Lawn Fertilizing Guide

lawn stripingThese two lawn videos are designed to teach you two of the foundational principles of “How To Fertilize The Lawn.” It’s great if you think you know how to apply lawn products, but don’t you want to know that you are truly doing it properly? In addition, you want to ensure that you are not only applying correctly, but that you are applying at the proper rates to get the correct results. Follow this lawn fertilizing guide to ensure a proper application every time!

Getting good results is great, but getting good results without destroying your soil or the environment around you is better!

How Much Fertilizer To Put On The Lawn

This video talks about fertilizer application rates and understanding the proper amount of a granular product you are putting down. It comes down to two things:

1) How big is the area you are applying lawn products to? We typically measure in square feet.

2) How much square footage does the back tell you it covers.

If you are a bit more advanced, you can utilize the knowledge you gain here and understand how much nitrogen is being applied with a single application. Typically, when we create a lawn care program, we are concerned primarily with the amount of “N” that is applied in a season. For me, I like about a pound of N for spring, lawn fertilizing guidemaybe a quarter pound in summer, and another pound in Fall. But this all depends on what you want to accomplish and in what form you are getting that nitrogen. (organics or synthetics) Your mileage may vary! 🙂

Either way, I hope you can see now that putting down fertilizer isn’t just about flipping the bag over and checking for a spreader setting- there are too many variables. It’s really about knowing how much product you are putting down per 1,000 square feet of lawn area. So from here on out, don’t ask questions like “what is the proper setting for a Scott’s spreader?” or “what setting do I put my Earthway spreader on?” — instead, look at the size of your lawn, decide the amount of “N” you want to apply, and work back from there.

If you are not 100% confident here, then you can practice using course sand – it won’t harm the lawn and will give you a pretty good idea of what you are putting down. In addition, if you use an organic fertilizer product like Milorganite, you have a lot more room for “fudge factor” and don’t have to worry if you over-apply the first time you try.

How To Apply Fertilizer To The Lawn

So now that you know how much to put down, you need to know how to put it down – or how to spread the fertilizer or other lawn product properly. This video shows you that as simply as I an make it:

Here are the three things to consider:

1) Your spreader should be a broadcast spreader – these have a turning flywheel that throws the fert out a few feet to either side in a fan pattern.

2) Your walking speed should be 3.5 miles per hour (very important!) It’s a semi-fast walk – I like to say “put some ass into it” and walk with a purposer.

3) Keep the walking speed consistent all the way until the end of each pass so you have a consistent spread pattern – also called a “swath.”

4) Make a trim pass first. The trim pass makes sure that all the edges are covered properly.

5) Walk and spread in a grid, throwing fertilizer back to the wheeltracks of the previous pass.

It’s a very simple task and can be mastered by homeowners very quickly. I know that when you first think about applying fertilizer on your own, it can many times be a daunting task – but I assure you, it’s quite simple once you understand the basics.

Final Tips – Fertilizing Applications

Once you’re done, see if you used the right amount according to your calculations from the first video. If you applied too much, try speeding up your walking speed a little – just keep in mind that this will also produce a wider swath. Now, if you did not put down enough, then keep the same walking speed, but open your spreader up a notch or two and see how you come out.

Before you know it, you’ll be applying fertilizer like an old lawn pro!


  1. Craig Penrose

    Allyn – thanks for a great blog and videos. You have inspired me to take my lawn to the next level!

  2. Hi big big fan of yours please I need help I bought the plastic ties to secure the pipe to flap but the rip ties broke or split right away can you please email me with the exact ties that you use

  3. Ronnie Price

    what type of grass seeds to use in the fall in Illinois (Chicago Heights)

  4. I love your methods of lawn care what is the best grass seeds to use in st.louis mo and how often do you apply lime to your lawn I never here you talk about a soil test is it important to you

  5. Hi I love the videos can you please tell me in detail how to set up the tube at the back to make the strips on the lawn or do you recommend I buy the toro system. And will it work on not so good lawn

  6. The trends for this year forecast stronger competition among landscaping companies. The best performing ones are increasingly turning to mobility software solutions to handle their business – increase productivity, reduce costs, automate workforce management. Check out FieldSkill, a business management software for landscaping industry: .

  7. Miguel Villarreal

    What type of grass seeds should I use for southern Virginia?

  8. no one in my area had the starter fertilizer so I ordered Pennington 18-24-6 will this be ok? Planning to use this after I Core earate and seed as well as the milorganite.

  9. What about moss in the lawn? Should I use Moss Out?

  10. Minerva

    Can I use Scott fertilizer and milorganite
    And lime at the same time and when can I use the bug killer

  11. Kevin Dubulis

    Hey Mr. lawn not I just thought it watching your videos on YouTube I’m from Jacksonville Beach Florida originally now I live in New Jersey for most of my life I was trying to send you pictures of my lawn but I don’t know how to send them to you so if you get a chance let me know and I’ll send you some pictures of my lawn I like your videos Keep doing what you’re doing

  12. Warren Johnson

    Allyn, I stumbled upon your videos the other day, they are excellent. I’ve been dominating my neighbors lawns for years but your videos have inspired to take my lawn (and my next door neighbors) to the next level using your hybrid method. I’ve already applied “Scotts” brand fertilizer and crabgrass preventer, but mine and my neighbors front lawns are loosing their dark green color that originally appeared after the combination application. My question is How and when do I transition into the hybrid system? I returned the “Scotts” weed and feed and instead have instead spot treated for weeds using “Ortho” Weed B Gone in the pump sprayer. Fortunately I didn’t have many weeds that needed treating (my neighbors lawn is a different story), and I’ve picked up Milaorganite to apply to both lawns. I live in Chicago and have Kentucky Bluegrass / perennial rye grass blend turf. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Hi i would like to apply( milorganite )mix with ( ringer) , but i can not find ringer unless i order it online , can i mix the milorganite with scotts turf builder lawn food , or can i mix it with ( jobes lawn food organic ) since i can get it in the store nearby and has no phosphates in it since milorganite has it

  14. Tony Wesp

    Love the videos and Vlogs! I am trying to decide between Milorganite and Ringer organic fertilizer. Do you have a preference in product (besides the even granules of Ringer for easy spreading)?


  15. Melissa

    Love your videos! What type of grass seed should I put down in Northern California? Thank you!


  1. Dollar Spot Disease In The Lawn - The Lawn Care Nut - [...] Lawn Fertilizing Guide [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *