Why do you need to fertilize your lawn? It’s simple. Water-soluble nutrients in the soil are pulled out by your lawn to feed the plants. Other nutrients are washed away by rain or irrigation. As a result, you are left with an unhealthy soil that makes your plants susceptible to diseases. If you wish you grow a healthy, nourished garden you need a healthy, nourished turf. Replenishing the soil with fertilizer can help do the needful.
The trick is to know the type of fertilizer for your lawn. That’s a more complex story. Fertilizers come in a huge variety that leaves a homeowner confused. Bags of fertilizer in a store carry complicated names and number ratios that can leave you puzzled. Let the professionals at Grand Oak Loan simplify the terms for you.
Fertilizer Nutrients and Ratios
Fertilizers are typically made up of three different nutrients:
- Nitrogen: Your lawn needs a high amount of nitrogen to stay green and healthy. Nitrogen promotes the production of chlorophyll that is crucial for photosynthesis and leaf growth in plants. A good way to add nitrogen to your lawn is to mulch it with grass clippings after mowing. Try not to leave piles of clippings behind. Keep enough to nourish your lawn.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorous helps plants produce new roots, seeds, fruits and flowers and fight off diseases but it is required in fewer quantities than nitrogen.
- Potassium: Potassium helps create strong stems and healthy roots. It also helps your lawn resist diseases and drought but is required in lesser quantities than nitrogen too.
The numbers on the fertilizer bags are the percentages of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) or N-P-K ratio. This means that a fertilizer carrying 20-5-15 ratio contains 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous and 15% potassium, apart from other trace elements.
How to Apply Fertilizer to Your Lawn
Fertilizer can be applied in two forms: granular and liquid. It is hard to say which is more suitable because each has its pros and cons.
- Liquid Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizers need to be diluted in water before spreading over the lawn with an applicator. They are fast and the result is visible in a few short weeks, but they are easily leached out when applied in high doses (washed out from the soil).
- Granular Fertilizer: You can apply granular fertilizer with a rotary spreader. They do not need to be applied too frequently but the results are visible only after a long time. There is less chance of the fertilizer washing out of the soil. However, granular fertilizers are more expensive than liquid ones.
Purdue University’s Department of Agronomy recommends homeowners to fertilize the soil lightly in the spring and early summer. The fall time requires a heavier application. It usually takes not more than 20 minutes. Use a lawn spreader to spread it out (or rotary spreader for a larger lawn). A drop-spreader is effective to target smaller areas. Never use your bare hands. Turn the spreader off when you reach the end of the lawn and scoop up the leftovers into the bag.
If all this sounds tedious, we agree that it can be. Just count on professional experience and knowledge to make things easier for you.
Grand Oak Lawn and Landscaping
We have been serving Brampton, Caledon and other communities in the GTA since 1984 with the purpose of offering outstanding quality and customer service to help you create beautiful lawns and flowerbeds. Moisture and nutrient retention is important to ensure that your garden does not dry out. We take every measure to ensure your yard is in the best condition through spring, summer and fall. Call us to employ our services for fertilizing, mowing and more.