In general, grass species are divided into two categories: warm season and cool season. The seasons do not refer to the time of year, but the climate and average soil temperature range.
Maintaining a healthy lawn includes mowing, weeding, watering, and fertilizing. However, fertilizing isn’t always necessary. Over-fertilizing your lawn will make the grass grow more vigorously, causing you to have to mow more frequently or lead to run-off which ends up in your local watershed.
To grow a lush lawn, your soil needs to have essential nutrients. Fertilizers temporarily add nutrients to the soil. Fertilizers denote their nutrient ratios as NPK. This denotation represents the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the product. This is how the nutrients help grass:
Type of Turf Grass
Weed-and-feed products come in two forms: liquid and granular. Although the liquid forms are easier to apply and provide faster results, it’s more economical to use the granular form. Spray or liquid weed and feed are designed for small yards.
Selecting a fertilizer and weed killer that’s compatible with your grass species will give you far better results. Different nutrients have different effects on your lawn, from enhancing color to developing stronger root systems. Additionally, since many products include herbicides or weed preventatives, it’s important to know the types of weeds that come up in your lawn.
Cool-season turfgrasses grow best with average soil temperatures between 60 and 75 Fahrenheit. Cool-season grasses thrive in the cooler climates of the Midwest and Northern regions of the United States. Some cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall and hard fescue.
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Here are six reasons to avoid using synthetic weed ‘n feed products on your lawn.
Granular weed ‘n feed products cling to shoes and children’s clothing if they have playing on the lawn, and are easily carried indoors where they persist in the home environment. Dust is carried by the wind to neighbor’s yards, where the particles can also tracked indoors. Studies show that children and pets who play on toxically treated lawns absorb pesticide residues into their bodies. In recent governmental studies, researchers found that all study participants had residual toxins in their blood, including pesticides. Children in similar studies show pesticide residue markers in their urine.
2. Granular “weed ‘n feed” chemicals harm the environment.
Birds eat weed ‘n feed granules as grit. Studies have linked weed-and-feed and crane fly pesticides to massive bird deaths, and this has caused the removal of some of the most toxic ingredients from the market.
Another effective method of controlling dandelions is pulling them manually. This may seem to be too difficult, but newly designed dandelion forks, which have a curved plate welded to the shaft, are very easy to use for pulling even the most stubborn dandelions. If your lawn is modest in size, a small investment in a dandelion fork will yield good results.
Giving up the weed ‘n feed does not mean you’ll have to live with a weed strewn lawn. Organic lawn care practices, combined with nontoxic pre-emergent herbicides, will restore your weed patch to a healthy lawn, over time.