Find out how the right lawn feed can make the difference between a beautiful lawn and a mediocre one.
In my experience, Britain’s lawns are managed by three types of people
- Lawn Lovers. These people have immaculately manicured lawns. They feed them regularly, eradicate weeds almost before they appear, aerate, scarify and reap the rewards for their hard work.
- Lawn Friends. They want to have a great lawn but don’t spend enough time in the garden to quite achieve perfection. Their lawns are mown regularly, fed occasionally and enjoyed for what they are
- Lawn Strangers. These are the folks who could have a beautiful lawn but don’t put in a much effort. They might occasionally get the mower out but that’s as far as it goes. The garden looks neglected but that’s OK with them.
If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing that you fall into fit into one of the first two categories. And as such I’m pleased to meet you.
The key to a healthy looking lawn lies in nutrition
Have you ever seen those memes on Facebook? The ones where a malnourished skinny toast-rack of a rescued animal is transformed into a shiny-coated picture of health? The number one factor in that transformation is food. Athletes can’t perform their diet is out of kilter with their bodies’ needs.
In the same light, your lawn won’t look good or thrive if it’s not receiving the right balance of nutrients. You’ll have weak, disease prone plants; poor colour and pitiful wear tolerance. Come summer, when the weather is hot and dry, your lawn will be brown and crispy while others are cool lush and green.
If the condition of your lawn drops, you’ll need to work like crazy to refurbish it. It’s simpler to have a regular feeding regime to keep things right.
First of all, plan your lawn feeding regime
How do you remember to go to the dentists, turn up for meetings, arrive on time for lunch with friends? Personally, I set reminders on my i-phone. My husband uses a pocket diary. Mum and Dad write things on a whiteboard. Whatever method you use, go to it now and schedule in when you’re going to feed your lawn.
Start in mid-march for the first feed. If you have sandy soil that doesn’t hold nutrients well, schedule the next feed in 6 weeks after that. Keep scheduling lawn feeds every 6 weeks until the end of October.
If your lawn is growing on loamy, clay or chalky soil, aim for 8 weeks between feeds.
Note too that from September onwards you need to change the formula of the feed and start applying autumn/winter feed.
Next, buy your lawn feed
You have two choices here. You can either order online, or you can visit the garden center. I’m a fan of buying online – mainly because if I go to the garden centre I’ll spend a fortune on things like smelly candles, biscuits, socks, flowers – I’ve even been known to buy a live guinea pig on impulse.
Your choice of lawn feed is important.
Liquid lawn feeds can be difficult to apply evenly. Only choose these if you’re really confident in your abilities.
Granular lawn feeds are easily applied with a spreader.
Packaging is important to me too. Not because I like pretty colours. Because I need to store lawn feed so that my dogs, grandchildren and chickens can’t get hold of it. Plus, if there’s any left over, I want to be able to still be in good condition 2 months down the line. Granular feed tends to absorb water from the air and go all lumpy. Not good. I want mine in an air-tight container please.
Use the right formulation for the time of year.
All lawn feeds should contain three main (or macro) nutrients and a wealth of micro nutrients. Look for the N:P:K index on the packet.
It doesn’t matter what grass species are in your lawn, they all have the same metabolism and they all need the same nutrients.
N = Nitrogen for growth
P = Phosphorus for root strength and plant metabolism
K = Potassium for hardiness.
A typical spring/summer lawn feed will have an NPK ratio of 12:3:12
An autumn/winter feed has much less nitrogen in it. Typically the ratio will be 4:3:15
Personally I’m not a fan of “weed and feed” products. I don’t like herbicides and I certainly don’t want to spread them all over my lawn willy-nilly. If I have weeds (and I usually do) I prefer to either dig them out, or spot-treat them with one of those gel-weedkillers.
For sports fields where there is a lot of wear and tear, or for bowling greens where the grass is mown extra short; take expert advice on lawn nutrition. Your plants are under a lot of stress and may need a slightly different balance of nutrients.
Stick with the manufacturers recommendations
Adding too much lawn feed can be counterproductive. A high dose of nitrogen will scorch or even kill plants. Any excess fertiliser will probably be washed out of the soil by the rain. Not only is that a waste of your money, it pollutes watercourses and upsets the balance of nature.
Too little lawn feed and you might as well not have applied it at all.
The people who develop and make lawn feed spend years researching and testing their products before they’re sold. The recommended rate is there to give you the best possible results. If the Doctor prescribed a course of medicine for you, would you double-dose yourself? Throw half of the pills away? No. Thought not.
Best Lawn Feed For Family Lawns
At Turfonline we’ve got over 50 years-experience of looking after turf and lawns. Every year we look at what lawn feed manufacturers have to offer. For several years now, this has been our favourite.
We like that it has been developed by someone who is more passionate about lawns than he is about making huge profits. Plus, we’ve tested it on our own lawns at home. It works.
For More Information and to order Vivid Green online Click Here.
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