.  Then apply the rest in a pattern perpendicular to the first. This reduces the risk of skips and fertilizer burn.

Be sure to close the shoot and stop the flow of fertilizer as you negotiate corners and tight spaces or stop to talk to a neighbor.

The last step is important – sweep all fertilizer off drives, walks, and patios so it doesn’t end up in our waterways.

A bit more information:  Midwest and northern gardeners should avoid early season fertilization that promotes lush succulent growth.  Spring fertilized lawns need more frequent mowing and are more susceptible to disease.  Don’t fertilize in summer unless you water your lawn and it is actively growing.  Summer feeding helps the weeds grow and can damage heat and drought stressed lawns.  And, for those looking to reduce lawn fertilization you can make just one application a year.  Just make the late fall application around Halloween and before the ground freezes. 

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