The secret to getting a quick start to a beautiful green lawn is to apply 100% nitrogen as soon as your lawn is at least 50% greened up after breaking dormancy. Name brand here really doesn't matter since pure nitrogen is pure nitrogen. 100% nitrogen is like giving your lawn a huge shot of caffeine, so be sure to follow the recommended application rates on the bag. This application is really not what we would call lawn food and is only used to "wake up" the lawn so you only want to apply this once per season. You may see your neighbors' lawns that use TruGreen or Lawn Doctor sprout to "life" before everyone else's each spring. We're giving you a secret of the profession.
Every region, climate, and even lawn can be different so it is important to understand what nutrients your particular lawn is lacking so you feed it the right fertilizer. You may hear this often, but it really is key. Purchase a soil testing kit from a reliable vendor and use it to learn more about your soil composition.
Don't wait for your lawn to starve before feeding it. This will just cause more harm than good. Always follow label instructions, but we typically recommend applying fertilizer on a regular basis of between 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. If your budget or time does not allow you to fertilze through the entire growing season we recommend that you do not start, because remember weeds love fertilizer too and if your lawn does not have the strength to crown out weeds, well you get the picture. Instead, learn more about pre-emergent to control weeds and wait on the fertilizer.
We think its important to point this out to you here, but to learn more about why you should avoid weed and feed fertilizer products, please follow this link and read our write-up about the Problems with Weed and Feed Fertilizer.
The lawn doesn't really care if the food that it is getting is organic or man-made, but the earthworms and other beneficial bacteria and microbes in your soil certainly do! These beneficial organisms are natures composting mechanism and break down thatch and aerate your soil naturally. Be sure to give them a healthy application of 100% organic nitrogen once your lawn is completely dormant for the winter. This one step will hopefully save you the trouble of having to physically remove thatch and provide core aeration for your lawn.
Well, there you have it. Be sure to check out our other Free Lawn Care Tips in our Learning Center!