Are you new to lawn care? Don’t fret, it’s actually quite simple to care for grass. If you’re after a lush lawn, one of the things you might want to consider is lawn fertiliser.
Lawn fertiliser is required to keep your lawn growing vigorously and helps it to recover after a harsh winter. The best time to use fertiliser is normally in mid-spring when the soil temperature reaches 13°C (55°F).
Make sure the soil is moist before evenly distributing the minimum required amount of fertiliser. Water again to make sure the grass has ample moisture to absorb it.
If you’re feeling hesitant to go for it, keep reading for more information on the best fertiliser for spring lawns and how to feed your turf properly.
Should you fertilise the lawn at all?
Most lawns in the UK grow fairly well without the use of fertiliser. However, if you want your lawn to stand out above the rest, then fertilising at least once a month in the growing season will help to improve the health and appearance of your lawn.
Giving your lawn the nutrients it needs will also help it to bounce back faster after winter. A well-cared-for spring lawn is hardier when it comes to resisting lawn pests and diseases as well. Fertiliser encourages dense growth that will not only help protect the delicate roots against harsh weather conditions but also make it very difficult for weeds to take hold.
Now you’re probably wondering if going the natural “organic” route is better or if commercially available fertiliser will work just fine? The answer, it’s really up to personal preference.
Organic vs commercial fertiliser
Choosing between organic and commercial spring lawn fertiliser depends on your point of view. Many gardeners opt to avoid commercial spring lawn fertiliser due to the negative impact it has on the environment when it ends up in streams and rivers. Let’s take a quick look at the differences between organic and commercial fertilisers:
Organic fertilisers include all organic material that will break down on your lawn or in a compost heap. A good way to fertilise your lawn organically is by using a mulching mower. This type of lawn mower will chop the grass up into fine particles that can decompose on your lawn without smothering it. This technique is just as effective at providing nitrogen to your lawn as a commercial fertiliser.
If you don’t like the idea of grass particles littering your lawn, you can also opt to create your own organic fertiliser from a compost heap or buy organic-labelled fertilisers. Keep in mind that store-bought organic fertiliser is usually much less effective than industrial refined fertiliser. They usually contain fewer essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Chemical lawn fertiliser is by far the most popular choice and is widely available at garden centres. Traditionally, this kind of fertiliser is proven to work despite the risks to the environment. Chemical fertilisers come in many varieties and can be adjusted to match the season for the best results.
Many chemical fertilisers are also adapted to specific plants. Some are generally made for flower beds while others are recommended for vegetable patches. In some cases, you can even get chemical fertilisers that feed the grass but kill and prevent weeds from growing. Pretty fancy, but not great if you live near a stream, river or other water sources.
When to fertilise lawn in spring
The best time to fertilise the lawn in spring is around late March to April. Make sure to use lawn food for spring in the recommended quantities.
Feeding your lawn in spring will help boost vigorous growth and prevent weeds and moss from growing. Keep in mind that it’s best to apply fertiliser when the soil is moist after a good watering, or if rain is expected. It’s also best to wait until the soil is at least 13°C in temperature before you fertilise a lawn in spring.
Fertiliser can be reapplied in late spring when the lawn starts to lose its vigour. Make sure to use the minimum required amount of fertiliser to keep the lawn healthy.
What’s the best spring lawn fertiliser?
We all know that feeding our lawns in spring is essential if you want a lush green lawn, but how do you choose the best lawn feed for spring? Here’s what we recommend:
A multi-purpose lawn fertiliser that feeds and kills weeds is ideal for all types of turf. These fertilisers will provide your lawn with the essential nutrients it needs to grow lush in spring. It helps the grass to establish deep roots and it will also help to kill off existing weeds and prevent others from growing. The best time to apply this fertiliser is as soon as dandelions start to flower.
You may prefer to apply a multi-purpose lawn fertiliser that’s safe for children and pets or an effective liquid lawn feed. If moss is a problem in your patch, we recommend a fertiliser that will target moss and boost the growth of your grass.
How to apply fertiliser in spring
Fertilising your lawn is much easier than you think. You don’t need any special equipment to do it, you can simply use your hands. Applying fertiliser by hand, however, can make it tricky to evenly spread the lawn feed over your turf.
Generally, it’s better to use a spreader to make sure your fertiliser is evenly distributed for consistent growth. There are many different kinds of spreaders to choose from. Shoulder and hand-held spreaders are usually best used on unusually shaped lawns.
Mechanical spreaders are great for large lawns where you’ll need a large amount of fertiliser. Rotary spreaders literally fling fertiliser across your lawn and drop spreaders allow fertiliser granules to drop through small holes at the bottom of the tray.
If you have a few areas that need a bit of extra attention, you can use liquid fertiliser sprayers.
Try to feed your lawn directly after mowing. Doing so will allow the grass to absorb more nutrients and grow more vigorously before the next mow. Don’t be tempted to fertilise just before mowing. It is possible for a mower to pick up the fertiliser before the grass has had the chance to absorb any nutrients from it.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to leave fertiliser on dry turf. Grass needs moisture to absorb nutrients. Fertiliser that lies on dry soil might also burn your grass. Water the grass a day or two before you plan to apply lawn fertiliser and again after applying it. Watering the grass lightly after fertilising will wash away any residue from the grass blades.
Remember to read the instructions on the packet as well. Too much fertiliser will do more harm than good. It will leave your lawn scorched and yellow if you overdo it. It’s always best to stick to the minimum required amount.
How often should you weed and feed your lawn?
It’s best not to apply weed and feed products more than twice a year. If you don’t wait long enough between treatments, dangerous chemicals can build up in the soil killing off all vegetation.
In some cases, the weeds are just too vigorous and lawn treatment can fail. You can reapply the weed and feed treatment 6 to 8 weeks after you started the first treatment. Just make sure to not use it again until next spring!