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Don’t be an April Fool

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I just saw my first ad on Facebook referencing lawn fertilizer. It is far too early to fertilize your lawn. If one of the big box stores has fertilizer on sale, great, buy it and wait until late May to apply. Better yet go to a local garden centre and support a small business. They likely will tell you the same thing I am.

Grass does not need fertilizer until about mid- to the end of May. Applying it too early won’t hurt the grass. It’s worse than that! It is a waste of money as most of the nutrients will just wash away with all of our April Showers.

And worse than wasting money?!?! The dissolved fertilizer will wash through the soil and end up in our storm water management system perhaps even making it all the way to Lake Ontario.

And almost none of the fertilizer or your efforts helped your lawn.

Timing fertilizer applications should be approximately:

Late spring

Early summer

Late summer / early fall

Late fall

I am not making all of this up. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (OMAF) and the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) are two local authorities that have studied turfgrass growth for decades. Our goal is always to have the best looking lawns and gardens with the lowest possible negative impact on the environment.

We use a fertilizer with no phosphorous and high nitrogen. The first number is nitrogen, the second phosphorous and the third potassium. Soils in Ontario are very young and contain LOTS of phosphorous and potassium. We really only need to be concerned with adding nitrogen.

This is a good lawn fertilizer from a Canadian supplier.

If you want to know more, here is a link to an OMAF bulletin on lawn care. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/08-017.htm#fertility

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