Let’s talk home lawn care. Whether it’s effectively bringing your lawn out of dormancy in the spring, maintaining a healthy lawn in the heat of summer, or preparing everything for the cold winter, properly feeding your lawn will insure a healthy lawn.
This is especially important with the wild weather we enjoy in the Midwest. A healthy lawn has a strong root system to combat Iowa weather, mowing, pets and other yard activity like that annual BBQ you host each year. To make it easy for you, we’ve outlined simple instructions for feeding your lawn each season. Every lawn is different, so obviously keep that in mind, but let’s have some fun looking at a collection of home lawn care tips!
It’s been a cold winter in Iowa, but as the snow turns to refreshing rain and the sun starts to shine warmer in the spring, we’ve all enjoyed the renewed feeling of spring time and your lawn loves it as well!
Grass goes dormant to protect itself from the winter conditions, but as it comes to life, it’s important to fertilize your lawn. As it turns out, weeds and crabgrass come back to life at this critical time as well! Pre-emergent fertilizers include important nutrients that feed your lawn while also killing pesky weeds before they germinate. When applied correctly, this can drastically reduce the amount of weeds you’ll see throughout your lawn. Remember though, if you’re working with new grass seed, pre-emergent fertilizers can also kill those grass seedlings also trying to germinate. If sod was installed, like we do with all our new homes, and it’s rooted into the soil, you’re good to go.
When should you apply spring fertilizers? In short, you want to beat weed germination cycles. To make it easy, use the Easter holiday or tax time in April to remind yourself it’s time to feed your lawn in the spring. Depending on the health of your turf, you may also want to feed it again towards the end of spring as well. This will help control any weeds that may have come back while preparing your lawn for the dryer months ahead.
The active summers we enjoy in Iowa are also a challenge for almost any yard. Foot traffic, droughts, extreme heat and even small insect attacks can really add up fast. Summer fertilizers help the grass conserve nutrients and continue to deepen roots to better stand up to all that the summer stresses bring. search domain name owner . Many also include insect and pest control, which is key between May and June.
Another important topic we get asked about for these summer months is how to intelligently water your lawn to keep it looking great. Overall, we strongly support responsible conservation, so if you are considering ways to best nourish your lawn, check out our Lawn Watering Tips and stay cool this summer Des Moines!
As the Iowa heat begins to subside and before the leaves start to change, it’s time to once again feed your lawn. Along with continuing to nourish the turf as the weather shifts, properly feeding your lawn between July and August is a bit more of an optional application, but grass really loves the cool nights and warm days of fall, so this strategic early fall application can support the turf’s recovery from summer while preparing it for the deep freeze of winter.
When the leaves have fallen and right before you shut down your irrigation system, you have one more chance to feed your lawn before the snow flies. This will improve the health of your yard by increasing nitrogen storage and preparing your yard for the following spring. This may also give a boost of energy to your lawn so try to do this before your grass turns brown and goes dormant. It’s not the end of the world if you feed a dormant lawn, but generally, it’s more polite to feed it once more between September and November, and then let your yard enjoy the long winter nap.
LIQUID vs. GRANULAR FERTILIZER
In most cases, the variety of fertilizers and herbicides we’ve discussed come in both liquid and granular form. Sprayers, which you usually see the professionals using, are used to apply liquid chemicals. Mix ratios and weather conditions can effect how liquid fertilizer needs to be applied. Spreaders, which are a bit more common for residential home owners, allow you to better determine the amount of chemicals you’re applying to the yard. Both types of fertilizer work, but using a spreader to apply granular fertilizer is probably the easiest and most common approach. When using a spreader, the intent is NOT to cover the ground completely. You just want an even, consistent dispersal of granular fertilizer. A crisscrossed pattern is an easy way of achieving even coverage. In all seasons, spot treating weeds with a small sprayer is always a nice tool in your weed-fighting arsenal as well.
ORGANIC vs. CHEMICAL TREATMENT
We love the earth and so should you. Whenever the topic of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are discussed, it’s important to understand the difference between organic and chemical products. Overall, each type of product provides different nutrient availability and long-term effects on soil, plants and the environment. Organic fertilizers are made from plants, animal waste or powdered minerals while chemical fertilizers have been refined to extract nutrients specifically for your lawn. This topic can be sensitive and deserves it’s own dedicated article, but know you have options when considering the products you use on your lawn.