Just as you should fertilize flowerbeds and vegetable plants, lawns should also be fertilized to keep your grass looking healthy and growing evenly, as the nutrients in your soil can deplete rapidly during the growing season. Fertilizing also encourages your grass to develop strong roots, and balancing the nutrient levels in your soil can reduce weed growth. Here's what you need to know about fertilizing your lawn:
Macronutrients And Micronutrients
Grass requires a combination of macronutrients and micronutrients to thrive. Macronutrients are required in large quantities, and the key macronutrients required in lawn fertilizer are nitrogen for protein synthesis and chlorophyll formation, phosphorus for root growth, and potassium to develop drought resistance. Micronutrients required for a healthy lawn include copper, iron, zinc, and chloride. The composition of lawn fertilizers varies by brand, and if you're not sure about the nutrient levels in your soil, you can have a soil quality test carried out by a lawn care company. This will allow you to select a brand of fertilizer that's right for the needs of your soil, or you can opt to have a custom-mixed fertilizer made that meets the unique needs of your lawn.
Quick Or Slow Release
Lawn fertilizers will either contain quick-release nitrogen or slow-release nitrogen, and both have benefits and drawbacks. Quick-release fertilizers are dissolved in water and applied to your lawn through irrigation. The nutrients are immediately available, so they can be useful when you need to stimulate growth or repair a sun-damaged lawn. However, quick-release products will only fertilize your lawn for a couple of weeks, so they will need to be applied regularly throughout the season. Slow-release fertilizers are effective for a couple of months and they promote uniform growth, which can benefit lawns that have sections of varying maturity. However, the full benefits of the nutrients in the fertilizer are not available immediately, and some brands rely on you implementing a regular irrigation schedule to release the nutrients into your soil over a fixed period of time.
Granular Or Liquid Application
The fertilizer application method should be taken into consideration when choosing a fertilizer for your lawn. Professional lawn care companies can quickly and evenly cover a large area of lawn with a liquid fertilizer, but if you're relying on the use of a watering can or domestic garden sprayer you may struggle to get the results you want and the process can be time-consuming. Granular fertilizers have to be applied with a spreader to ensure even coverage, so you'll either have to buy one or hire one if you decide to fertilize your lawn yourself.
If you'd like to improve the appearance of your grass, or if you're unsure of the right fertilizer to use, ask a local lawn care company to assess the health of your lawn and recommend how to proceed to get the results you desire.