Few aspects of lawn care are as important as dealing with fertilization needs. When talking about lawn fertilization, most professionals are referring to preparing the ground to help the grass grow better. Other forms of fertilization, such as for trees or flowering plants, tend to be handled a bit differently.
It's a good idea to learn the basics before starting a lawn fertilization effort. Whether you are digging in as a DIYer or hiring a pro, here are three things you should know.
At the end of the equation, this is all a chemistry exercise. There are three main nutrients you want to put into the ground to encourage grass to grow: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. All three show up throughout the world of organic chemistry, and they can make a major difference in the appearance and hardiness of your plants.
The role of nitrogen is to make sure the grass will be green. It also helps grass grow more thickly and to fill in gaps, making it ideal for treating patchy lawns.
Phosphorous primarily serves to give grass a stronger base. The roots will grow more deeply, and they should end up more thatched. This can help to fix problems with erosion in regions that have loose soil or that experience lots of rain.
Potassium is meant to foster hardiness, although it also promotes some of the same qualities as nitrogen. If your grass has been dying out due to droughts, hard winters, disease, or simple heavy usage, potassium may be the answer. This makes it appealing for getting lawns started and also helping them to recover following construction, remodeling, or landscaping work involving heavy equipment.
How the chemicals are mixed is usually referred to in the lawn care business as the "blend." Blends are noted on fertilizer bags by the n-p-k ratio, respectively referring to the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels.
For example, you might see a bag that says it contains a 30-10-10 mix. Each number is a percentage, and the balance is basically filler. With a 30-10-10 mix, you'd have 50% nutrients and 50% filler. Generally, aggressive mixes should be avoided unless there's a compelling reason to hit the lawn hard with nutrients.
Runoff is the main concern with lawn fertilization. If there are nearby waterways, the nutrients can get in the water and promote the growth of nasty bacteria, fungi, and algae. Limit fertilizer usage and try to keep it from running into bodies of water.
To learn more about lawn fertilization, contact lawn care companies in your area.