Written by Jayant Row in Landscaping
Viewed by 126 readers since 03-28-2009
Most soils are not fertile enough to supply all the nutrients that plants need. A lawn is just a combination of very small plants each with its own leaf and root structure and if you have a lawn, it almost certainly needs fertilizers and other additives if it has to grow properly. Grasses will survive without fertilization but may not look healthy and green as most of us want our lawn to look.
Lawns can be either low maintenance or high maintenance depending on the soil and the type of grass that is used. But any lawn requires food and water and protection if it has to survive and the food for a lawn comes from fertilizers that have three major elements, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Nitrogen gives grass its greenness and makes it sturdy and dense and thus able to fight off bugs and pests. Potassium toughens the roots and foliage and makes it more resistant to drought and wear and tear. Phosphorus is needed for root growth.
Fertilizers are represented by a three digit number that indicate the percentage of the three basic elements. So a fertilizer may be 30-10-10, which indicates 30 parts of nitrogen, 10 parts of potassium and 10 parts of phosphorus. So once you are sure which element is more required by your lawn, you could buy the type of fertilizer you need. Nurseries could conduct a simple pH test on the soil of your lawn ands advise you of the best fertilizer to buy. Again the timing of the buy will indicate the level of the correct elements. A fertilizer with more potassium is right for preparing the grass for the winter season.
There are also four different forms in which the fertilizers are available. A granular fertilizer will come in the slow release or fast release varieties. They are the most popular form of fertilizers but require spreading by hand. A slow release fertilizer will have an effect for two to six months. A fast release fertilizer will show immediate results, but requires care in proper watering as if this is not done, the grass could burn, or become yellow.
Liquid fertilizers are expensive but comparatively easy to use, as they have to be combined with water by attaching a hose to the spray bottle. Results are immediate, but applications are to be done more frequently. The concentrated fertilizer mixes with the water and gets spread on the lawn during the watering process. An option is liquid organic fertilizers.
Synthetic fertilizers are those that are made from chemicals. These penetrate the lawn quickly and because of this instant release of the nutrient, effects are immediate. They however require constant application and can burn a lawn if not applied properly.
Organic fertilizers are those that are made from waste bio products and living organisms. You can even produce your own natural compost by vermiculture. This requires you to use kitchen waste along with certain living organisms that will break down the waste and convert it to very fine compost. An average household’s kitchen waste is more than sufficient for a medium sized lawn. The compost has to be spread on the lawn with rakes or spreaders and this natural fertilizer will improve the texture and density of your lawn.
Mowing your lawn at correct intervals and leaving the grass clippings on the lawn can be another method of fertilizing your lawn. This would mean that you mow the lawn at more frequent intervals and see that the grass clippings are just enough to be spread on the lawn and do not have to be removed. Mulch mowers are available which would further cut up the grass clippings and spread them on the lawn during the mowing process.
So take your pick of fertilization methods and use the fertilizer you think is best for your lawn, after making a proper study of your requirements. You will have that beautiful lush green lawn that can be your neighbor’s envy.