Fertilize for Your Lawn Appropriately for a Lush Green Bed
By Sadiya Anjum
Most people believe that fertilizers are quite unnecessary for lawns as the eco-system is sufficient to promote the healthy growth of grass. Soil which is rich in nutrients may again not require fertilizers especially if your lawn is already healthy and thriving. But the truth remains that due to construction or landscaping, over time the soil gets depleted of many of its nutrients. In cases like this, fertilizers may be essential to promote healthy growth of the grass.
Fertilizers are basically nutrients that help in the growth of plants. Before you buy a fertilizer for your lawn, you need to first determine certain things. You need to examine the soil for the various nutrients present and this can be done by a simple pH test. Most nutrients that are required for the growth of grass are present in the soil except may be for Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus. These three elements promote the growth of the roots and shoots, density, resistance to disease and weather conditions, and they also make the grass green in color. You are the only person to determine if your lawn really needs a fertilizer or if it is too healthy for any extra nutrients.
If you establish the need for a fertilizer, find out the type of grass and soil, climatic conditions and the season in which you want to fertilize. These will help you choose the various kinds of fertilizers available. Fertilizers for lawns are composed of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus in different proportions. For instance, 20-10-5indicates the percentage of each of the above components in their respective order. The rest of the fertilizer may be composed of other elements like magnesium, iron, calcium etc.
Since each of the three basic components perform specific functions (eg. Nitrogen promotes the growth of shoots, Potassium provides resistance, Phosphorus helps the roots), the type of fertilizer you choose will depend on the type of grass, soil, climatic conditions, season etc.
Apart from the composition of fertilizers, you need to consider the type of fertilizer you are going to use. You can choose from different options: granular and liquid, synthetic and organic. Granular fertilizers are dry and easy to use. They are further divided as slow release and fast release. Applying granular fertilizers (slow release) will discharge the nutrients slowly over a period of time. This means you may have to apply it once in six months or so, making it convenient for you. Fast release granular fertilizers work in the same manner but at a quicker pace and are just as easy to use. Liquid fertilizers are in the liquid form and you require a spray bottle to use this fertilizer. The liquid fertilizer holds the advantage of supplying nutrients immediately to the soil unlike the granular which release the nutrients slowly.
Synthetic fertilizers are made from chemicals and affect the soil immediately. Even though they make the lawn green really quickly, synthetic fertilizers should be avoided. Most believe that chemicals will ruin your plant life. Organic fertilizers are made of dead organisms and are perhaps the safest kinds of fertilizers you can use. Since they are made from natural by-products they will not be harmful.
Read the instructions carefully before using any fertilizer as they do have the potential of damaging your lawn if not used properly. Fertilizers if used too generously or inappropriately can severely damage your lawn. Therefore care must be taken to choose the right fertilizer and use the appropriate methods for application. To obtain best results, you can hire a professional contractor to help and guide you.
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