How to Pick the Right Fertilizer for Your Lawn

Fertilizers are products with concentrated nutrients that are essential for plant growth. Common lawn fertilizers include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While these nutrients naturally occur in the soil, air, and water, sometimes they are in low supply or otherwise out of balance. Soil testing can help you to determine the fertilizer that will work best with your lawn. All fertilizers have an N-P-K rating, which represents the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that they contain.

In addition to getting the N-P-K balance correct, you also need to determine how fast that you want the nutrients to be released. While fast-release fertilizers will cause your lawn to become green quickly, you also need to apply them more frequently and exercise caution to avoid burning your lawn. In contrast, slow-release formulas often yield the best long-term results because nutrients are released consistently over time.

When to Aerate Your Lawn


An essential part of yard maintenance, aeration can help to keep your lawn looking thick and healthy. Aeration is a process that involves punching small holes in your lawn and removing plugs of soil. By aerating your lawn once a year, you can enable compacted soil to get the air it needs in order to support healthy grass and to enhance the appearance of your lawn. Soil often becomes compacted in areas where there is heavy foot traffic or high clay content.

Generally, the best time to aerate is in the cooler fall months, when grass is actively growing but weeds are slow to germinate. However, if your soil is compacted or you have thin turf, then aerating in the late spring can promote optimal growth.

Installing a Planting Bed

The installation of a planting bed can bring color and beauty to your property and increase your home’s value. Since most installations involve adding new plantings around a home’s exterior, this can also help prevent soil erosion near the foundation.

Most new installations are completed in the spring, early summer, or fall. Before planting, landscapers often work to get the soil into peak condition by using compost, expanded shale, or sand to improve drainage and pH values. After the bed has been prepared, landscapers fill it with the client’s choice of ornamental plantings, such as annual and perennial flowers, shrubs, or small-specimen trees like Japanese maples or hollies.