Fertilizer: The Goldilocks Rule!
So hopefully you’ve been convinced about the effectiveness of fertilizer by now… We can’t emphasize enough that fertilizer is the key to a healthy and hearty lawn. There are many misconceptions regarding fertilizer, but the most important thing to be sure of is the rate at which you apply it.
Fertilizer is Just Like Oatmeal…
If you spread your fertilizer too heavy, you can risk burning your lawn! Nitrogen, while it is an essential nutrient for plant function, can seriously harm turf in high doses. If it is spread too thin, it can have little or no effect on your lawn and just get washed away. You want your fertilizer rate to be set “JUST RIGHT”, so that you use the perfect amount on your lawn. (We call it the Goldilocks rate for the similarities to the story of the three bears… not too much, not too little, but just the right amount)
For an introduction to what fertilizer is, check out this article!
When you buy fertilizer, it will have a recommended rate written somewhere in the instructions. This rate will be given with the units of a certain weight per a certain area. For example, a 16-16-16 fertilizer might have a recommended rate of 8 lbs/1000 ft2. This means that for every 1000 ft2, you will spread 8 lbs of fertilizer.
Let’s Get Down to The Math
As with any calculation, make sure that your units are consistent! Don’t confuse kilograms with pounds, or square feet with square meters or else your final answer will be totally wrong. An easy way to convert units is by inputting the units you wish to convert into Google.
So carefully measure up the area that you wish to fertilize using a measuring tape or wheel (we will use an example where the rate is given in pounds per square foot). Use this reference for calculating yard area! It’s designed to provide the amount of sod required for a given area, but it can be just as effective for calculating lawn area for fertilizer application.
Once you have the area that you want to fertilize in the units of ft2, you’re ready to calculate how much you need! As an example, let’s say we have a 9000 ft2 lawn and we want to fertilize it all with 16-16-16. The recommended rate is 8 lbs./1000 ft2, so we can calculate the recommended amount by simply multiplying the rate by the area:
Be sure to calculate the fractional rate out to a decimal before multiplying by the area (i.e. 8/1000= 0.008).
Shop Smarter for Fertilizer
Now you know exactly how much fertilizer you need to buy for your lawn. As long as you apply it at an even, consistent rate your lawn will love it!
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