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Austin Lawncare Tips: Five Greener Ways to Fertilize

published on May 11, 2013

austin soil careFor homes from Seven Oaks to Senna Hills, the front lawn is fair ground for that make-or-break first impression. Want to keep it healthy and green? Fertilize! When, what kind, and how often? Just follow these 5 essential tips for fertilizing grass the right way in eco-friendly Austin, Texas …

1. TEST

Fertilizers come in endless variations for specific types of soil. Did you know a home in Barton Creek West may have an entirely different soil-type than a home in South Austin? Before applying any kind of lawn fertilizer, it’s essential to conduct a soil test. With the results, homeowners can choose a custom fertilization regimen catered to amend their unique soil type. Buy a kit at a local gardening center. Or even better, follow the directions of your local extension service, and ship a few samples off for testing. Repeat the test every 2-3 years, adjusting fertilizing as recommended. These tests will save money, time, and wasted effort.

2. LEVELS

Homeowners typically choose from three distinct programs. The light (or “low maintenance”) program involves one fertilization per year. A medium or moderate level tends to include two treatments, while a high maintenance regimen typically includes 3 to 4 treatments per year. Just remember, the more you feed, the greener the grass—and the more often you’ll have to mow! Choose the lowest-level possible.

3. PRODUCTS

Slow-release and organic fertilizers are the best options for your lawn and for the environment. Choose a low-phosphorous brand (Phosphorous is the middle number in the fertilizer ratio. Ex: 10-20-10). Be careful not to over-fertilize. Calculate the amount needed based on your measured lawn size (rather than your property size).

4. SAFETY

Be sure to follow all fertilizer directions carefully, wear eye protection and gloves, and always store fertilizer in a cool, dry place away from children and pets. Also, protect our local waterways and wildlife: avoid over-application, as well as spilling excess fertilizer on sidewalks and driveways. This excess may wash into storm drains, infiltrating water supplies.

5. SAVE MONEY

When grass clippings are left on the grass, nutrients are returned to the soil. Want to save money? Homeowners who leave clippings only need to use half as much grass fertilizer, half as often! Or, avoid fertilizer altogether: learn to compost (or just buy Dillo Dirt), and use ¼ inch on top of your lawn instead of fertilizer. Compost improves soil texture and restores nutrient levels naturally!

Austin luxury REALTOR® Brian Talley enjoys sharing the latest home and gardening tips with Austin residents. Looking for a Tarrytown cottage, or a luxury home on Lake Travis? Contact Brian today at 512.554.9714.

Read more in Regent Property Group’s Austin Lawncare Tips Series:

Austin Lawncare Tips: Five Greener Ways to Fertilize

Austin Lawncare Tips: When and How to Aerate

Austin Lawncare Tips: Reseed this Spring!

Austin Lawncare Tips: Choosing the Right Grass

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