How To Fertilize a Lawn
Why do I need to fertilize my lawn?
Your lawn takes nutrients out of the soil and uses them to aid growth. If your soil lacks adequate nutrients your lawn will suffer. First, as you probably know, fertilizing makes your lawn greener. Most people fertilize to green up the lawn but they don't know much more than that about why to fertilize.
Fertilizers can include chemicals to inhibit or kill weeds. However, a healthy lawn can actually can keep weeds at bay on its own. A healthy lawn competes with weeds to grow and will win when it has the right conditions.
Another reason to fertilize is that when the nutrients are available, the lawn develops healthier roots. Healthy roots grow deeper. Deep roots can better draw upon water and nutrients in the soil. Furthermore, deep roots reduce thatch and browning. Finally, fertilizer contains nutrients that grass needs to resist disease and drought.
Why are there so many different fertilizers?
The three primary nutrients in a fertilizer are Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. Each element has its own affect upon grass. Nitrogen stimulates grass growth and greening. Phosphorous stimulates the development of roots and seedlings. Potassium promotes disease and drought resistance.
As the weather changes, your lawn has changing needs. In the heat of the summer, your lawn needs water and little else. In order to survive the cold weather, your lawn needs to have healthy roots and so a fertilizer to promote root growth should be applied before the cold weather sets in. At other times of year your lawn needs nutrients to enable growth and greening. Finally, various weeds have their own growing seasons. In order to give your lawn the edge over weeds, you should fertilize at the beginning of the various weed growth seasons.
Where you live, the type of grass you have, the condition of your soil and the weather all affect your choice of fertilizer and when it should be applied. You also have a choice of organic fertilizer, liquid fertilizer, which is sprayed on, or time released granules which are distributed with a spreader. All of these factors result in the many choices of fertilizer.
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