More Info on this Guide
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1. Soil Testing
Testing your soil will give you the full picture of what nutrients your soil needs and will also provide you with the pH of your soil. Knowing your pH will be key in a plan going forward as there is an optimal range for growing turfgrass.
For more information on how to properly conduct the soil test, watch my video.
To obtain soil lab test information and forms, click the button below.
2. Liquid Fertilizer
When applying liquid fertilizer with Simple Lawn Solutions you have the benefit of feeding the grass plant directly through the leaves. With this in mind it is important that irrigation is completed after application and regularly to your lawn. Many granular fertilizers are coated and therefore break down more slowly over time. With liquids we are applying the fertilizer directly to the plant and the nutrients are taken in quickly but must be watered in.
- One bottle of fertilizer with the ready to use hose end sprayer covers 3200 sq ft.
- Apply liquids in the early morning before 10am or preferably after 4pm and into the evening. Do not apply liquids during the heat of the day as damage can occur to the grass.
- Allow liquids to sit on the grass blades for an hour or so and then irrigate. This is also why applying in the late afternoon/evening works best because you can let the liquid sit on the grass overnight without sunlight and when temps are cooler and irrigate as you normally would between 4am-8am.
- The sprayer is easy to use and you will become very comfortable with it as you practice. Spray the grass evenly and move at a steady pace. It would be better to move faster and have some fertilizer leftover than it would to move slowly and run out of fertilizer before covering your area.
- In the application calendars I mainly talk about 16-4-8 or 15-0-15. The first number is nitrogen. The second number is phosphorus. The third is potassium. The reason for our soil testing is to better target which one of these products would be best for your lawn. We will always need to provide nitrogen, or that first number, every single season. The second and third numbers (phosphorus and potassium) could be available in your soil and not needed as often depending on your situation. Again, soil tests will be the guide here and if you have not done a soil test yet, I would suggest the balanced formula of 16-4-8 for your lawn.
3. Granular Fertilizer
Liquid fertilizers are fantastic for the quick results they provide, but one thing to note with liquids is that they provide nutrients in doses that are smaller and best applied more often. Because of this there are a couple of key times during the year when you may wish to use granular and I have outlined this in the application calendars. This provides the plant a higher rate of nitrogen than we can provide safely in liquid form, and breaks down a little slower as we continue to provide liquid nutrients and iron in between.
If you want to use an all liquid program you can apply your liquid lawn food every 2 weeks during the growing season and follow the application calendar for lawn energizers in between for deep green color with iron. I would plan on lawn food every 4 weeks if you had centipede grass or fine fescues as these need less fertilizer.
Warm Season Application Guide
Cool Season Application Guide
Application Calendar Notes
For beginners I recommend the Scotts Turf Builder Spreader. I have used it for many years and although it’s not necessarily fancy, it does the job as intended at an affordable price.
Where you see an ’X’ in the application calendar I give you the choice of fertilizer options.
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
- Go to granular option for the price and results are very good
- Usually you can find cheaper at a local store
Purely Organic Lawn Food
- Good Organic Option
Use the back of the bag for spreader settings on Scotts and Milorganite. These should be accurate and should list the Edgeguard Mini setting on those bags. For Purely Organic I would try a setting around 5.
We want to walk at a steady pace when applying granular and overlap the passes so that you are throwing fertilizer to your previous tire mark. Here’s a little clip about that.
It is highly recommended that you water in your granular products as well!
4. Application Instructions
When it comes to applying products to your lawn you must know the square footage. This can be easily calculated by measuring each section of your lawn and multiplying the length x the width. For example, a small section of my lawn at my house is 17 ft wide by 35 ft long. Multiply those together and we arrive at 595 sq ft. I round this up to 600 just to make it an even number in my head.
- One of the 32 ounce bottles from Simple Lawn Solutions will cover 3200 sq ft when using the hose end method.
- When spraying multiple Simple Lawn Products on the same day it would generally work best to spray the lawn food first, then the lawn energizer product, and then finally the root hume last before watering these products in. These products are featured in the lawn essentials bundle box.
- The soil loosener can be applied with these as well but also must be watered in .5 inches to help the product reach the soil layer.
- Here are the products I mentioned, and a video showing how I applied the liquids to my lawn.
5. Soil Treatment
Root Hume contains humic/fulvic acid which has many benefits for your soil and lawn. This product helps to deliver the nutrients to the plant more efficiently and to improve soil structure over time. If there was one product I would start applying to my lawn more often in addition to just fertilizer, this would be it. For more talk on this check out this video.
Apply Root Hume as indicated on the application calendar or every month if you would like. (note: humics and other simple lawn liquids can stain and care should be taken around hard surfaces..wash off the product with clean water immediately if you spray onto a surface that other than the grass)
Soil Loosener is a product that helps water to penetrate hard and crusty soils and also helps with drainage where standing water can be an issue in some areas of a lawn. Irrigation is an extremely important part of lawn care and we use this product to help us use that water more efficiently. This product can be applied at any time and as often as you see fit and must be watered in with .5 inches of water. One bottle covers 32,000 sq ft. Here’s a video on an experiment I did with soil loosener
Products Used in Application Calendar - Remember you get 5% off ANY product with code ryanknorr
Here’s a general list:
- Bermudagrass: 0.5 to 2.5 inches
- Centipede: 1 to 3 inches
- St. Augustine: 1 to 4 inches
- Zoysia: 0.5 to 3 inches
- Fine fescue: 1.5 to 3 inches
- Kentucky bluegrass: .75 to 3.5 inches
- Perennial ryegrass: 0.5 to 2.5 inches
- Tall fescue: 1.5 to 4 inches
- The lawn should be watered deeply and infrequently. Watering should take place between 4am-8am if possible.
- Including rainfall, a lawn usually requires 1-1.5 inches of water per week. This should be spaced apart twice a week at .5-.75 inches per watering.
- A good way to test how much water is being put out of your sprinkler is to set out a tuna can while watering and measure how much water falls into the can in a specific amount of time. This will be your guide for how long to run the sprinklers.
8. Pre-Emergent and Weed Control
Here’s a video showing you how to apply pre-emergent.
9. Fungus and Insects
Warnings and Disclaimers
Some states have specific laws regarding fertilizer application and times of the year when fertilizer can not be applied. You must follow these laws and are required to read up on your specific state and what is or is not allowed.
Phosphorus is also another regulated nutrient in some states. In those states you may only apply it if a soil test says that you need that nutrient. You must follow these rules and regulations.
Finally, lawn care takes time and patience! Each year presents its own set of challenges but that is part of the fun and the challenge of taking care of a living plant that covers your landscape. Keep your expectations in check and know that things will improve with time and proper maintenance.