Many people are not sure as to how much they should fertilize their lawns or when. This is an area where some recommend one thing, others talk of more ways to do things, and there are a plethora of theories as to how to go about keeping your lawn fed. Most people are perfectly capable of taking care of their own fertilizer needs when it comes to lawn work and landscaping and there are some time tested tips for even the beginning do it yourselfer to make this much easier and more beneficial.
Generally speaking, starting out with granular fertilizer is your best bet. But you have to be very careful to ensure even distribution because you could end up with uneven greening, where there are lines that are dark or lighter than the others, or even worse, you can burn your yard. The best way to get around this is to use a broadcast spreader for your fertilizer distribution. A broadcast spreader is sometimes known as a broadcast seeder, and is usually a tractor type tool that evenly distributes fertilizer, seed, and sometimes lime.
It usually looks like a small bucket on two wheels with an opening in the bottom that makes it easy to spread whatever you need out on to the soil. Metal spreaders typically work much better than plastic, and the bumpier your terrain, the better spreader you need to purchase to do the best job. Most home improvement stores sell good ones for home use for around sixty dollars, and these work just fine for normal lawns and yards.
Before you do this, you need to first decide the sort of fertilizer you want to use. The best bet is to start with what is known as a "starter fertilizer" or one that is comprised with the numbers 20-20-10 on it. What this means is that it has certain percentages of usually three key things: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Another thing you may note on the bags of this is a pound per thousand rate- and all that means is one pound of fertilizer per one thousand square feet area.
If you're not getting the results you want from that, you may want to bump it up to about 1.75 pounds per thousand, using a 20-10-10 product. Once you have what you want, how to apply it and how much, then, you decide how often. This all depends on your zone- or the area that you live in, but a good rule of thumb is that if you irrigate your property well, you honestly should only have to fertilize roughly five or six times a year.
Once you have the basics of fertilizing your lawn down, it is actually a fairly easy thing. Initially, and usually for new property owners it may be a little confusing, all of the ratios, terms and different numbers involved, but it is actually a very simple thing to manage and something that can really enhance your lawn.