Lawn fertilizer treatment can make a big difference if grass and other plants are struggling to grow. Fertilization, however, isn't always the answer. Amid the many other possible causes of difficulty, you'll want to determine if your property could benefit from lawn fertilization. Follow these steps to decide if you should consider lawn fertilization options.
Eliminating Other Potential Culprits
Your first goal should be to eliminate the most obvious of other potential culprits. If water pools in a lawn even on days when the rain is fairly light, that's a sign there might be a drainage issue. Notably, it doesn't necessarily mean there won't be a need for a lawn fertilizer treatment since the water can carry away nutrients. However, you'll probably want to address drainage issues before moving on to poor nutrition as the possible cause.
If you're unsure what you're looking at with a lawn, a professional can help. They can assess whether the problem could be drainage, evaporation, heat, or even animals. If the situation appears to be due to low nutrient levels, they can then progress to other diagnostics or solutions.
It is a good idea to get a few samples from different parts of the lawn to assess the need for fertilizer. You can hire a lawn fertilization contractor to take samples so they can assess what might be happening. They can then send those to a lab for more detailed analysis. Not only can they determine whether a lawn fertilizer treatment is the right solution, but they can also decide which nutrients might be missing and how to restore them to the soil.
Study the Plants
The nutrient balance in the soil will also be reflected in which plants are growing in a yard and how well they're doing. For example, a high density of weeds is rarely a good sign for a lawn. Many species of grass will do better in nutrient-rich environments, whereas many types of weeds aim for low-quality soil as a place where they can outperform other plants like grass and clover. While you may need to first treat the weeds, it will also be important to develop a lawn fertilization plan to foster the right plants, such as grass and clover.
Fertilize and Reevaluate
Once you've fertilized a lawn, it's important to monitor it and then reevaluate the situation after a few months. If you have a contractor do lawn fertilization in the spring, you might want to assess the situation in the early fall. This will let you know whether you might have to make adjustments.