How to Fertilize Your Lawn by Hand

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Hand fertilizing is a useful technique on small lawns.
Hand fertilizing is a useful technique on small lawns. (Image: Maria Teijeiro/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The challenge in applying lawn fertilizer by hand is to get an even distribution of the product over the grass. When applied unevenly, fertilizer can cause striping or splotching on the lawn or can create burn patches when applied too heavily in one spot. This can be overcome with careful hand application and using only the proper amount of fertilizer for the size of your lawn. Safety measures for yourself and the lawn should be followed to make the process successful and trouble-free.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Granular lawn fertilizer
  • Water
  • Hose or sprinkler

Choose a time to fertilize your lawn when the grass blades are dry so that the granules will fall down between the blades to the thatch and soil surface, thereby reducing risk of chemical burn to the lawn.

Don a pair of garden gloves to protect your skin from the fertilizer chemicals and residual dust.

Determine the proper amount of fertilizer for the acreage of lawn you have by consulting the label on your fertilizer product. Then cut this amount in half so that with making two passes over the lawn you will administer the full recommended dose.

Start at one end of the lawn and while walking at an even pace, scatter the first half of fertilizer granules evenly over the entire lawn.

Pivot 90-degrees from the direction of travel on the first pass. Make a second pass over the entire lawn again to evenly distribute the second half of the fertilizer.

Water the entire lawn area well to wash the fertilizer off the blades and down to the thatch and soil and into the root zone.

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