With Spring here, now is the time to start preparing your yard for those greener, brighter, fruitful days ahead. For many, that means fertilizing.
But while you might think now is a good time to lay down some fertilizer to help your lawn and garden achieve its most lush state this season, many studies have shown that it’s better to fertilize after the spring grass has started to grow because the roots have enough nutrients to support themselves for a time after winter rolls away.
Before putting fertilizer or other nutrients down in your lawn and garden this spring, here are a few helpful guidelines to be aware of.
- Test the soil.
To help determine if your garden needs fertilizer, do a soil test. This can be done either at a lab, or you can do it yourself. In a lab test, you send a soil sample to a lab who will tell you information about the pH and nutrient levels, indicating whether you need to add anything. For the simpler, DIY soil test, you can buy a soil test kit at your local hardware store or garden center and follow the instructions to test your soil right at home. The results of either test will help you determine if you need fertilizer or not.
- Do you even need fertilizer?
This depends somewhat on the soil, but the general answer is no, you do not. Many times, your garden soil will already contain the nutrients it needs for your plants or vegetables to grow. But sometimes it will need a little help because those nutrients will decrease over time. This is where the aforementioned soil test is useful.
- How often should you fertilize?
There is a general rule of thumb to follow for when to fertilize. One is if you’re transplanting other plants into your garden, especially for vegetables. This is to make sure the roots from their previous soil bed adapt better to the new location. The second time to fertilize is if there is a clear nutrient deficiency, which will be evident from either a soil test, or by noticing discoloration in the leaves on existing plants.
These are just a few basic things to consider when considering fertilizing your garden. Start with a soil test to determine your needs and visit your local garden center for the appropriate products. For more helpful information, and tips on continued lawn care, visit our website or call us at 815-288-7841.
Ace Hardware & Outdoor Center
900 N Galena Ave
Dixon, IL 61021