Tips for Fertilizing your Lawn

Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Grounds Department

In today’s blog, I would like to tackle some home lawn fertilization issues that we are commonly asked about. With the weather becoming nicer, homeowners have started tending to their lawns in order to keep it just a little bit nicer than the neighbors. Therefore, I want to give you a couple tips to help you reach this goal.


When walking down the Home Depot fertilizer aisle, all the different types of fertilizer can be overwhelming. First of all, it's helpful to know what the numbers on the bags mean, which will help you figure out what is the best value.  A good example would be a bag labeled 30-0-4. 

     - The first number (30) would be the percentage of nitrogen in the bag. 
     - The second number (0) would be the amount of phosphorus.
     - The third (4) would be Potassium. 

So, if you were going to put down ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet (which would be a good spring feeding), you would need to know how large your lawn is and how much you need.

Therefore, let's go back to my initial 30-0-04 example. Remember, the 30 on the label would be the percentage of nitrogen that is in the bag. So, if it is a 50lb bag, that would give you 15lbs of nitrogen. At the ¾ of a pound per thousand square feet measure, that bag would cover 20,000 square feet. Doing this math would also help you compare fertilizer by price per pound of nitrogen for the best deal.

When it comes to the actual nutrients you feed your lawn, nitrogen is the most important. Phosphorus, unless you are growing in grass from seed, is normally not deficient in our soils around here. As for Potassium, this will be needed in an early to mid-summer application to aid the grass in dealing with heat and drought stress. These early summer applications will normally include a slow release nitrogen source to help get your lawn through the summer. 



The next issue we will deal with is crabgrass pre-emergent. By adding products to your fertilizer, you will be effectively able to control crabgrass. However, it is the timing that is the most crucial. An easy way to help time your crabgrass pre-emergent/fertility application is by using "Growing Degree Days". Growing Degree Days are a measure of heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development rates, such as the date that a flower will bloom, an insect will emerge from dormancy, or a crop will reach maturity. A useful tool for your arsenal is to use This tool, which is provided by Michigan State University, will let you know when your area is ready for crabgrass pre-emergent, broadleaf weed treatments, and grub control.

GDD Tracker

I hope that you have found some of this information useful and can put it to good use showing up your neighbors! We hope to see you on the course soon, and please continue to fix your ball marks and replace your divots. Have a great week.

Posted by admin at May 02, 2017 Category: Other
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, MI, Tips, Fertilizing, Lawn, Crabgrass