What Is Spoon Feeding a Lawn? And Should You Spoon Feed Your Lawn?

It’s every homeowner’s dream to maintain a lush green lawn. While there are dozens of lawn care practices to achieve that dream, spoon feeding is one of the most effective methods. When spoon feeding, you aim at providing your lawn with just what it requires to be healthy.

But what is spoon feeding lawn, and how should you do it? Thankfully, this article explores everything you need to know about spoon feeding a yard to keep it green and beautiful throughout the season.

What Is Spoon Feeding Lawn?

Spoon feeding lawn is the act of adding small amounts of fertilizers to your turf on a regular basis. That’s unlike the standard application method involving a large dosage at once. With spoon feeding, you can choose the fertilizer needed and measure the amount required at the moment.

The process allows you to avoid peaks and valleys associated with the standard application of fertilizers. After examining your lawn, you can know the nutrients it requires to grow healthy and strong. Most homeowners prefer to spoon feed their lawns during spring and fall when growing a thicker lawn.

Keeping your lawn healthy and vibrant during spring can help it survive the harsh summer months. You can also continue spoon feeding through summer when your turf requires less Nitrogen.

Smaller, more frequent applications allow your lawn to have a consistent supply of nutrients to help it grow healthier and more robust. While it might seem time and energy-consuming, spoon feeding benefits outweigh the downsides.

The process allows your grass to absorb nutrients throughout the growing season. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the risks of burning your yard with excess fertilizers or overwhelming your turf with lots of nutrients.

How to Spoon Feed a Lawn

Before you start spoon feeding the lawn, there are certain things you should put into consideration.

Step 1: Test the Soil

First, test your soil to determine the nutrients it lacks. Testing is a great way to help you use the right amount of fertilizers with the essential nutrients. If you don’t have what it takes to test your soil, take a sample to a nearby extension service office for a complete nutrient analysis.

Step 2: Purchase the Correct Lawn Fertilizer

After testing and knowing what your turf needs, purchase the correct fertilizer with all the nutrients needed. Remember, using the wrong fertilizer might burn your lawn or hamper growth. It’s also a waste of money and time.

The most popular fertilizers for lawns are organic and slow-release fertilizers. Most gardeners prefer using organic fertilizers since the soil absorbs them slowly, allowing your turf to absorb the right nutrients.

Step 3: Prepare the Needed Tools

With the correct fertilizer, you next require the necessary tools. Your objective is to use tools to make your work easier and more effective. A handheld spreader can come in handy if you’re spoon feeding over a smaller lawn. On the other hand, a sprayer can be a better choice for more extensive lawns.

If you’re spoon feeding your lawn with Nitrogen, you need to understand the right amount and how to spread it evenly.

Final Step: Spoon Feeding N

When looking for a fertilizer with the right amount of Nitrogen, you will either find Urea containing 46% N or Ammonium Sulfate containing 21% N. Spoon feeding N involves calculating the value of Nitrogen your turf needs.

The process involves fertilizing your turf with smaller amounts of N per 1,000 square feet. A standard application uses 1 lb. of N per 1,000 sq. ft.

With spoon feeding, you should use less Nitrogen – usually half or less than half of N per 1,000 square feet. For example, you can apply between 0.1 and 0.5 lbs. of the product per 1,000 square feet.  

Aerate your lawn by mowing and raking before spoon feeding. Mowing and raking remove the excess/unwanted plants so the fertilizer can reach the soil easily.

If you’re using a spreader, put the right amount of fertilizer, depending on your lawn size. Spread the fertilizer evenly across your lawn, ensuring to fertilize the whole yard. If you’re using a sprayer, fill it with one gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. Allow the fertilizer and water to mix and start spraying across your lawn.

Water your lawn a day before spoon feeding it. You want to ensure the soil is moist before applying your fertilizer. After spreading your fertilizer, gently water the lawn. This process ensures the soil absorbs the fertilizer. Water will also activate the fertilizer to give your grass the required nutrients.

Wear protective gear like an overall, a pair of gumboots, rubber gloves, a mask, and eye protection while spraying your lawn. Allowing the fertilizer to come into contact with your skin may irritate.

How Often Should You Spoon Feed Your Lawn?

Most homeowners prefer spoon feeding N during the spring, summer, and fall months. The frequency of spoon feeding lawns might vary from person to person. For some people, spoon feeding is something they do weekly or biweekly. The weather will largely determine how often you spoon feed your yard.

However, avoid spoon feeding your lawn more than necessary. You don’t want to overwhelm your turf with a large amount of fertilizer. If unsure, consult your local lawn care professional about the type of fertilizer to use and the frequency of spoon feeding your lawn.

Can You Spoon Feed With Milorganite?

Spoon Feeding With Milorganite

Milorganite is suitable for people interested in spoon feeding their lawns with a low-release fertilizer. Milorganite has 6% of slow release and non-burning Nitrogen. When used to spoon feed, it allows a steady supply of essential nutrients to your turf.

To spoon feed your lawn with 0.1 lbs. of N per 1,000 sq. ft., you should apply 1.7 lbs. Milorganite per 1,000 square feet. Using Milorganite is a great way to ensure you’re providing your lawn with nutrients throughout the season without burning it.

Below are other application rates you might consider depending on the amount of Nitrogen your turf requires:

  • 0.33 lbs. N requires 5.5 lbs. Milorganite per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • 0.5 lbs. N requires 8.5 lbs. Milorganite per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • 1.0 lbs. N requires 17 lbs. Milorganite per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • 1.5 lbs. N requires 25 lbs. Milorganite per 1,000 sq. ft.

Before applying these rates, conduct a soil test to determine the amount of Nitrogen your turf needs. You can also observe to see if your turn needs spoon feeding. Often, you’ll use varying rates when spoon feeding your lawn during spring, summer, and fall.

Milorganite contains 4% organically complex iron that enhances greening. You can rest assured of a lush green lawn when you regularly spoon feed it with the required amount of the product. And since Milorganite is a slow-release product, it minimizes environmental risks since nutrients don’t reach the underground water.

Why Should You Spoon Feed Your Lawn?

Spoon feeding your lawn comes with several benefits. Let’s see why it’s well worth the effort.

  • It improves the beauty of your lawn throughout the season.
  • Your turf has a steady supply of nutrients.
  • Spoon feeding reduces the chances of wasting fertilizers.
  • Spoon feeding reduces fertilizer burns.
  • Delivers adequate nutrients without overwhelming your turf.

Final Thoughts

Now you have the answer to the question, what is spoon feeding lawn? Unlike the standard application of fertilizers, spoon feeding provides your lawn with smaller amounts of nutrients regularly. These smaller, more frequent applications allow your turf to get the required quantities of N for a lush green and thick lawn.