Grass Fertilizer & Weed Control

Overview

Having a lawn takes a lot of hard work, especially to keep it green and free of weeds. Fertilizing properly to maintain a healthy grass and plant accents, as well as killing undesirable plants, is a gentle balance that takes a good knowledge of application methods and what materials you should use.

Fertilizer Composition

Lawns require a mixture of three nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). A good balance of these nutrients will keep your lawn green. Nitrogen is required more than the other nutrients, but using too much on the lawn will cause your lawn to grow top-heavy.

Determining Composition

Fertilizer packages show a series of three numbers separated by dashes. These numbers represent the composition of the nutrients in the fertilizer by weight. The nutrients appear as N-P-K, in that order, on the packaging. 18-16-2 means that the fertilizer has an 18% nitrogen composition.

Amount

Apply fertilizer to the lawn according to its nitrogen composition. Use a ratio of nitrogen that is 1 pound per 1,000 square feet. If a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen composition is used, you will need less fertilizer, still applying the ratio of 1 pound of nitrogen to every 1,000 square feet. More nitrogen by weight means less fertilizer used.

Kinds of Fertilizer

Fertilizer comes in two varieties: quick-release and slow-release. Quick-release is best for lawns that need quick growth or need to look green fast. Unfortunately, this sometimes causes the lawn to grow too quickly. Quick-release requires more frequent application than slow release, as it lasts for 2 to 3 months at a maximum. Slow-release fertilizer will cause the lawn to grow evenly over the course of a season as it lasts for 2 to 6 months between applications.

Weed Control

Control weeds by hand pulling, digging or by using a herbicide that kills weeds. Pre-emergence herbicide attack weeds before they can grow. Post-emergence herbicides affect a grown plant. Use post-emergence herbicides if you require a selective herbicide that will only affect broad leaf plants and will not affect grass.

Vinegar

Mix 4 cups of cider or white vinegar and a small amount of citrus juice in a spray bottle and apply it to kill weeds in the lawn. This is an organic method of dealing with weeds.

Keywords: grass fertilizer, weed control, lawn care

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.