i'm looking for a good fescue kentucky blue blend that a local store has but was figuring there has to be a cheaper way to do all this than going to the local store to get my supplies. i like to optimize everything and paying retail for a fertilizer plan and sead seems to make me sick to my stomach. here are links to the systems from the local grass supply store and the grass seed i plan to use
i would rather not buy all that retail and would like to find equivalent seeds and fertilizers i can set slickdeal alerts for. anyone have any insight of how helpful doing all this would be? we let our lawn go to crap and now we need to repair it.
I wouldn't pay for a retail fertilizer plan. I did that for a couple years and kept wondering why my lawn always looked like garbage. Keeping your lawn in great shape "can" get expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Here is a brief overview of my "inexpensive" plan"
- In early spring, find a pre-emergent WITHOUT fertilizer. If you put down winterizer correctly, your lawn should have plenty of Nitrogen waking up from winter dormancy. There is no need to force even more growth. It's difficult to find pre-emergent without fertilizer, around me that is. This year I skipped and am battling a lot of weeds this summer. Also feeding your lawn now (chemical fertilizer that is) forces top growth at the expense of root growth. You need root growth for the all important hot dry summer months. Also make sure the pre-emergent is rather long lasting.
- I usually hit the lawn with one application of Milorganite around May. If the lawn looks a little pale, I'll go double bag rate. Milorganite is organic so while I will typically see a bump in growth, the roots are also growing deeper into the soil. And I spot treat for weeds.
- Absolutely nothing during summer, hot dry months. This is where folks tend to screw up. Those "fertilizer programs" typically have folks throwing down high nitrogen fertilizer which forces the grass to grow when it doesn't want to grow. In fact it may even want go dormant. I have no issues with my grass going dormant. If you throw down fertilizer you can expect to have to water the heck out of the lawn during the summer.
Late Summer/Early Fall:
- Typically around this time I assess the lawn. I apply weed killer to any weeds. I start fertilizing again with Milorganite. You can patch any bare spots. However if I am not going to throw down any grass seed, I hit it again with a pre-emergent for the fall weeds. Pre-emergent prevents anything from growing, even grass, so doesn't put down pre-emergent AND grass seed. On average about 75-80% of my fertilizer goes down between August and November.
- Once your grass stops growing (NOTE: not while it's still growing), put down your winterizer.
I have found this plan to be satisfying. And, if you budget right, pretty cheap. Milorganite just went on sale at Wal-Mart around me for $3/bag. That's a helluva deal. I spent less than $50 and stocked up on fertilizer for the entire next year. Some things that I have learned when I was a huge lawn nut. The key to good grass is good soil. Organic fertilizers, matter etc. feed the soil. Chemical fertilizers feed the grass. Chemicals are ok for their intended purpose, like starting your lawn, preventing weeds etc. A thick lush lawn is the best weed preventer. And feeding the soil is the key to this.