Knowing how to pick the right fertilizer for your lawn is the first step towards a lush and green lawn. You’ll need more than just a good lawn mower to keep a well-maintained and attractive lawn outside your business premises, though a good lawn mower and lawn care specialist always helps.
Without proper fertilization, and without overseeding and other specialist lawn care tricks, your turf can quickly become patchy, brown, and unhealthy. And, without a good fertilizer, your lawn also becomes more vulnerable to pests and fungi.
At Earth Development, we provide comprehensive commercial lawn maintenance and landscaping services. We also provide a wealth of information to readers right here on our website, so in this piece, we will explore the best type of fertilizer for lawns, how you can choose the right one, and other steps you can take to ensure your lawn stays healthy.
What Makes A Complete Fertilizer?
There are many different types of lawn fertilizer out there, but a complete fertilizer depends on three important nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. They might sound like something from a science experiment in school, but these three nutrients are key for good lawn growth.
Nitrogen is what promotes healthy stem and leaf growth, giving your lawn the best chance of growing thick and strong in the spring and summer months. The phosphorous also aids with the growth of your grass, particularly aiding in the growth of the stem. It also hastens the maturity of your grass and is very good at staying in the soil. Nitrogen, however, is more easily flushed through the soil.
As for the potassium, this is key for helping gross grow strong roots that can properly absorb nutrients from the soil. It also serves as a balance between the phosphorous and nitrogen, helping plants make the most of the natural chemicals to grow strong.
All types of organic lawn fertilizer focus on these three natural nutrients, and when one is lacking, it can cause a real imbalance in the soil. For this reason, you must ensure your fertilizer includes these three nutrients while also maintaining the proper balance between them. That means you need to know the N-P-K numbers!
What are N-P-K numbers?
Knowing the N-P-K numbers is a key part of knowing how to choose a lawn fertilizer. These numbers determine how effective a fertilizer can be, or even how ineffective they can be.
Each fertilizer you’ll find available for sale will show you the ratio contained within it on the back of the back. The numbers show the percentage of potassium, phosphate, and nitrogen. A bag that reads 30-10-20, for instance, will mean that it consists of 30% nitrogen, 10% phosphate, and 20% potassium.
You might be wondering why fertilizers change this ratio if the numbers can be wrong – and that’s a good question. The answer, however, is that every law needs something different. With each nutrient offering different benefits, it’s up to you to find a ratio that suits your lawn.
How Do I Choose the Right Ratio?
Choosing the right ratio depends on the current health of your lawn. Here are some general rules to stick to.
A Healthy Lawn
For an established and healthy lawn, choose fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen but lower in phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen is the least expensive nutrient of the bunch, and an established and healthy lawn doesn’t need as much potassium or phosphorous.
A New Lawn
For a new lawn, phosphorous and potassium are much more important. Go easy on the nitrogen as the roots aren’t ready to handle a lot of top growth yet. So choose a fertilizer that’s low in nitrogen and high in potassium and phosphorous. It’s usually more expensive, but it’s important for new turf.
A Stressed Lawn
If your grass is dealing with stressful conditions, then an increase in potassium can help prevent that stress and prepare grass to be stronger. Choose fertilizers with high nitrogen and potassium, but lower in phosphorous.
Different Types of Lawn Fertilizers
Once you’ve mastered NPK numbers, you also need to ask yourself, “what type of fertilizer should I use on my lawn?”
There are lots of kinds of lawn fertilizer to choose from, and they include:
- Weed and feed
This is a mixture of nutrients as well as weed-killing chemicals that keep your lawn free of pesky weeds and plants.
- Synthetic fertilizer
Synthetic fertilizer is designed for quick results and can help with pest control, but it consists of man-made chemicals.
- Liquid fertilizer
Liquid fertilizer is water-soluble and can be spread across the lawn using a hose.
- Gradual release fertilizers
Gradual-release fertilizers are made of slow-release formulas that prevent important nutrients from being washed away and quickly flushed through the soil.
- Time-release fertilizers
Time-release fertilizers only need to be used once over long-periods of time, keeping grass healthier for longer and requiring fewer feeds.
- Granular fertilizers
A granular fertilizer comes in granule form and is easy to spread across the soil.
Not Sure Which To Choose? Leave It To Earth Development
Knowing how to pick the right fertilizer for your lawn can be complicated. That’s why businesses throughout the Midwest and beyond trust contractors from Earth Development with the task. Our teams of local experts offer landscaping and lawn maintenance services, boast years of experience, and know precisely what kind of fertilizer your lawn needs based on its current condition and health.
For businesses, our service is extremely convenient. We’ll keep on top of your lawn while you do what you do best.
For more information about how we can help, to learn more about our seasonal packages, or to get a free quote, pick up the phone and give us a call today!