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Applying Lawn Fertiliser

Grassclippiings - Lawn FertiliserOne of the biggest problems associated with lawn feeding, is the visual stripes, of over or under application of control product which may also lead to brown scorched areas - The net result can be rather unsightly and difficult to correct.

The best method of applying fertilisers and lawn treatments that are in a granular or powder form is with a lawn spreader. We always prefer the spinning disc type of spreaders, such as the one shown, as you have more control over them.

Care must be taken not to spin 'three in one' feed/weed/moss formulations into the flower or shrub borders otherwise you will have your spouse chasing you for killing the summer bedding plants.

The lawn spreader is calibrated to suit a given product and the process is to walk consistently over the lawn and spread the fertiliser evenly. It is a good idea to apply the product early in the morning when the dew may be on the lawn surface or you can follow your mowing lines. This allows you to follow your wheel marks made in the dew, which avoids misses or going over an area twice.

One useful method that is employed by professionals is to cut the product rate in half and apply at right angles, in two passes, so as to gain a more even coverage and reduce the risk of over or under dosing.

The problems however with applying a lawn treatment onto a wet grass leaf surface is that the granules or powder can stick to the wet grass leaf, giving rise to the potential of some leaf scorch, and the dew moisture gets fired back up onto the bottom of the spreader and may cause some clogging of the spreader opening. You could always brush the dew off the lawn using a broom, or bamboo cane or drag a hosepipe over the lawn surface beforehand.

Lawns should be fed a minimum of up to three times a year, in spring, summer and autumn.

In the early spring a combined lawn feed, weed and moss killer may be applied with a repeat application some six weeks later if the moss and weeds are not controlled by the first application. If the weeds and moss are eradicated after the first application, apply a stand-alone lawn feed in early summer, finishing off with an autumn feed before the end of October. It is important that you purchase sufficient product to cover the size of the lawn that you have. All too often, too little or too much is applied. Follow the label recommendations. If the label states that the product must be watered in, then do so. In the spring use a fertiliser with a higher Nitrogen content, and one with a lower Nitrogen content in the autumn. See The Lawn Shop for suitable fertiliser formulations.

If you end up with a scorch mark, where perhaps you stopped with the spreader gate open, water the area and after a while, repair the area with some additional seed and top dressing or use the lawn repair kit. Do not apply fertiliser in drought conditions and do not mow three days before or after application.

Do not compost the first cuttings after an application. If you end up with stripes, then try and match in the missed strips. Do not forget to clean the spreader after use as fertiliser can corrode metal parts of the spreader, reducing its active life. 

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