Monday, April 11, 2011

Swing Into Spring Part 2 With KeyRingThing & Loew's

Last week, we told all of you how your KeyRingThing card could help you get rid of clutter in your wallet and how to save money at Home Depot. Well we caused quite a kerfuffle by not detailing how you could do the same at Loew's! We heard from so many of you that we are happy to give you Spring Into Spring Part 2-For all you Loew's fans out there.

First let's talk about two types of cards that Lowe's offers it's preferred customers. Add the barcode of either to your KeyRingThing card and start shopping.

The Lowe's Credit Card offers exclusive special financing offers, low monthly payments, online account management, and a wide range of credit lines-making it perfect for everyday purchases.

The Lowe's Project Card offers you a financing option for projects and major purchases made at Lowe's. The card offers low monthly payments, and online account management. You will open a Project Window online and, after your initial purchase of $1000 or more, you'll enjoy a 6-month purchase period with only minimum payments and no interest accruing.

There's even a handy online tool to pick which card is right for you. Try it out here.

Both cards are a big help when you start to tackle your Spring projects. If one of those is to finally take care of that tired lawn, here's a helpful article from Loew's for you:

Fertilizing Your Lawn

Fertilizing is the best way to ensure that your lawn will be healthy and weed-free. It's easy to do once you determine the proper type of fertilizer to use. Lowe's has all the information you need to choose the correct fertilizer.

Why Fertilize the Lawn?

Your soil supplies some of the nutrients that turfgrass needs but most soils are not able to provide all of them during the entire growing season. A healthy and actively-growing lawn uses a great deal of energy. Fertilizer helps your lawn stay healthy by:

  • Promoting new leaf and root growth.
  • Aiding in recovery from foot traffic and pest damage.
  • Reducing and controlling weeds.
  • Replacing nutrients lost to leaching, volatilization and grass clipping removal.

Types of Lawn Fertilizer

Fertilizer is available in two main types - liquid and granular. Choose the one that meets your lawn's needs in the form that is easiest for you to use. Liquid fertilizers are fast-acting. Since they are quickly absorbed, they require application every 2-3 weeks. Most are mixed with water prior to application with a garden hose attachment. Granular fertilizers are applied with a spreader and must be watered into the grass. Granular fertilizers are easier to control because you can actually see how much fertilizer you are using and where it is being dispersed. Granular fertilizers are produced in two different formulations, quick-release and slow-release.

Quick-Release and Slow-Release Fertilizer

Quick-release fertilizer typically lasts for three to four weeks, depending upon the temperature and the amount of rainfall. For general use, these water-soluble nitrogen fertilizers (WSN) are also known as commodity or field grade fertilizers. There are two main types of slow-release fertilizers, known as water-insoluble nitrogen (WIN), available for specific applications.

Sulfur coated, which lasts for about 8 weeks and Polymer coated, lasting about 12 weeks. Both time estimates may vary depending upon the amount of rainfall. To avoid unwanted growth stimulation, do not apply slow-release fertilizer late in the growing season.

Weed and Feed

Weed and Feed is a common term which refers to fertilizer that contains weed killer for broadleaf weeds such as dandelions. Pre-emergents, such as those commonly used to prevent crabgrass, are weed killers which must be applied before the weeds germinate. They are ineffective if the weeds are already actively growing. Pre-emergent weed killers are often mixed with fertilizer and are designed to be spread in early spring. Crabgrass normally germinates when the ground temperature reaches 60ー F - the ground temperature at which dogwood trees start to bud and forsythias begin blooming.

The weed killer in post-emergent types of fertilizers are contact killers, and are effective only if the weeds are already actively growing. They will not kill weeds which have not yet germinated. Timing of the application of pre-and post-emergents is critical for success. Applying these products too early or too late is essentially a waste of time. Read the package carefully before selecting to be sure which product fits your needs.

How to Read a Fertilizer Package Label

The three numbers (often called NPK) on a fertilizer package tell you the percentage of the base elements nutrient makeup by weight. These percentages in fertilizer compounds are formulated for everything from asparagus to zinnias. The three main components are:

  • Nitrogen (symbol N) for leaf development and vivid green color.
  • Phosphorous (symbol P) for root growth.
  • Potassium (symbol K) for root development and disease resistance.

For example, a bag marked "16-4-8" contains 16 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphorous and 8 percent potassium. The other 72 percent is usually inert filler material, such as clay pellets or granular limestone. To know how much of each is in the bag, multiply the percentage by the size (weight) of the bag. (Example: a 50 lb. bag of 10-10-10 contains 5 pounds each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium)

There may also be secondary elements such as calcium for root growth, magnesium for sugar formation, and sulfur for green color. The minor elements that may be present are zinc, iron, manganese, copper, molybdenum and boron. Don't feel concerned or cheated by the presence of the so-called inert material in the fertilizer bag. Its purpose is to help distribute the fertilizer evenly and prevent chemical burn.

So say adios to winter, grab your KeyRingThing card, and get out into The Great Outdoors. Loew's and KeyRingThing can help you make the most of your time there.

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