Spring Into Better Lawn Care

What is the goal for your lawn this year? Is it to have a uniformed manicure look? Low maintenance? An enriching space for children and pets to play and explore? There are no wrong answers, nor is there a blanket solution for everyone to reach their ideal lawn. Make choices to reach your goal, and if it involves using a fertilizer, use the “4 Rs” to help protect water quality in local waterways.

Right source:
Many homeowners assume that their lawn requires fertilizer and that all fertilizers are the same- which is not true! Soil tests help provide information on soil needs to ensure the proper nutrients are applied to promote plant growth. When selecting a fertilizer, choose a low to no phosphorus fertilizer option. Most of Allen County’s waterways eventually flow to Lake Erie, where phosphorus can promote toxic algae blooms and poor water quality. Many lawns do not require phosphorus for desired outcomes.

Right rate:
In addition, a soil test may provide guidance on how much fertilizer to use to match the needs of the plants. When homeowners use the incorrect fertilizer or amount, many become frustrated by the lack of plant growth and the financial investment made to get little results.

Right time:
Take some time to research fertilizing schedules and pick one that works for you. You may find that a routine makes more sense for your desired outcome, and it may be different than a once-a-year broadcast application in the spring. Additionally, check the weather and avoid applying fertilizer 48 hours before a rain event. By adding this step, homeowners help to limit the amount of fertilizer washed off their lawns.

Right place:
When applying fertilizers, place the nutrients as close to where the plant will need them as possible. Sweep sidewalks and driveways clean of any excess fertilizer. Fertilizers on impervious surfaces cause nutrients to be lost, money to be wasted, and it is more likely for nutrients to enter water systems, degrading water quality.

To do your part, start by purchasing a soil test at a local box store or greenhouse, then spring into better lawn care by applying the 4Rs to your fertilizer routine!

The Waynedale News Staff
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Jacquelyn Buck

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