Fertilizing – Vigilant Application And Care

Q: On radio you had a conversation with a gentleman about using 24-8-12 fertilizer on his lawn. Rather than lugging heavy bags of fertilizer, I buy bulk boxes of Miracle-Gro and put it in the hose attachment that comes with the fertilizer and connect this to my lawn sprinkler. My zoysia is in heaven!

A: I do much the same with my flower beds. The applicator is a handy way to apply plant food. However, I think you’re applying just enough nutrients to keep the grass growing but not enough to make it as lush as it could be. Simply speaking, the label on a bag of 24-8-12 would likely recommend spreading four pounds per 1000 square feet every six weeks to give optimum grass growth. Your 24-8-16 blue powder should also be applied at a rate of four pounds per 1000 square feet to give the needed amount of nitrogen. A fertilizer packet contains 1.25 pounds of product, so you need to apply it three time in six weeks to give the right amount of fertilizer to your grass. My bet is that you’re not bagging your lawn clippings. Clippings are a good source of lawn nutrients so that, plus your occasional application of water soluble fertilizer, gives you the lawn you enjoy.