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9/3909. Getting The Most Out Of Our Turf

How-To For Fertilizer And Spreaders

And, there is one very important piece to the puzzle we need to put in place before we have a really solid lawn maintenance program. And, that, of course, is fertility. We just did our soil test and got the results. Now let's look at a fertilizer bag, it has exact numbers on it but what do those numbers mean? The numbers are in percentages. In this case we have 13% nitrogen, 2% phosphorous and 13% potassium. Every fertilizer bag has numbers that represent nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. So in our case let's say our test recommended that we need a pound of potassium per thousand. So with a little math we know that if we want 1 pound of potassium with 13% product we will want to put out 7.6 pounds of fertilizer per square feet. Many times we calibrate our spreader for half of that then go in 2 directions, meaning we alleviate some skips and overlaps. But for the consumer they make it easier. The spreaders we buy have a dial that shows what the setting is, so one can match them up. It takes the guess work out of fertilizer. Jeff likes to be more exact but for the typical homeowner spreaders make it easy to feed the yard. So once we know how much we need to put down, how often do we put it out and is there a better time of year to fertilize? Jeff tells us that generally it's better to put it out during the growing season. That's when the roots are actively taking up nutrients meaning there will be less potential for runoff. Most consumer programs are set up for spring, late spring, summer and fall. But a good rule of thumb is during the growing season.

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