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The Different Types of Fertilizers

Springtime means that homeowners are fertilizing their lawns. If you want to keep your lawn looking its best this summer, you will want to get an effective fertilizer.

Still, there are so many different fertilizers to choose from. So how do you know which types of fertilizer you need for your lawn?

The main reason you need to fertilize your lawn is to improve soil nutrition. Soil alone does not contain enough nutrients like potassium, phosphorus or nitrogen. Commercial fertilizers are labeled according to their NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) levels. These nutrients are the keys to healthy, green grass.

Keep reading to learn more about different fertilizers and which ones may be best for your lawn. You will also learn about plant food versus fertilizer and whether the best time to fertilize is before or after rain. With a better knowledge of fertilizer types, the grass will always be greener on your … Read Full Post »

How To Bring Back Dead Grass

a front yard with a dying lawn

If you have grass, you want to be able to take pride in your lush, green lawn. But maintaining healthy grass requires time, effort and know-how. Sometimes, you have to deal with problems like bald patches. Yellow or brown areas are another common issue. Knowing how to bring back dead grass is an important part of keeping your lawn thriving. If you know what’s causing the issue, you can take steps to fix it.

One important thing to know is the difference between dormant and dead grass. Sometimes, brown grass looks dead, but it’s not.

Dead Grass Versus Dormant Grass

All grass varieties have a dormant season, when they stop growing and lose their green. For warm-season grasses, this happens starting in fall, when the temperature outside cools down. Once the soil temperature drops below about 50 degrees on a consistent basis, the grass starts to go dormant.

Grass will also go dormant during … Read Full Post »

How to Winterize Your Home and Yard

a home after a winter storm

Winter is here, and even in a place with milder temperatures, preparing your home and lawn for whatever Mother Nature throws your way can give you and your family peace of mind. Since it’s hard to tell when a more serious freeze or winter storm will pop up, it’s important to get your home prepared early. No matter what comes your way, there are critical steps you can take to be ready.

Heating System

If your heater smells when you turn it on for the first time of the season, that’s a good reminder of the importance of having your HVAC serviced before temperatures dip. Fall is a good time to contact a licensed professional for a tune-up on your heating system. Just as a service call in the spring gets you ready for the blistering summer, a check before winter helps your entire HVAC system run more efficiently. A unit that … Read Full Post »

Too Much Fertilizer Is Never a Good Thing

a lawn with yellow spots because too much fertilizer was used

Adding fertilizer to your lawn gives it an extra boost, helping it stay healthy so it can establish a good root system. A solid root system protects the lawn from foot traffic, mowing and weather extremes. All plants—including the grass that makes up your lawn—use a lot of energy to not only establish roots but also to grow naturally. Fertilizer can help your lawn in all of these processes.

As with anything else, you can use too much fertilizer, so you should take steps to ensure you are applying the correct type and amount for your lawn’s needs. Fertilizer can be made of a number of things, from synthetic compounds to a variety of composted manures. When shopping for the right type, check the bag. It will have three numbers on the label, listed as # – # – #. Each number on the packaging represents the fertilizer’s percentage of three … Read Full Post »

Bermuda Grass Versus St. Augustine Grass

bermuda grass

Lush lawns are a homeowner’s dream, a beautiful green canvas that not only frames the home but also provides a soft setting for recreational activities. As we all know, such lawns don’t just happen. They take regular maintenance and care—even throughout the winter months.

The amount of upkeep a lawn requires relies in large part on the type of grass used. Two common varieties used in lawns across the nations are Bermuda and St. Augustine. Each has its own set of needs in order to keep it looking its best in a variety of weather conditions. A landscaping professional can answer specific questions about how either variety would be likely to perform in your area.

