Undernourished Lawns: When Do You Need Fertilizer?
Think about the most appealing grass you’ve ever seen. It was probably a rich green color, with robust blades and no evident dead or faded patches on either the individual blades or the lawn as a whole. Not all kinds of grass achieve this ideal turf look even at their healthiest, and that’s why it’s important to look for specific signs of undernourishment rather than hold your lawn to an unfair standard of health.
Grass that isn’t receiving enough nutrients will look pale and may have a yellow tinge to it. Look for yellow specifically, not dark brown. If your lawn is brown, you may have another problem, such as a fungus. Improperly fertilized grass typically looks uniformly yellow, but it may have some stripes or large patches of discoloration caused by uneven fertilizer application. Whether your lawn is completely yellow or just has a few random spots that are more yellow than they should be, it’s the color you want to look for rather than a specific pattern.
How to Fix It
The solution for an improperly nourished lawn is to provide it with the fertilizer it needs to rebound. This isn’t as simple as just going out and grabbing a bottle of all-purpose grass fertilizer. Do some research and find out what kind of fertilizer is best for the grass you have. This means figuring out which nutrients — such as nitrogen, iron, calcium and phosphate — your grass typically requires. You may also want to do some soil testing to find out if your lawn has specific nutrient needs that are causing your yellow grass problem.
Doing It Right
After you’ve figured out the right food to give your lawn, it’s essential to figure out how much fertilizer to apply and carry out that application in a careful, even manner. Using too much of certain types of fertilizers can actually hurt more than it helps, so don’t take a “more is more” approach without doing your research. Organic fertilizers such as manure can typically be applied in large quantities, but that’s not true of other fertilizer types.