You can hardly look as fast as the grasses shoot up centimeter by centimeter even in dry soil in June and July. Some gardeners don’t even come after mowing the lawn. Nevertheless, foresight is required in these weeks. Because in addition to moisture, fresh air and the love of the greenkeeper, the green stalks are happy about a portion of extra nutrients, especially in the phase of their strongest growth. Otherwise, they may run out of breath at the latest in golden autumn.
In this article you will find out why you should fertilize the lawn in the summer months, which fertilizer is best suited and how to apply it sensibly.
Fertilize lawn in summer: Why actually?
Not only the lawn grasses, but also weeds grow in the warm summer months, what the shoots give. In order that dandelions, clovers and the like don’t get the upper hand on the green lawn, the grasses need a portion of extra power in July. Only if they are full of energy and robust enough can they fight off the unruly weeds. This is precisely why lawn fertilization is important in summer. However, what you give the grasses “to eat” is at least as important. In the worst case, incorrect fertilization also favors weeds instead of strengthening the grasses. It is actually pretty simple. Because most lawns are rather undemanding when it comes to power nutrition.
Fertilize lawn: The right choice for summer
Potassium and nitrogen are the two “favorites” of high-quality lawn grass. Regardless of whether the soil on which they grow is loosely sandy or rather heavy and clayey. Potassium strengthens the defenses of the stalks and makes them resistant to long periods of heat. Plants need nitrogen to survive. It plays the key role in photosynthesis. Regular, because necessary mowing deprives the lawn of important nutrients every time. Rather impatient gardeners and bargain hunters generally use mineral fertilizers when they want to “feed” their lawn. It works quickly and is currently cheaper than the organic version.
However, apart from other disadvantages, mineral fertilizer does not work very long. After just a few months you have to add more. If you fertilize, as recommended in the gardener’s handbook, for the first time in March – the meadow needs a nutrient-rich lookup by July at the latest. Ideally, use a period with damp weather for summer fertilization. The somewhat cooler evening hours are also ideal due to the weakening power of the sun.
Important: Even if it tingles in your fingers – leave the (mineral) fertilizer in the shed in strong sunlight, for example in the midday hours. Longer periods of drought are also counterproductive because the irrigation water evaporates so quickly after fertilization that extreme concentrations of nutrients could damage the roots of the lawn. In addition, fertilizer develops its power much more slowly when it is dry.
Experts recommend – by the way not only for fertilizing the summer meadow – organic fertilizer or at least one mineral-organic mix. It is not only easier to apply, but also makes the lawn more robust and easier to maintain in the long term.
Three points that speak for organic fertilizers
- Flexibility. The time window in which organic fertilizer can be used is quite large. The amount that can be applied is correspondingly high.
- Soil quality. The organic materials nourish the entire soil life and improve the soil quality. Useful organisms, for example, prevent the lawn from becoming matted.
- Long-term effect. Because the organic material in the soil first has to be decomposed by worms, insects and microorganisms and the nutrients have to be released, organic fertilizer is somewhat delayed. For this, these nutrients are later released evenly and continuously. The lawn therefore consumes significantly longer than with industrially manufactured mineral fertilizer.
How often should you fertilize the lawn?
Experienced gardeners recommend fertilizing normal grass three to four times a year. In addition to fertilization in summer (depending on the weather in June or July), this is for forsythia bloom in early April and in autumn, when the lawn should be hardened for the approaching frost. In addition, a fourth fertilization in August is worthwhile for intensively used lawns.
The fertilizer is ideally spread with a spreader. It is irrelevant whether you choose mineral, organic or a mixed form. Dose the amount according to the information on the packaging and make sure not to process the lawn crisscross, but systematically lane by lane. If you prefer to fertilize by hand, the granules should be sprinkled in even movements from the half-open hand. No matter whether by hand or with the help of a trolley: After fertilizing, the lawn must be watered extensively for 20 to 30 minutes.