There are several different ways to calibrate spreaders when applying fertilizer to your home landscape. The easiest way is to measure the area of your yard to determine how much land you have to fertilize. Then, buy the correct amount of fertilizer and spread it out evenly across your yard.
Each product you buy to put on your yard will have a different application rate. Some products will have nitrogen in them, and some products have weed herbicides which need to be applied at a different rate. If you put too much product down, you could harm the yard. And, if you don’t put enough of the product down, you may not control the pests that you’re trying to control, or you may not have enough fertilizer on your yard. So, it’s important to put down just the right amount of product on your yard.
The easiest thing to do is to measure the amount of square feet you have in your yard and subtract out the area for your house and driveway. And then, buy just the right amount of fertilizer for your yard. Each bag will have a recommendation for application. The bag may say that it covers 5,000 square feet, or the bag may cover 2,500 square feet. So, buy the appropriate sized bag for your yard.
Now that you’ve measured your yard, let’s use a example of 5,000 square feet. If the fertilizer you choose to purchase says that it covers 2,500 square feet – then you’ll need to purchase two of those bags. And, spread them evenly across your yard.
You can choose between two different methods. First, you can look at the back of the bag and read the spreader setting. Set the spreader to that setting, and spread it out evenly across the yard.
If you don’t have the type of spreader that is listed on the bag, you can use an alternative way to spread the fertilizer. Or, if you want to make sure that you get a uniform application across the yard, then you should set the spreader setting down low, and pour the proper amount of fertilizer that you need in the yard. In this case, we’re going to use two bags. Pour that into the spreader, and spread it out across the yard evenly in a grid pattern. When you run out, then you’ve covered the whole yard.
This feature story prepared with Rodney St.John, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Turfgrass. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.