The 6 Best DIY Lawncare Products for Beginners

Whether you’re a new homeowner and need to learn more about lawn care or have just decided you want to take charge of your lawn, there are lawn care products for beginners like you. You can do your own research, set up a plan and a schedule and either go to your local hardware store or order products online. If you go this route, you will need a soil testing kit, a pre-emergent herbicide, granular or liquid fertilizer, and seed. You will also need a spreader for granular fertilizers and seeds.

The other choice that works especially well for beginners is signing up for a subscription service that will do a lot of the research and planning work for you. Most subscription services customized the products and application schedule for your region and needs. They provide clear instructions and a lawncare maintenance schedule to help you get a green and healthy lawn. Here are six lawn care products and services that work well for beginners:

1. Mysoil Soil Testing Kit

soil testing kit

Knowing about your soil is vital to choosing the best fertilizer. For example, some soil may be too acidic or lacking certain nutrients. Fertilizing your lawn with either granular or liquid fertilizer is necessary for a thick green lawn, but you could save money if you first test your soil. There are a lot of differences in what fertilizers can do with their different nutrients and chemical mixes. Use a lawn soil test kit to determine what your lawn needs.

My Soil is a soil testing service that will provide a testing kit through the mail. It provides a link to a reporting interface where you enter information about your soil sample, like the registration number, sample type (vegetable garden, flower garden, lawn, etc.), and date. You get detailed instructions on how to collect your sample correctly. They suggest, for example, using multiple sample areas for larger properties. The steps include the following:

  1. Use either a clean soil probe or a hand trowel to collect soil from between five and seven spots in your yard.

  2. Soil samples should be from the surface down to a depth of 6 inches (0-6”).

  3. Place the soil in either the MySoil box they provide, a clean plastic bag, or a clean bucket.

  4. You then mix the soil thoroughly, breaking up large soil chunks

  5. Using the scoop from the kit, place one level scoop into the jar containing DI water and nutrient adsorbing capsule.

You mail the container back to MySoil, and your results appear on their website within 6-8 days. The company makes fertilizer recommendations, and you can then decide on the best fertilizer for your soil’s needs.

2. Andersons Barricade Herbicide

lawn herbicide

Fighting weeds after you have them is harder than preventing them. An effective way to control weeds is by blocking germination with pre-emergent herbicides. You apply the product in the spring as soon as soil temperatures reach 50 degrees. By applying a pre-emergent herbicide, you will prevent crabgrass, clover, and other weeds like Poa annua.

Anderson Barricade Herbicide is easy-to-use and a good all-around pre-emergent herbicide. Just drop it into either a handheld or wheeled spreader according to the directions and apply. You activate the herbicide by adding ½ inch of water within 14 days. It contains—48% Prodiamine as the primary ingredient, which prevents the germination of most grassy and broadleaf weeds. 

3. Milorganite Nitrogen Fertilizer

milorganite fertilizer

Preventing weeds is great, but your lawn also needs nutrients which means fertilizer. See the information about soil testing before choosing a fertilizer. You can choose either granular fertilizer or liquid. Granular fertilizer is easy to apply and has the advantage of feeding your lawn over time. You should use different formulations for different lawn stages and seasons. Use a hand-held or wheeled spreader, following the manufacturer’s directions regarding the rate and timing. Wheeled spreaders can be easier for beginners.

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer (6-4-0) is a granular, slow-release, organic fertilizer. It’s mistake-proof, so a great choice for beginners. It contains 4% iron which helps deliver the nice deep green grass you want. It does more than feed the lawn. It also promotes microbe growth which helps promote long-term lawn health.

4. CoRoN 18-3-6 Plus Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer is the other option. It’s also pretty easy to apply by either using a pump sprayer or using your garden hose. With the hose, it’s just like watering your lawn by hand. With liquid,  or what’s called foliar feeding, you get instant nutrition and results. Foliar feeding means you apply the fertilizer directly to the blades of grass.

