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What are grass fertilizers and how to choose one?

Fertilizers are a key to having the best lawn possible. They help bring raw ingredients that grass uses for carbohydrates, like nitrogen phosphorus potassium - all of which can be found in most fertilization products today! The importance these nutrients hold cannot be overstated; they're displayed prominently on every bag. The analysis of a 24-5-10 bag tells you that it contains 24% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus and 10% potassium.

Plants require a steady supply of nutrients to grow and be healthy. The most important nutrient is nitrogen. However when this element isn't present or there's too much, it can lead towards yellowing leaves, which would make your lawn look less than impressive! Nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for plants, and applying it encourages the dense growth of leaves with roots. This stronger plant can better withstand disease or damage from heat cold drought because its base will be more sturdy in the soil.

The phosphorus in starter fertilizers helps seeds germinate and establish new shoots, which is useful for newly sodded or planted lawns. It's also involved in storing food, protecting membranes from water damage as well as regulating hormonal balances that control things like flower formation or seed germination rate.

The importance of potassium for plant growth and health cannot be overstated. It helps make grass green, stronger against temperature fluctuations, including frost in wintertime, which could kill other types vegetation. But plants that are rich with this essential nutrient have cells that to continue functioning properly even when it's below freezing outside.

Read the Label
There are two things you need to know about fertilizers: their price and how quickly they will release nutrients. For example, a low-cost fertilizer may have higher quick nitrogen levels, which means more frequent applications for plants, but this also depends on what type of growth your plant needs.
Fertilizer typically comes with instructions printed right there on the bag, so make sure to read them before using.

There are many options available to dog owners who struggle with the effects of their urine on their grass. It is of note that female dog urine is generally stronger than males, so this may provide context on what measures you will take, in order to help your situation.

Here are some solutions:

Dilute the urine spot—immediately.

Some have found the combination of dishwashing liquid and water to be effective in diluting dog urine. Measure out roughtly 1 part mild dishwashing liquid with 8 parts of water. Then apply generously to the damaged area.

Use a dog marker tool.

Visit your local pet store. Usually these will sell plastic dog markers that have components which attract dogs to them. Make sure you mark an area that you do not mind your dog going to in order to urinate. In our personal opinion, this is not the best option, since many markers have low consumer ratings—so make sure you do your research to find a good one!

Plant a tough grass.

Some grasses are less sensitive than others when it comes to dog urine. So while looking for a grass that is suitable for your region, also make sure that it can remain strong after being hit with dog urine—like Zoysiagrass. Still though, it would be good to dilute any spots that you see your dog repeatedly going to.

Install synthetic grass.

Synthetic grass will not become damaged by the effects of dog urine… but it might become smelly if you do not keep it clean. There are products that absorb dog urine and take away the smell that you hate, such as "Zeofill." In addition, you can also use certain products with your water sprayer to deodorize your lawn. When you search for the right synthetic grass, look specifically for those designed for dogs. These allow for proper drainage into the soil when your dog urinates on it.

Train your dog with a special grass tray.

Some companies, like "Porch Potty," specialize in special grass trays that attract your dog to them—instead of your lawn. Some have options that allow you to use synthethic grass, or real grass, which can be shipped to you on a regular basis. The more expensive versions also have built-in sprinkler systems that rinse away dog urine to a designated location, immediately after the dog has left the tray.

Give your dog a urine supplement.

Go to your local pet store and usually they will supply special supplements, like "Grass Saver," that you can add to your dogs diet. These supplements are sometimes in "treat" form and they neutralize the high levels of nitrogen in their urine.

Walk your dog.

This is the least expensive option and probably the best—plus you get to spend quality time with your dog and you both will get some exercise. Yes… walk your dog!

Mowing can be a dreaded task to some, but the benefits of doing so—correctly—can be many. For example, if you learn how to mow your grass the right way, it will be thicker, tougher, healthier, require less water, disease-free and weed-free. But an important step in mowing your grass right is to first find the right height to cut it.

Here are some mowing heights for different grasses:

1. Tall fescue, Fine fescue, Buffalograss, St. Augustinegrass, Perennial rygrass, and Bluegrass
2. Optimum height: 2 inches
3. Mow when the grass reaches: 3 inches

Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass

1. Optimum height: 1.25 inches
2. Mow when the grass reaches: 2.25 inches

Always set your lawn mower to the recommended height for your grass. This will encourage root growth, which will help the plant get water during rough droughts. Taller grass can accomplish this because they produce their own shade. This shade protects the plant from overheating the grass crown and roots. Keep your grass tall and lush by cutting off no more than one-third of the height of your lawn at one time. If you cut shorter that this, it could expose the plant to stress, expose the crowns of the plant, and reduce root growth. Repeatedly cutting in this way will leave parts of your lawn looking like a thin weedy patch.

If you are thinking about creating a new lawn or replacing an existing one, you will need to consider a few things—for example—where you live. Please use the diagram below to help you.

Do you live in a cool and humid zone?

