Ammonium Nitrate – Applying

Q: I have a five-year old fescue lawn. For the first time I had a soil analysis done by the Extension service. The report I received said that the only thing I need to add to my yard is ammonium nitrate. I am unsure how to apply this stuff. I realize that it can be very detrimental if not spread properly.

A: You’re right that ammonium nitrate can harm grass if it is applied too heavily. The concentrated nitrogen can burn grass blades and root tips. The recommended rate you received was probably around 3 pounds per 1000 square feet of lawn. My first tip is to apply the stuff when the grass is dry (so it doesn’t stick to the leaves). You can also plan to irrigate the lawn after application, to wash it off. The second tip is to set your spreader to its smallest opening and weigh the fertilizer accurately before you start. Even if you have to make a few more trips across the lawn, you’ll get an even application of the fertilizer and it won’t hurt the grass.

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