best time to apply fertilizer

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Fertilizing Plants vs. Grass

Fertilizing isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Different types of plants each have their own nutrient requirements and should be fertilized at varying times, and in different quantities. Some fertilizers promote root growth, while others encourage flowering.

Additionally, standard recommendations for other parts of the U.S. are often inappropriate for South Florida’s unique climate. It’s one of the primary reasons that many homeowners prefer to hire a professional landscaper that has in-depth experience and knowledge of South Florida weather conditions and plant species.

It’s important to understand the composition of fertilizers. They will feature three numbers, such as 12-12-12, that indicates the primary nutrients and the quantity. The first number indicates the amount of nitrogen, the second is the amount of phosphate, and the third is the amount of potash/potassium. Fertilize is typically needed more during the warm, wet growing season and less in the cool, drier months.

Nitrogen promotes photosynthesis, rapid growth, lush foliage and fruit. Phosphate is required for respiration, energy, root growth, and strong, robust plants from seedling to maturity. Potash aids plants in absorbing moisture, utilizing a range of nutrients, boosting disease resistance and hardiness, and producing abundant blooms.

Bushes and Trees

In general, established bushes and trees do well with two or three applications of fertilizer each year. Typically it’s applied about February and October, with another during the summer if needed. Fertilizer for trees and shrubs should be applied at the drip line, not around the trunks or base.

Grass

Fertilizer should be applied to lawn grass in the spring, but only when it’s actively growing and creating new shoots. That typically happens about mid-April. Use a time-release formula before any fertilizer restrictions go into effect and applications should take place approximately every 6-8 weeks during the summer. It’s better to err on the side of caution when fertilizing the lawn and take into account the type of grass and its needs.

Flowers

Perennial flowers and bulbs can benefit from occasional fertilizing, but be careful when applying it near newly planted flowers. It can be a good idea to give them a little time after planting to acclimate and become established before fertilizing.

Native Plants

Native plants, grasses, and flowers have adapted to the prevailing conditions and generally require little fertilizer – if any. Fertilizing native species can actually do more harm than good.

 

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Best Times to Fertilize the Grass

Many homeowners have fertilized their grass, only to see it slowly wither, brown out, and die – or show no improvement at all. While the problem may be the type of fertilizer used or the amount that was applied, it can also be the result of improper timing.

Florida lawns are different than those in other parts of the U.S. and standard guidelines often don’t apply due to the state’s unique climate and weather. It’s important for homeowners to know that warm-season grasses will brown out when temperatures dip, it’s normal, and they often spring back.

The best time to apply fertilizer is in the spring when grass begins to grow and throw out new shoots – typically around mid-April. Fertilizer provides essential nutrients to maintain health and replenish elements that may have become depleted in long-established lawns. It supports healthy root growth and enables grass to recover from conditions ranging from pests to hurricanes.

Florida contains some areas that restrict the use of fertilizer during months when heavy rains are a concern. People living in those areas can still feed their lawn with a time-release fertilizer before the restrictions go into effect that will nourish the lawn throughout the season.

To be effective, fertilizer must have the time to release nutrients and for it to be absorbed into the soil where grass can utilize it. Just as it’s important to know when to fertilize, it’s equally essential that homeowners understand when not to apply it. Fertilizer shouldn’t be applied:

  • When a storm – especially a tropical storm – is expected within 24 hours
  • If more than two inches of rain is anticipated
  • When new turf grass has just been planted
  • After mid-September to mid-May

Fertilizer will typically need to be reapplied to the average lawn every 6-8 weeks throughout the summer, but be careful not to over-fertilize. Err on the side of caution. Fertilizing too early can promote weed growth, while fertilizing when the weather is extremely hot can weaken and damage grass. Getting it “just right” will ensure a lush, green lawn throughout the year. Whenever possible, utilize the experience of a lawn care professional.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more