This area is best for cool-season grasses such as fescue, ryegrass, bluegrass, and bentgrass. If you don't want these grass to go dormant during the summer, you will need to water them. Buffalograss and Zoysiagrass grow well in the dry and warm areas of this zone, but both of these have a short growing period in these climates, so they are dormant and brown much of the year.

Best grasses for cool and humid zones:

1. Buffalograss
2. Fescue
3. Ryegrass
4. Bluegrass
5. Zoysiagrass
6. Bentgrass

Do you live in a cool and arid zone?

Cool-season grasses also grow well here, but will need watering. There are some cool-season grasses that do well with only rainfall alone. They can even sustain themselves in non-irrigated warm areas such as Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.

Cool-season grasses include: 
1. Buffalograss
2. Fescue
3. Ryegrass
4. Bluegrass
5. Zoysiagrass
6. Bentgrass

Do you live in a warm and humid zone?

The most widely used grass in this zone is Bermudagrass, but is subject to cold damage in the northern areas of this region. Zoysiagrass is an alternative that works well in those areas. Other grasses that work well along the southern coast are Bahiagrass and St. Augustinegrass. Cool-season grasses are good choices, if you live in a mountainouse region. A drawback with using a grass that grows great for you area, is that it still might not always look great. What can you do to make it look better? Some people often seed over an existing lawn with Perennial rygrass to create a green yard year-round.

Cool-season grasses include:
1. Tall fescue

Warm-season grasses include:
1. Bermudagrass
2. Zoysiagrass

Do you live in a warm and dry zone?

Bermudagrass is the most commonly used grass in this zone, but you could use any warm-season grass, as long as you keep it watered. In the driest parts of this zone, Buffalograss works best. In the winter—when grass is dormant—cool-season grasses are used to overseed, so that the lawn keeps its green look. In some some parts of this zone, the soil is alkaline and saline heavy, so please check with your local garden associate for best suited specialized grasses.

Do you live in a transition zone?

This zone has characteristics of all the other zones. You could use both warm- and cold-season grasses, but no one type does well. There are a few grasses that do better than the others. These include a cool-season grass like tall fescue. Of the warm-season grasses, bermudagrass does well in the southern part of this zone, while zoysiagrass grows better in the northern part.

The type of grass you have is determined primarily by where you live. For example, some grasses that will thrive in one state may fare badly in another, because of different weather conditions. There are two basic types of grass—warm-season and cool-season. 

Warm-season grasses

Warm season grasses tend to need fertilization in the summer, because that's when they grow. They can withstand extreme heat and readily withstands drought or even high-humidity. The best time to plant warm-season grass is between spring and summer.

Warm-season grasses include:

1. Buffalograss
2. St. Augustinegrass
3. Zoysiagrass
4. Bahiagrass
5. Bermudagrass
6. Centipedegrass

Cool-season grasses

Cool-season grasses thrive in cool temperatures, and flourish mostly in the spring and fall, but the best time to fertilize them is in the fall. Usually, they do not look their best during the hot days of summer.

Cool-season grasses include: 

1. Perennial ryegrass
2. Tall fescue
3. Colonial bentgrass
4. Fine fescue

Kentucky bluegrass

Something to note about dormant grass. Warm- and cool-season grasses have dormant periods. For warm-season grasses, it is winter. For cool-season grasses, it is summer. During this period, the grass will go off-color, turning pale. But no worries, it will get green again on its own. You do not need to add fertilizer to your grass to bring it back to its green state. It won't make a difference.

Unlike shrubs, trees, and other plants, grass grows from its base. If it didn't, the grass would not survive the first cut. Even so, you shouldn't let your grass go for long periods without mowing. The grass plant may start to send its seed further up the stalk, rather than keep them at the base. When this starts to happen, mowing will begin to thin out your lawn, losing its appealing texture.


Tall fescue is an example of a bunchgrass. It is a cool-season grass that grows tall and narrow, right next to the crown of the plant. Hence, they grow in clumps. Unfortunatley, this means they do not spread, and since this is the case, they can't be counted on to fill in bare spots before weeds do. But their turfs are very dense, so its hard to damage them.

Creeping grasses

Kentucky bluegrass is an example of creeping grass. It is a warm-season grass that spreads by underground stems. This makes them spread more quickly, creating a dense and uniform lawn. Other types of grass, such as bermudagrass and zoysiagrass, also form dense, uniform lawns and spread very aggressively. Sometimes, these grasses are tough enough to withstand the effects of animal urine. They are also known to jump into the neighbors lawn if there is no barrier. Its also hard to change out your grass later, once these  grasses have become established.

What are the basic parts of grass?

Grass may look basically the same from a distance, but up close, each has its unique characteristics that will help you figure out what type it is. Having this knowledge will help you to care for it properly. First, its good to learn the basic parts of a grass plant.

The first part of a leaf is the blade. Its the broadest appendage of the grass plant. The bottom part of the leaf is sheath. At the bottom of the leaf, it wraps around the stem, forming what is called the collar. Collars are distinguished mostly by their width, since they are hard to see otherwise.