To maintain a new lush green lawn it’s going to need feeding as grass is a living plant, and plants just like us need food, nutrients and water. But surely nature takes care of that for us doesn’t it?
The answer to that is yes to a degree, but your lawn has an enemy, and one that is destructive and very damaging, and that enemy is us. We can be our worst enemies for our lawns.
In nature plants spread their seeds, those seeds germinate in the soil, they grow and they die, that’s the basic lifecycle of plants including grass. So that plants grow up strong and healthy they need food and nutrients, and they get those from the soil through their root systems. And the nutrient in the soil comes from the dead and rotting plants, which are natural compost and nutrient rich.
Then we come along, and because we don’t like the look of dead plants we dig them up or remove them, we mow them back and remove the clippings and we trim the edges to make things look neat, but by doing so we are interrupting the natural lifecycle, robbing the soil of nutrients, and damaging the health of our lawns. This often starts as we prepare the ground for a new lawn.
The way we combat that is to replace the nutrients with a fertilizer, which adds back into the soil the three main nutrients that are lost through our pruning, and they are Nitrogen, Potassium and phosphorus.
Why does the grass seed need these elements?
- Nitrogen. – This is the number one element of the three, it makes your grass grow thick and strong, it creates an environment that is healthy for the roots and gives your grass that rich green colour.
- Potassium. – Potassium helps the Nitrogen to create tough, durable leaves and roots. It also helps to give your lawn the ability to fight off disease and to resist drought and cold.
- Phosphorus. – This is the underground worker and helps to develop strong root growth.
The best time to fertilize your lawn is during its growing season, when it’s at its most active, and that depends on the type of grass seeds you use. If you have cool climates type of grass then its best to use fertilizer in the spring and fall, after the heat of summer and before winter dormancy. For warm climate grass, the ends of spring and at the end of summer are the best.
Fertilizers come in four basic types.
- Granules. – This is the most popular and easiest to use.
- Liquid. – Often comes as a concentrate that needs mixing with water.
- Synthetic. – A chemically manufactured product.
- Organic. – Uses natural ingredients.
The choice of which type of fertilizer you use is an individual one, just use what best suits you.
Every lawn is unique, and if you want it to look its absolute best then using a fertilizer 4-5 times per year will keep it looking at its best.