To Fertilize Or Not To Fertilize Your Lawn
Lawn Care and Landscaping Tips from Lawn Connections
Have you ever wondered “Why fertilize?” or what to look for when it comes to fertilizers and lawn care? Most of us have. But it’s also true, many of us do not know much detail about what fertilizer does, what it is made of, how it works, and the different kinds of fertilizer for different geographic areas of the U.S. Bearing that in mind, let’s discuss what you need to know to help us help you with your lawn maintenance year round.
Why Fertilize Your Lawn?
After we examine your lawn, our lawn care company fertilizes to provide the proper nutrients so the plants grow and develop healthy, based on what type of grass you have and what it needs. When provided proper fertilization, plants grow to their proper size with better foliage, flowers and fruit. They also are able to withstand stress such as drought and heat and be more resistant to disease and insects. However, on the other hand, over fertilization can result in rampant growth that is thin celled and weak. Fertilization also feeds your soil increasing the biological activity in it, which helps to release many nutrients that already occur for the plants. Healthy soil supports healthy root growth, which support healthy plants.
Fertilizers by federal law have to give their analysis on their label. But what does all that really mean? These terms refer to the NPK or percentage of N-nitrogen, P-phosphorous and K-potassium. Let’s break it down so it is easier to understand.
- Nitrogen helps provide dark green color to leaves and stems and helps produce leafy growth. Nitrogen is generally lacking in our local soils and is depleted annually.
- Phosphorous aids in root and flower production and can help with cold hardiness. Phosphorous is usually present in our local soils but needed for seasonal color and vegetable gardens.
- Potassium increases vigor and disease resistance. It allows plants to be stress hardy against drought, heat, cold and insects and disease. Potassium gets used up as plants develop, so replacing it with fertilizer keeps it available. As your soil becomes healthier and higher in organic matter, less needs to be applied.
Now you know about N-P-K, however these elements can come from different sources. So the next question is what do we use and what is best? They can come from organic or synthetic sources and can be slow release to fast acting.
Organic fertilizers derive their nutrients from naturally occurring minerals and animal or vegetable waste. Organic fertilizers are non-burning, slow-release (long lasting) and generally increase biological activity in your soil which in turn releases naturally occurring elements locked tight to the clay.
Organic fertilizers go to work a little slower, so Lawn Connections allows three to four weeks for them to work properly. Organic fertilizers are what we usually recommend most often, especially for new yards. Organic fertilizers activate soil microbes and allow the soil to recover from new development and construction. One last advantage is organic fertilizers improve the plants’ and soil’s ability to absorb and utilize water which is necessary for survival.
Synthetic fertilizers are more generally fast-acting and their nutrients are derived from processed minerals in the form of salts. We recommend extreme caution in using these. They can burn if not applied and watered in properly. Over-application can result in soft, tender growth that is weaker and susceptible to disease, so apply per directions.
We would like to take care of your lawn! Lawn Connections invites you to trust us to look and see what your yard needs. Then, we will let you know and get you on a regular maintenance plan year round to keep it healthy. You know the basics but we are trained professionals and keeping your lawn healthy, beautiful and a pleasure to enjoy are what we do best.