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Fertilizer Time: Don't Be So Quick To Spread It

What's the first thing most homeowners are tempted to do when the world begins to bloom in the spring and their lawn is still winter brown?

Fertilize!

But stop! Test your soil before you fertilize.

Using the wrong fertilizer or using fertilizer in the wrong amounts at the wrong time can actually harm your lawn or garden, said Owen Plank, a University of Georgia Extension Service agronomist and soil scientist.

Calibrating Your Spreader

Application of the correct amount of fertilizer and pesticide to a lawn is important! Too much fertilizer may burn the grass. Too little herbicide gives ineffective weed control. 

There are many brands of lawn spreaders. Each spreader has its own method for setting the rate of application. To confuse matters even more, a spreader setting that accurately dispenses the correct fertilizer rate at one setting might not dispense the same amount of pesticide or seed at that setting.

Lawn Fertilizer Calculations

Applying the correct amount and type of fertilizer is esential in order to produce an attractive, healthy lawn. 

Lawn fertilizer recommendations are generally made in pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn area.

The square footage of a lawn area can be easily calculated. Simply walk off the length and then the width of the yard, taking 3-foot steps. Multiply the total number of steps in each dimension by 3. Then multiply the length times the width of the yard. Remember to deduct areas such as driveways and home area.

Fertilizer Calculations:

Know The Fertlizer Numbers

Most folks have heard of 10-10-10, but they may not know what the numbers stand for. So what are the numbers?

All plants require nutrients to grow and develop properly. Various nutrients affect plants differently and are needed in varying amounts.

Essential nutrients are just that: essential. Plants have to have them to sustain the vigor they need to resist environmental stresses, weeds, diseases, insects and other pests.