Lawns in Wilmington, DE can wither and dry up even with proper watering if they do not get sufficient fertilizer. Most lawns require nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. However, the proportion in which they need these minerals as well as the quantity of the fertilizer required depends on the soil type. The first step to fertilizing your lawn is assessing the soil quality. You can get the soil tested at any of the state horticultural laboratories or do it yourself using a test kit. This will help you determine the quantity of fertilizer necessary. The most economical and organic fertilizer for your lawn is mulch. Simply leaving the grass clippings after mowing your lawn will help improve the nitrogen content inexpensively. One can also use chemical or synthetic fertilizers. These are marked with three sets of figures signifying the volume of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus they contain. Typically, the lawn needs half the amount of potassium as nitrogen and only quarter the amount of phosphorus. You need to use a fertilizer formulated for lawns. Excessive application of chemical fertilizers can cause grass burn and other issues. Chemical fertilizers are also classified as slow release or quick release. Slow release fertilizers are not water soluble and release the chemicals over time, ensuring that the lawn looks astounding for a longer time. Quick release fertilizers are water soluble, make the grass look green quicker, but are not effective in the long term. They are less expensive than the slow release fertilizers. Apart from knowing how much fertilizer you need to spread, you also need to know when to spread it. In general it is not advisable to apply the fertilizer in the growing season. This is because the grass will in any case grow quickly at this time. Instead you need to apply the fertilizer in fall. This will help in ensuring that the grass continues to thrive during the winter months and is lush in the spring. Depending on the fertilizer as well as the soil conditions, you need to apply it once a year or two or three times in fall. The actual frequency, the fertilizer required, and the amount needed can be determined with the help of your local lawn care center. Incorrect or excessive application of fertilizer on lawns can lead to excessive growth of weeds, grass burn, or fast growth of grass needing frequent mowing. While applying fertilizer is essential for effective lawn care, you need to consult with a lawn care expert who can help you determine the best time and type of fertilizer for your lawn. This depends on the grass you are using, soil conditions, and the local climate.