CoRoN 18-3-6 Plus 0.5% Liquid Lawn Fertilizer is a professional-grade product The 18-3-6 formulation greens your lawn without the growth surge you get with some other liquids. So, no extra mowing is needed. The nitrogen in this product is from controlled-release methylene ureas; This product is great for beginners looking for a low-maintenance yard that still looks green and lush.

5. Lawnifi

lawnifi products

Lawnifi is a lawncare subscription that delivers care and maintenance products on a schedule. You get everything you need, from nutrients to weed and pest prevention products. The Lawnifi annual bundle is priced between $599 and $699, depending on your grass type. You must tell your grass type, and they offer solutions for:

  • Zoysia Grass
  • St. Augustine
  • Bermudagrass
  • Centipede
  • Bluegrass,
  • Fescue

Here’s what you get with a subscription:

Insect Prevention Products

Some insects can do a number on your lawn. The turfgrass pros at Lawnifi choose the most effective insect prevention and control products for each season and grass type. These products prevent lawn-eating bugs like mole crickets, chinch bugs, billbugs, grub worms, sod webworms, fall armyworms, and others from destroying your lawn.

Weed Prevention & Control

You can prevent weeds from invading your lawn by applying pre-emergent herbicides. Lawnifi professionals deliver their best prevention products for your grass variety to your door every spring and fall season. The herbicides will stop invasive weeds like crabgrass, dandelion, goosegrass, clover, purple deadnettle, and others from crowding out your grass and consuming the nutrients and sunlight your grass needs.

Disease Prevention & Control

You may not realize it, but lawns get diseases. To prevent them, you get solutions to apply that will keep your grass healthy. Prevention is important because once you have a disease outbreak, irradicating it and reestablishing your healthy lawn is more complicated and costly. Lawnifi will send you the products and instructions to prevent disease.

Lawn Food

Feeding your lawn can be the most important step. You will receive a Lawnifi fertilizer box with nutrients specifically designed for your yard needs each season. Your package will contain three bottles of liquid fertilizer that you can easily apply using your own garden hose. The unique nutrients are powered by Catalyst Technology, using nano-sized particles that are easier for plants to process.  

6. Scotts Elite Spreader

lawn spreader

You will need either a hand-held or rolling spreader if you want to use granular fertilizer, but you will also use one of the others to seed. The type you push can be much easier to use accurately. You simply set the distribution rate and roll the spreader back and forth at a steady pace. It’s a good investment for anyone interested in maintaining a healthy, good-looking lawn.

Scotts is known for its lawn care products, and the Elite Spreader has several advantages. This spreader has a 6-foot spread pattern, which saves tons of time and effort. It holds up to 20,000 square ft of seed or fertilizer at a time. The dual rotor technology also provides unbeatable accuracy. The handle is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. It even holds your smartphone for you. The tires are durable, never-flat tires that work on various terrain. If you live in northern states, you can also use the spreader to distribute salt over snow and ice in winter. The spreader must be assembled, but it takes about 15 minutes at maximum.

Beginner Lawn Care Simplified

Whether you are a first-time homeowner or someone who has just been a mow the lawn and forget it before now, if you want to begin caring for your yard, you may not know how to start. Experts recommend starting by accessing your current lawn. Do you have bare spots or lots of weeds? Do you know what kind of grass you have or how the soil stacks up? Once you have accessed current conditions, make a plan that includes weed control, fertilizing, mowing, and watering.

Some of the products and services listed here can help get you started. Going the Lawnifi subscription route can greatly simplify the process and eliminate confusion. They just deliver the products to apply to your lawn when you need them. You will need to provide some tools like a hose and spreader yourself, but you can get expert advice whenever you need it. Use a soil analysis service to see what fertilizer might work best for you. If you decide to manage everything yourself, choose products and establish a schedule to apply them by researching your local climate and grass-type requirements. 

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