Between social media advertisements and tv commercials, home owners are exposed to a lot of information regarding the best way to feed their lawns during each season. But is it really necessary to invest in a new quantity of fertilizer when you still have some winter formula left over from the year prior?
While any fertilizer will provide some nutrients to your lawn, the reason the formulas are different depending on the time of year is because the plants have different needs depending on where they are in their growth cycle.
In Springtime, foliage require an additional quantity of both nitrogen and phosphorous in order to facilitate good leaf and stem growth, as well as promoting a higher rate of flowering. For grass these added nutrients help establish a deeper root system to help it withstand heat and drought later on it the season when rain is scarcer.
A high quality fertilizer typically also includes a weed killer, which attacks those troublesome plants before they can spread, allowing grass to take over creating a lusher and healthier lawn!
On the other hand, your lawn and perennials benefit from a blend higher in phosphorous and potassium come fall and winter. This combination helps make the plant hardier in order to better tolerate the cold winter conditions and give them a better chance at properly surviving.
Of course if you want an accurate indicator of what your lawn/flower beds are lacking, your best bet is to have the chemical composition of your soil tested. Some local hardware stores offer this service or you can order a DIY soil testing kit and supplement according to the results.