If you have not applied fertilizer for the summer you should get to it. The goal is to keep the lawn fed through the summer and not to encourage rapid growth. The longer you wait the more critical your fertilizer choice becomes. Nitrogen is the main focus when it comes to lawn fertilizer. There are two basic types of nitrogen, water-soluble (fast release) and water-insoluble (slow release or time release). The most common ways to make nitrogen slow-release are to vary the size of the particles and to put coatings on the particles.
Two of the most recognized synthetic water-soluble fertilizers are 21-0-0 (ammonium sulfate) and 46-0-0 (urea). Both of these fertilizers will yield very fast growth. This type of growth can be good for the spring but not so good for the hotter months. For the summer fertilizer, we should be looking for water-insoluble (slow release) nitrogen. Two of the premier slow release fertilizers we carry are Sperry’s 24-0-0 and Fertilome’s Lawn Food plus Iron (24-0-4)
The nitrogen in all-natural fertilizer are (almost) all slow releases due to the fact that micro-organisms must break down the material before the grass can use it. Particle size also plays a large factor in the all-naturals. Powder fertilizer like Gardenvilles 7-2-2 and Corn Gluten Meal (9-0-0) will have a faster effect on the lawn than a granulated fertilizer like Texas Tee (6-2-4) or a pellet fertilizer like Wells Brothers Dirt Diet (4-1-2). The courser the material the longer the nutrition will last for the grass. As always proper mowing and watering is required to get our lawns through the hellish part of the year.