Let’s look at the qualities of each type of grass, how it works as a lawn grass and any special needs that each type might require.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass, pictured above, is known for being a tough variety that … Read Full Post »

What’s the Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass?

a homeowner preparing to fertilize their grass

Lots of people love bermuda grass because it thrives in so many conditions. It’s fine with humidity but also drought-tolerant. It feels good on your feet, yet can handle lots of foot traffic. There’s plenty to love about this low-maintenance grass. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little care throughout the year, including the right fertilizer. The best fertilizer for bermuda grass is one with plenty of nitrogen, some potassium and little to no phosphorus. This blend of nutrients, called the NPK ratio, will help your bermuda grass look its best.

Most fertilizers come in liquid, water-soluble or granular form. Both liquid and water-soluble fertilizers are easy to apply. You attach the fertilizer container to your garden hose and spray an even layer throughout the yard. Liquid fertilizers absorb quickly, which means they may need to be applied more often than other forms, like granular fertilizer. This dry form … Read Full Post »

How Much Compost Do I Need?

a shovel in a compost pile

Using compost is a great way to build a solid foundation if you are trying to establish a new lawn or to revitalize an existing yard or garden. The exact amount of compost you will need for your project depends on how you plan to use it. However, in general, if you are mixing compost into soil, then compost should make up no more than 25% to 30% of your mixture.

A basic formula to figure out how much compost you will need to make or buy is to first find the area of your yard by multiplying the length of your space by its width in feet. Next, use the guidance below to find out how deep the compost should be (in inches). Divide the depth by 12 and then multiply this number by the area of your yard. This will give you an estimate of how many one-cubic-foot bags … Read Full Post »

What’s the Best Fall Fertilizer for Grass?

a well kept lawn

Fall is a great time to take care of your grass and prepare it for the cold winter months ahead. So, when spring rolls around, it can thrive once again. Fertilizing your lawn is an important part of fall lawn maintenance. The best fall fertilizer for your grass will contain extra potassium to help your lawn survive the cold.

Is fertilizing your lawn in the early fall really so important? In a word, yes. Applying the right fertilizer to your grass at the right time will help it strengthen and rebuild any roots that were affected by drought or heat over the summer. Fertilizing will also help kill off weeds and feed your grass the nutrients it needs leading up to winter. Furthermore, applying only as much fertilizer as your grass needs and at the right time of year will reduce the risk of fertilizer runoff that could pollute your local … Read Full Post »

What Is Compost and How Do I Use It?

A shovel of compost used to fertilize a garden.

You have probably heard of compost, but you might not know exactly what it is or what its benefits are. You are not alone. Many homeowners know very little about compost and the ways this material can be useful around their yard. 

Basically, compost is organic material that has decomposed. It is typically made from plant-based kitchen scraps and waste from your lawn. People sometimes also include materials like shredded newspaper, fireplace ashes from natural wood, sawdust or cardboard in their compost pile. Some of the most common items that people use to make compost include:

  • coffee grounds,
  • tea bags,
  • fruit peels,
  • vegetable skins,
  • eggshells,
  • leafy tops from carrots,
  • nut shells,
  • uneaten vegetables,
  • grass clippings,
  • twigs,
  • houseplants,
  • untreated wood chips,
  • hay,
  • trimmings from bushes and
  • dead leaves.

Many people question the difference between topsoil and compost. Mature compost looks like crumbly, dark soil and it smells earthy. When you compost, it should only benefit you and your yard—not create further problems. Compost should not be made from … Read Full Post »

What’s The Best Grass for North Texas Lawns?

st augustine grass which is one of the best grasses for north texas

Choosing the best grass for North Texas lawns depends on several factors. The main types of grass that thrive in North Texas, with its hot summers, cold winters and low to moderate precipitation, are bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia, tall fescue and Texas blue grass. The local climate is always the first thing to think about when choosing the right variety for your yard, but the particulars of your yard itself should also be taken into account. How much of the yard is covered in shade? How much traffic does your lawn usually get? For example, do you have kids or pets who run around in the grass?

You should also think about your own level of interest in maintaining your yard. Do you mow and water regularly, or do you tend to avoid these tasks? Does the idea of aerating or fertilizing your lawn seem manageable, or intimidating? Some types of … Read Full Post »