Say Goodbye to High Fertilizer Costs with These Simple Tips!

Are you ready to transform your lawn into a lush, green, and envy-inducing paradise? Well, get ready to battle the rising costs of fertilizer that have been affecting both farms and the lawn care sector. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some easy steps to control those costs and still have a stunning lawn that will have your neighbors talking.

The Power of Nitrogen

When it comes to keeping your grass green and healthy, nitrogen is your best friend. Just like corn, turfgrasses (which include our beloved lawns) respond best to this essential nutrient. That’s why most lawn fertilizers have a high percentage of nitrogen. It’s the key to promoting growth and ensuring your lawn thrives.

Prime Time for Fertilizer

The ideal time to apply lawn fertilizer is in the fall. However, it’s important to understand the difference between nitrogen rates and actual fertilizer. Typically, a granular application for a home lawn would require around a pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet. But don’t worry, if you want to save some money or decrease the amount of nitrogen fertilizer, there’s a solution.

Adjusting the Rates

Reducing the nitrogen rate to three quarters or half a pound per thousand square feet is a great way to cut costs without compromising your lawn’s health. Of course, the actual rate depends on your soil fertility. So, if you’ve been worried about the price tag, this is a fantastic option to explore.

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Spring and Fall Applications

If you apply fertilizer in the spring along with crabgrass preventer, you can adjust your applications to better suit your budget. Typically, crabgrass preventer is sold with fertilizer. Unfortunately, you can’t decrease the rate without affecting the effectiveness of the pre-emergent herbicide. But fear not! There’s a clever alternative.

Consider planning for both spring and fall applications to tackle both weed prevention and fertilization. You can do the crabgrass preventer in the spring and then apply fertilizer in September and October, saving you money in the long run.

DIY Fertilizing Mistakes to Avoid

If you prefer the DIY route for lawn care, make sure to steer clear of common mistakes that can drain your money and your nitrogen down the drain (or storm sewer). Overfertilizing, using the wrong rate, applying unevenly, and assuming that more is better are all pitfalls to avoid. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to nurturing your lawn.

Diagnosing Lawn Problems

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that your lawn simply needs more fertilizer when issues arise. It’s crucial to diagnose the problems correctly. Incorrectly assuming the need for more nutrients can lead to unnecessary expenses and potential harm to your lawn’s health. If you’re unsure, reach out to the experts at the Purdue Plant and Diagnostic Laboratory. While they don’t provide soil or tissue testing, they can help diagnose issues through photos you send them.

Costs of Professional Lawn Services

If you use a professional lawn care service, be prepared for potential price increases. Rising fuel and fertilizer costs affect every aspect of their operations. So, don’t be surprised if you see higher prices for their services. Rest assured, the quality and expertise they bring to the table make it worth every penny.

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For more information and resources, check out the Purdue Plant and Diagnostic Laboratory, the Purdue Turfgrass Program, and Purdue Consumer Horticulture. They are valuable sources for all your lawn care needs.

So, get ready to tackle those high fertilizer costs head-on and make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood. With these simple tips, you’ll achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn while keeping your budget intact. Say hello to a greener tomorrow!

Ames Farm Center