When applying fertilizer, the most important thing to remember is to read and follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag. Proper application will ensure maximum coverage, resulting in a healthy lawn and landscape, while protecting water bodies. There are several factors to consider when planing your fertilizer application including type of soil, application method, and species of plants. The printed instructions on the back of your fertilizer bag should assist you in making these decisions. We have put together some helpful tips and information to get you started and answer and questions you may have. Please keep in mind that this is general information and you should always consult your fertilizer and spreader instructions to ensure proper use.
Lawn & Plant Application Rates
One 50 pound bag of 8-2-12-4 fertilizer will typically cover between 3,500 and 5,000 square feet. It is recommended to use 1 ½ pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet of lawn. That is roughly 3,500 square feet of coverage. Plant beds only require 1 pound of fertilizer per 100 square feet. That is roughly 5,000 square feet of coverage. Application rates may vary so please consult the directions on your bag for specific directions.
For palm trees and large shrubs
We recommend using between ½ and 1 pound of 8-2-12-4 fertilizer per 1 inch of trunk diameter. A palm tree with a 6 inch diameter, for example, would require between 3 and 6 pounds of fertilizer. Application rates may vary so please consult the directions on your bag for specific directions.
Apply Using a Spreader
Using a spreader is the best way to ensure a consistent and even application of your fertilizer. We recommend overlapping your spread pattern by applying half of the fertilizer in one direction and the rest in the opposite direction. This will ensure an even application and avoid the appearance of a striped lawn. Another good tip is to break up any clumps so the fertilizer will not get clogged in the spreader. Make sure you turn off the spreader when stopping and when making turns. Turn the spreader back on after you have resumed walking and making sure to shut off the spreader when passing over pavement.
Water-in your fertilizer after application with no more than ¼ inch of water. To determine how much this is, perform a catch-can test. Do this by placing empty cat food or tuna cans around the perimeter of your sprinkler or irrigation system and time how long it takes to fill them to this depth (¼ inch). Do this before fertilizing so that you know how long to run the system. This will put the nutrients at root level, where they can be taken up most efficiently. Watering-in with more water than ¼ inch can result in fertilizer leaching more rapidly through the soil.
Please consult your specific fertilizer instructions for application rates. Rates, instructions, and information provided above is for educational purposes only. Fertilizer Direct is not responsible for any/all damage caused by the misuse of fertilizer and/or related equipment. Use at your own risk.