Lawn Fertilizer to Grow with Vigor

Lawn Fertilizer to Grow with Vigor
by Marshall Clewis

Right after the early spring cleanup up North is a good time to start the annual fertilizing program for the lawn. This early application is one of the most important of the season because grass soon will be utilizing nutrients when the weather warms. Fertilizer will help it to grow vigorously at a time when growing conditions are most favorable. And since a dense stand of grass is one of the best ways of keeping down weeds, lawns should be given every opportunity to grow with vigor, fertilizer is a key requirement.

There are a number of very good lawn fertilizers, these should be used according to recommendations of the manufacturer. A good standard rule for the amount to use is to apply one pound of actual nitrogen for each thousand square feet of lawn surface. The first number in a fertilizer formula refers to the per cent of nitrogen. Divide this number into 100 and the answer will be the number of pounds of that fertilizer to use for each one thousand feet of lawn surface.

Some turf specialists recommend a combination of fifty per cent organic and fifty per cent inorganic fertilizer. The inorganic type will become available to the grass at temperatures below 70 degrees; the organic at temperatures above 70 degrees. Thus in early spring you will have a fertilizer that will be available to the grass over a greater range of temperature conditions.

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As a rule, lawn fertilizers do not have to be watered if they are applied in early spring. Spring rains and; the moist condition of the earth make it unnecessary to follow an otherwise strict rule to always water right after applying fertilizer on a lawn.

According to foresters and arborists, March is a good time in which to trim trees that need it. Healing of pruning wounds is much more rapid at this time of the year. In addition there is less likelihood of disease and insect invasion on cut surfaces. The hard maples are an exception; they may bleed more now than later on. However, bleeding is not serious; many maples have been tapped for sugar annually without injuring the plants.

Tree specialists are divided in their opinions with respect to the use of pruning wound dressings. Some believe they are necessary, some don’t, and there are those who are more or less neutral. In a case like this, play it safe and cover all cut surfaces of an inch or more in diameter with a prepared tree wound dressing which may be purchased at a garden store, or cover the cut with orange shellac.

Early March is a good time to start seeds of certain annuals in the house in order to have well developed, soonto-bloom plants for the garden when it is safe to set them out in May. Ageratum. lobelia. snapdragon. china asters and any other annual that is either slow in germinating or requires a long time to come into bloom may be started now.

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