Lawn Fertilization Tips for Summer
While spring brings new growth, summer can test a lawn. Summer lawn care involves maintaining your lawn’s health—the health you worked hard to establish during spring. Fertilizing your lawn is one way to help keep its lushness and vibrant green color during summer.
Fertilization and nitrogen
Your lawn fertilizer for summer (and other months) needs to contain nitrogen—it’s the most important nutrient in the lawn fertilization process, states the Ohio State University Horticulture and Crop Science Department. Nitrogen is needed for your lawn to grow thick and green.
Bags of fertilizer list the product’s nitrogen content. Opt for a fertilizer that contains about 30 percent to 50 percent of insoluble nitrogen content or slow-release nitrogen. This should help your lawn receive the nutrients it needs, but will allow for a slow, even growth instead of a burst of growth that will require mowing sooner. Kmart.com has several fertilizer options from manufacturers such as Scotts and Kgro.
When fertilizing your lawn in summer, always set the spreader’s distribution setting to the lowest mark. You don’t want the fertilizer to flow out of the spreader too fast and furious. Walk behind the spreader at a steady but not rushed pace, making several passes to ensure an even distribution. If you take your time when spreading the fertilizer, you can avoid streaking—those stripes of vivid green that can appear when too much fertilizer has been spread in the same line.
Fertilize the lawn when the grass is dry and after mowing. Don’t apply fertilizer to damp or wet grass because when the lawn is wet, the fertilizer can stick to the grass blades, causing it to burn. Always load your spreader with fertilizer on a sidewalk, in the garage or on the driveway. If you load the spreader on the grass, there is a danger of spillage—too much fertilizer spilled in one spot can cause damage and brown spots to form.
A broadcast spreader such as the Scotts EdgeGuard has been designed to help keep the fertilizer on the lawn and away from sidewalks, landscaping and ponds. It has a capacity to hold up to 5,000 square feet of fertilizer. The Precision Products broadcast spreader is an option for larger yards. It has a capacity to hold up to 10,000 square feet of fertilizer. Both broadcast spreaders from Kmart are constructed of heavy-duty plastic so rusting is not an issue.