A properly fertilized and limed Dickson lawn is usually greener, more vigorous, less weedy, and more attractive than a poorly fertilized lawn or one suffering from the effects of low soil pH. (Soil pH is a measure of the soil’s acid content.)
The primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) must be added to most lawns in Dickson (and all of Middle Tennessee, really) since soils in the area seldom furnish adequate supplies of these plant foods. The secondary nutrients and micronutrients that are essential for lawngrasses in our area generally occur in sufficient amounts in Tennessee soils, and thus do not usually need to be applied.
More about fertilizing lawns
Lawn grasses live in an unnatural environment. The grass plants are crowded together and compete with each other, along with neighboring trees and shrubs, for water and nutrients. They are mowed regularly, which is highly irregular in nature, and their clippings, a source of nutrients, are often removed. Because of this competition and the unnatural demands placed on lawns, they must be fertilized. Just as a balanced diet works best for people and animals, the same is true of lawns – they need fertilizer for sustenance. When properly fertilized a lawn maintains good color, density, and vigor, and does not easily succumb to insects, weeds, or diseases. When underfertilized, the lawn is not only less attractive, but also is considerably more susceptible to environmental stress and damage.
Applying fertilizer to Dickson lawns
The three basic methods of applying fertilizers are spraying, broadcast spreading, and drop spreading. Use a sprayer to apply a liquid fertilizer, and either a broadcast spreader or drop spreader to apply a dry, granular fertilizer.
The amount you fertilize should be based on your own experience. If the lawn grows too rapidly, and you have to mow it more than once a week, fertilize less. If it turns yellow, and you have been watering it regularly, it may either be the signal of an iron deficiency or the need to fertilizer more.
Lawns are like other living things in that the more effort you devote to them, the more benefits and enjoyment you will eventually derive. If you have a lot of free time and enjoy lawn work, you can have a lawn that looks as good as any golf green. However, if there are many demands on your time, you may need to choose a more limited program that gives you a less lush-looking lawn.