Fertilizing and Aeration
Proper fertilization is essential in maintaining a healthy lawn. However, over-fertilization can weaken a lawn by causing excessive and succulent top growth.
Lawn fertilizers are available in three basic types: synthetic quick-release; natural or organic slow-release; and a slow-release hybrid form that combines both synthetic and natural ingredients.
For moderate, even growth, use a combination of fast acting fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, or urea) and slow release nitrogen sources such as sulfur-coated urea, urea formaldehyde, IBDU or organic fertilizers. Avoid using large quantities of fast acting fertilizers. These fertilizers produce very fast growth for short periods.
Whichever fertilizer you choose, get in the habit of fertilizing routinely. Ideally, lawns should be fed once in the spring just as the grass begins to grow vigorously, and again in the late summer or early fall. At the fall feeding, you won't get the instant green that spring feedings provide, but you'll be keeping your grass healthy because turf grasses have the ability to store food supplies during the winter months and draw from them once they begin to grow in the spring.
Aeration is one of the most overlooked lawn-care practices, yet it improves the health of any lawn, especially those that have been neglected or compacted over the years. This opens up the soil and permits greater movement of water, fertilizer, and air by increasing the speed of decomposition of the grass clippings and enhancing deep root growth. Aeration machines are available for rent or hire from lawn-care services. A lawn might not look like much once it has been aerated, but by watering regularly, fertilizing and re-seeding, it will bounce back in no time.