Adding Nutrients to Your Soil

Man spreading fertilizer in yard

Use a slow-release fertilizer, and avoid putting down more fertilizer than you need. Adding too much nitrogen can cause rapid growth and a thinning of plant cell walls, which makes grass more susceptible to disease. The excess fertilizer may also leach and eventually find its way into waterways, polluting them.

Tested Soil

When restoring a lawn, apply the fertilizer as recommended by the results of your soil test.

Untested Soil

If you did not test your soil, apply a slow-release fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 3-1-2. Apply about ½-pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. It is best to apply fertilizer at least a week prior to spreading seed.  Water the fertilizer into the soil if it does not rain before seeding.

REMEMBER: you shouldn’t feed a stressed lawn—adding nutrients without knowing what nutrients are required is like taking medicine when you don’t know what’s wrong.

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