Growing Concerns: Wait until June to fertilize your lawn

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This is the earliest spring I can remember for the forsythia to bloom, with more plants showing more leaves each day.

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But don’t jump too early. The weather can still change. We often get deadly frosts in May.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t start.

This is the time of year when I’ve been asked a million times about lawn fertilizer. After many years of lawn care, I’ve learned that the best time to fertilize is in early June. Yes you’ve read correctly. I don’t fertilize grass until it starts slowing its growth.

Grass grows like crazy in spring with the cool temperature and heavy dew at night and on warm sunny days. When adding to this fertilizer, cut the grass three times a week.

So wait with the fertilizer and add grass seeds immediately instead. When it gets warmer in mid-June, the grass will slow its growth. Then I’ll add fertilizer.

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Which fertilizer I use depends on what my soil sample says about the needs of my lawn. Different lawns need different vitamins. Much depends on the type of soil and what is being planted on your property.

To take a soil sample, put about 3/4 to a cup of soil in a sandwich bag. The sample should be taken from about five different areas – the front, back, and sides – choosing the worst areas. For most lawns, the growing topsoil, key plant nutrients, and food roots are in the top three inches of the soil, so sample from three to four inches deep. Do not include compost or mulch in the sample. Mix it together in the bag and take the sample to a laboratory for testing. The sample should be taken before fertilization or four weeks after. Samples are now ready to be sent in June.

I have my floor tested roughly every three to five years and each time it requires something different.

Growing Concerns is produced by Parkway Gardens. Send your gardening questions to Homes, c / o The London Free Press, 210 Dundas St., Suite 201, London, Ontario, N6A 5J3.

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