Tips for Watering and Feeding Your Lawn

Keep your lawn healthy with these three top tips for maintaining your outdoor spaces year-round.

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Feeding and Top-Dressing Methods

1. Fertilizer

There are three essential ingredients to look for when selecting a mineral fertilizer for your lawn: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), which are usually expressed as a ratio of N:P:K. Nitrogen promotes rapid green growth and so is often found in high quantities in spring feeds. Phosphorus is used to promote root growth and so is often present in high amounts in fall feeds and pre-seeder fertilizer. Potassium toughens up the grass, making it resistant to disease, drought, and low temperatures and so is often high in fall feeds. One other key ingredient to look out for is iron (Fe), which keeps the grass looking green without promoting excess growth. Blends of fertilizers and weed killers can also be used, such as lawn sand (containing sulfate of ammonia, iron sulfate, and fine sand), which kills moss and weeds while at the same time acting as a feed for the grass.

Fertilizers can be spread by hand (wearing gloves), or by using a drop spreader or cyclone spreader for larger areas.

Wear Gloves When Fertilizing Garden BedsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Natural and liquid feeds

In addition to man-made fertilizers, there are natural, organic materials that can be used to feed your lawn. A mulch mower chops up grass clippings and distributes them back onto the lawn, thereby returning nitrogen to the soil. Bonemeal makes a useful phosphorus feed, and liquid kelp is high in iron. Liquid feeds enter the plant through the leaves, giving quicker results than dry fertilizers, which dissolve in the soil and are then absorbed by the roots. Be sure to feed young plants using a can with a fine rose.

Water New Herb Garden After PlantingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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