It's the big three - key nutrients that your lawn craves.
Pay attention to those 3 big numbers on your fertilizer (I.E. "20-10-10" or "18-0-9" etc.).They represent N-P-K, or Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium respectively. Nitrogen helps to boost growth and green color, Phosphorus kick starts new growth and aids root development, and Potassium strengthens to plants resistance to drought and disease.
In general, lawn fertilizers are high in Nitrogen, often in a ration of 10-1-1. But other fertilizers for trees and gardens can vary in their ratios. In addition, most fertilizers are optimized to a development cycle of the plant's life. For instance, some fertilizers are designed for when a plant is new and growing a strong root system (like early spring/summer) and others are for when a plant may be flowering (like late summer/early fall). Either way, fertilizer is a vital element of any healthy lawn and garden.
Ever heard that phrase? Read on and find out more...
The fun phrase, "knee-high by the Fourth of July" is typically used in reference to growing corn. And, yes, I'm aware not all the best corn is, in fact, knee-high by the Fourth of July. But it's neat how these sayings and reminders stick with us and come back to us each summer. In fact, many gardening chores are linked to Independence Day, so its a great reminder to prune back spring flowering shrubs like azaleas, forsythia, lilacs and viburnums. Though this task can actually be done soon after flowering, many like to think of an easy date like Fourth of July as a reminder for when they need to check it off of their to-do lists.
Brown Spots on your Lawn? It could be grubs.
If your grass turns brown and pulls up easily in the next 1-3 months your grass may be infested with grubs. White grubs could be the larvae of Japanese or June beetles and they can cause major damage to lawns by feeding on the roots of grass.
Grub Damage - Notice the dead, brown patches which can be caused by grubs eating the grass roots.
Grubs are about an 1 inch long with milky white with a brownish head. To test your lawn you can dig up a small 12" x 12" patch of your lawn to see if you find any in the first 1-5 inches. Plus, they typically curl into a "C" shape when disturbed. For a picture click here.
Grub controls are most effective on immature grubs. For most species and areas in New England that means June and July is prime time to treat with an insecticide. A more natural route is using Milky Spore, which is a natural bacterium that can be effective but it usually takes several years for it to become established in your lawn. Ask your local Lawn and Garden center to suggest specific treatments for your lawn.