6 Mistakes people make when
applying lawn feed
Choosing and applying lawn feed can seem quite complicated at times. However, if you follow some general rules, you can make it much easier on yourself and create the perfect lush, green lawn.
So, here are a few mistakes that people often make when caring for their lawn throughout the year.
Mistake No. 1 – Applying when it’s too hot
Of course, feeding is most important during the growing season. Though you should never put any granular products on your lawn when the weather is too hot and dry. Mainly because it will scorch the grass as the nitrogen doesn’t get absorbed into the soil properly. Matt Adams from The Relentless Gardener says “Remember, the grass is being stressed out in the Summer from lack of moderate temperatures and rain just as much as it is from the cold in Winter. So, it’s best to use a liquid product, if any, at this time of year”
Mistake No. 2 – Applying when it’s too cold
While November to February are months where the gardening is often forgotten, it’s still important to apply an Autumn and Winter granular fertiliser. That said, avoid applying them when it’s too frosty or if the ground is frozen. Frost is one of the biggest stressors to plants and they need to be left alone as much as possible during the frosty or snowy periods.
Mistake No. 3 – Not watering the lawn feed into the soil
This is where the rain becomes a huge advantage to you. The worst thing to do is just throw your feed down and leave it sitting on top of the grass without it being washed into the soil. If rain is forecast, then you’re in a good place. However, if there’s no rain forecast then you should definitely get your sprinkler out and give it a good soaking to get it right into the soil immediately after spreading.
Mistake No. 4 – Using a drop spreader instead of a broadcast spreader
This is sometimes down to personal preference but drop spreaders aren’t great for fertiliser. If you stop walking at any point with a drop spreader, it will leave a line of fertiliser on the lawn. That’s too much in one spot and again it will scorch the grass, turning it yellow. The best option is to use a broadcast spreader. That’s one where the granules will be sprayed out meaning you won’t have any clumps sitting on top of the sward. If you already have a drop spreader, then you may want to invest in a smaller hand-held broadcast spreader because they won’t cost you the earth.
Mistake No. 5 – Using the same lawn feed all year round
All lawn feeds and fertilisers have what’s called a product analysis. It’s shows how much of the 3 key nutrients that the product contains in terms of NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium). All grass varieties needs different levels of each N, P and K at different times of year. For example, in the growing season it wants more nitrogen. In the Winter, too much nitrogen can make it susceptible to diseases. So, during the cold, dark months, it needs more Potassium, which is the one that helps significantly towards photosynthesis.
Mistake No. 6 – Using a 4-in-1 product every year
Many people believe 4-in-1 products are the way to go every year. Probably because they contain quick-release nitrogen and the grass does get a good boost. But this isn’t a good way to go. These products contain herbicides and aren’t good for the soil. It’s much better to use this product only once and only if you have way too many weeds to remove them by hand. The key is that if you keep the grass strong by using fertiliser, then you won’t have any weeds growing. Meaning you can use iron sulphate to get rid of moss and a professional grade product to improve growth. In turn, avoiding herbicides.
Following some of these simple guidelines and avoding the most common mistakes will get you on your way to using the right product at the right time and in the right way. For more information about choosing the best lawn feed for the extra application tips, have a read of this article from The Relentless Gardener