You don't the permission to view this video

A thick green lawn requires proper care and the right nutrients at the right time during the growing season. Get your lawn off to a great start this spring by watching this video and learning the tips and techniques of spring fertilizing that will ensure a season of lush, green grass.

Read Video Transcript

Looking out over your lawn, what do you see? Do you see a lush carpet of thick green grass that looks like you could play 18 holes on it? Or does it look more like that lawn down the street with all the dandelions and creeping Charlie choking out the last few blades of grass? More than likely, it’s probably somewhere in between.

To get a fairway-quality lawn doesn’t require a degree in horticulture. What it does require is your attention, some good advice, and giving it the right nutrients, at the right time.

Today we’re going to talk about feeding your lawn, and what type of fertilizer you should consider putting down in the spring. We’ll also talk about how to apply the fertilizer using a fertilizer spreader. Then we’ll discuss some basic safety considerations and clean-up procedures to make sure the fertilizer stays on your lawn and doesn’t wash away. So let’s get started.

This time of year, it’s popular to apply what’s called a pre-emergent fertilizer. This is basically a fertilizer with a herbicide mixed in that prevents certain weed seeds from germinating. If your lawn is prone to crabgrass, a pre-emergent fertilizer application in early spring will help stop these unsightly lawn weeds before they ever get started.

We’ll start by pouring the fertilizer into the spreader. Then we’ll look on the back of the packaging to determine what setting the spreader needs to be set at. The setting determines the rate of application, and it’s different for different types of fertilizer. So check the back of the bag first before spreading the fertilizer.

We’re using a spreader made by the manufacturer of the fertilizer we’ll be spreading, which helps make it easy to find the right setting. We’re also using what’s called a broadcast spreader. This type of spreader has a rotating wheel under the hopper that turns by a gear to throw the fertilizer out in front of and to the sides of the spreader.

This particular model has a plastic guard that when engaged keeps the fertilizer from being thrown to one side. This helps keep the fertilizer off of sidewalks and out of the road, where it can wash into the sewer system.

We’ll start by doing the perimeter of our lawn. Always start the spreader moving before depressing the fertilizer spreader lever. Then, release the lever right before you come to a stop at the end of a row. This will keep the fertilizer from falling out of hopper and onto the ground during a turnaround.

After making our way around the perimeter, we’ll do long strips back and forth, slightly overlapping our spread. Use the last row’s wheel tracks as your guide. Don’t overdo it. It’s like medicine, more isn’t better. It’s getting the dosage right that makes the biggest difference.

For best results, work in the direction of the longest run of your lawn. That will minimize the number of turns you have to make.

When we’re finished spreading the fertilizer, now it’s time for cleanup. First, even though we took precautions to keep the fertilizer off the sidewalk, always go back and sweep any fertilizer off of driveways and sidewalks back onto the lawn. This will keep it from washing off into nearby waterways or sewer systems, which isn’t good for the environment.

Then, we’ll pour any remaining fertilizer from hopper back into bag being careful not to spill any on the lawn. Too much fertilizer in one spot can burn the lawn and kill the grass.

We’ll also hose down our spreader on the lawn to keep it off of sidewalks and driveway. Give the spreader a good washing from top to bottom. We’ll want it to be clean the next time we use it.

There you have it. Now your lawn is well on its way to staging a comeback that will have everyone in the neighborhood green with envy.

If you have questions about this or any other home improvement project, be sure to read our list of Frequently Asked Questions for this video. And be sure to print out our Project Instructions, which includes a Tools and Materials checklist, before visiting your local independent home improvement retailer. That’s where you’ll find all the products and helpful advice to complete your project. If you’re not sure where to find your local store, check out our Store Locator.

Good luck with your project and thanks for watching.

Read Video Transcript


  1. 1.choose fertilizer

    Use a pre-emergent fertilizer. This prevents certain weeds from sprouting while letting grass grow.

  2. 2.pour fertilizer

    Pour fertilizer into the spreader. Change the spreader settings according to the back of the fertilizer bag.

  3. 3.start at perimeter

    Start at the perimeter of your lawn.

  4. 4.continue

    Work in long strips going back and forth.

  5. 5.sweep

    Clean up: Sweep off sidewalks and driveways to prevent fertilizer from entering sewers.

  6. 6.pour back

    Clean up: Pour remaining fertilizer back into the bag.

  7. 7.wash off spreader

    Clean up: Wash off the spreader.


Project Faqs « back to project

How much ground will lawn fertilizer cover?

Lawn needs are usually based on nitrogen needs and vary from 1 to 6 pounds needed per 1,000 square feet per year. Specific amounts depend... More »


How often should I apply fertilizer to my lawn?

You should feed your lawn every six to eight weeks during the growing season. This usually means April, June, August and October, but your lawn may... More »

I want to fertilize my lawn and prevent crabgrass, but I just spread grass seeding on my lawn. What should I use?

There is a product specially formulated as a pre-emergent that prevents crabgrass but allows grass seed to... More »

I’ve heard I need to mix both brown and green materials in my compost pile. What does this mean?

Brown ingredients are carbon-based materials, such as dried leaves. Green ingredients are nitrogen-based materials, such as fresh grass clippings.... More »

How thick of an EPDM rubber roof do I need?

For most applications, a 40 or 45 mil roll is sufficient. Use a thicker 60 or 90 mil if the roof will be in an area where you need good puncture... More »

I used a shade-tolerant grass seed in a shady area, but the seeding won't grow. What's going on?

Make sure you keep this area well watered, and do not cut it as short as the rest of the lawn. In addition, rake the leaves in the winter. If you... More »

Is one thick coat of blacktop sealer just as good if not better than two thin coats?

No. In fact, two thin coats are always better. Thick coats lead to problems such as tracking, cracking and... More »

I have some bare spots in my lawn. What do you recommend for starting grass growth?

There are lawn patching products that are specifically formulated for these situations. It is a mulch that contains seed and fertilizer.... More »

What is a good all-around, multi-purpose fertilizer?

A 12-12-12 helps promote growth and is good for all vegetables, flowers, fruit and nut trees, shade trees, evergreens and shrubs. A 1-1-1... More »

Can I use soil from my garden to grow pots in containers?

Not by itself. Garden soil has a lot of great trace minerals that are good for growing plants, but it doesn’t have the proper drainage... More »

« back to project

Comments (0)