Floridians know that by February, our “winter” is almost over. In a matter of weeks, we’ll say goodbye to open patio doors and put away our sweatshirts then say hello to air conditioning and flip flops. Another thing we need to welcome back into our lives once spring settles in is lawn care. We enjoyed those few months of dormant grass, but now it’s time to think about fertilizing our Hernando County yards before the summer storm season hits.
Timing is Everything
To get the most out of your fertilizer, you must time the application perfectly. If you apply it too early, while your grass is dormant, the nutrients won’t be absorbed and the chemicals can leach into the groundwater or runoff into local lakes and rivers (resulting in algae that is not only unpleasant to look at, but can be detrimental to our Florida wildlife). If you apply it too late, the nutrients will be rinsed away by our daily deluges before it has the chance to feed the grass roots. This means that spring is the perfect time to apply fertilizer to your Spring Hill lawn.
Choosing the Right Product for Your Lawn
Fertilizer is used when your soil alone cannot provide the nutrients needed to make your grass grow healthy and strong. Since our soil is sandy, Hernando County lawns need a little help when it comes to nurturing our grass. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a home fertilizer for your lawn:
- Opt for “slow release” – These fertilizers can provide nutrients for up to 60 days, allowing you to use less product and spend less time on application.
- Find the perfect ratio – All fertilizers have three bold numbers listed on the packaging; the first represents the amount of nitrogen in the product, the second represents phosphorus, and the third represents potassium. Look for a fertilizer that has the same amount of nitrogen and potassium (or as close as possible) and the lowest amount of phosphorus. For example, the numbers 13-4-13 would meet these requirements.
- Avoid liquid nitrogen fertilizers – These products should only be used by professional lawn treatment companies.
If you’re still hesitant to select a product, consider having your soil tested to determine which specific nutrients are plentiful and which are lacking.
Time to Apply
Once you’ve selected the perfect product for your lawn, it’s time to apply. Be sure to use a spreader to ensure that the fertilizer is distributed evenly. If you are applying near a body of water, keep the fertilizer at least 10-feet away to avoid toxic run-off. When you’ve completed the application process, run your sprinklers until all areas of your lawn have gotten ¼ inch of water; this will help the fertilizer reach the roots of your grass where it is the most beneficial.
If you need help determining how long to run your sprinklers to get ¼ inch of water, or if you have any other irrigation needs, call Challenger Irrigation. With over 20 years of service to the Spring Hill community, we know exactly what your lawn needs to be green and lush once summer arrives.