Steps to Fertilize Your New Jersey Lawn

Steps to Fertilize Your New Jersey Lawn

Fertilizer can help revive your lawn and replenish necessary nutrients that have been depleted over time. However, too much fertilizer can actually harm your plants and even run off into our streams and rivers and damage the natural ecosystems. The team here Chris James Landscaping put together this guide so you know how to fertilize your lawn in the New Jersey area.

Why It’s Bad to Fertilize Your Lawn Too Much

If fertilizer helps your lawn out then you might be tempted to use more of it. However, you can have too much of a good thing. There are a few reasons why too much fertilizer can harm your lawn such as:

  • It can cause a build-up of salt in the soil
  • Excess fertilizer can cause an imbalance of nutrients
  • Too much nitrogen can cause an overgrowth of vegetation and weeds. The slower-growing grass can’t keep up and will slowly start to die off 
  • This rapid increase in vegetation will attract aphids and other pests to your lawn
  • Your lawn will become stressed out which will make it more susceptible to diseases

It’s also important to follow the directions on the fertilizer bag to make sure you apply the appropriate amount. We also recommend applying your fertilizer in a criss-cross pattern for the best results.

When Should You Fertilize?

State law prohibits residents from applying fertilizer to their lawns from November 15 through March 1. This is because the grass is dormant during this time because of low temperatures. You should only apply fertilizer when your grass is actively growing and able to receive the nutrients. 

We recommend applying fertilizer such as manure or compost in the spring. We recommend using nitrogen fertilizer in the late fall when the hot summer temperatures have passed. This is because the grass species typically grown here have slowed their rate of growth during the hotter temperatures. 

Other Tips for Using Fertilizer

We’ve put together a few of our tips for how to fertilize your lawn. Here are some ways you can make sure you get the best results from your lawn fertilizer:

  • Have your soil tested to determine it’s pH so you can apply the appropriate fertilizer
  • Use slow-release fertilizers to give your lawn the nutrients it needs over a period of time
  • Use organic fertilizers since these are naturally slow release and don’t harm the natural ecosystem
  • Use compost since it’s the ultimate fertilizer for your lawn
  • Don’t forget to add mulch to prevent weed growth and help retain moisture
  • Don’t overwater as the excess can wash away nutrients
  • Plant native grass species since these will thrive will little fertilizer
  • Use a mulching mower and leave behind the grass clippings as these provide about half the nitrogen needed for a healthy lawn

Lastly, the best way to reduce your fertilizer needs is to reduce your lawn size. A popular trend is to leave a smaller area of grass and fill in the rest of your yard space with a variety of native annual and perennial plant and shrub species. 

We Can Do the Work for You

The team at Chris James Landscaping can take all the guesswork out of taking care of your lawn. We provide weekly maintenance as well as spring and fall maintenance. We can make sure your lawn is properly cared for and thriving. Call us today so we can get started!