Tips for Spreading Lawn Fertilizer

Lawn fertilizer needs to be spread evenly to feed the soil properly to prevent chemical burn and variations in the color and greening of the lawn surface. Improper spreading can result in brown patches where fertilizer has been over-concentrated and in striped or blotchy greening both of which distract from the beauty of the turf grass. Proper distribution can be accomplished by hand casting or by using a mechanical spreader.

Start Along An Edge

Work systematically from one end of the lawn expanse to the other making. Make your first pass in a straight line along the edge of the grass expanse to use as a reference line and prevent walking over previously laid fertilizer.

Slightly Overlap Rows

When using a mechanical spreader tool slightly overlap each pass so that there are not gaps where fertilizer does not land. Overlap the wheel track pattern when using a drop spreader. When using a rotary spreader align the outer edge of the spreader wheel with the outermost edge of fertilizer laid down in the previous pass. Halt the flow of fertilizer as you make the turn at the end of each row to prevent over-fertilization in that area.

Water After Applyiying Fertilizer

Water your grass well immediately after applying fertilizer to wash the particles off on the grass blades and down into the thatch and soil where it can go to work. Washing the blades will also reduce the incidence of chemical burn and browning. Always do this unless the product label countermands the practice.

Make Two Passes When Hand Casting

When hand casting your fertilizer make two passes over the area using 50-percent of the recommended dose in each pass. Make the second pass while walking at a 90-degree angle from the first pass to ensure even and thorough coverage.

Keywords: tips for applying fertilizer, spreading lawn fertilizer, dispersing fertilizer over an area

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.