Why Fertilizer is Important for Lawn Health
Fertilizer is an essential part of lawn maintenance, and several types of fertilizers are on the market. These include organic and inorganic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are made from natural materials and contribute to soil nutrition. Common examples include compost, alfalfa, and manure. On the other hand, inorganic fertilizers are synthetically produced and provide your lawn with a specific amount of nutrients based on their chemical composition.
Potassium is one of the essential nutrients for lawn health. Its role in plant growth is vital, and a deficiency in the micronutrient can result in leaf yellowing, defoliation, and other symptoms. In addition, a lack of potassium can lead to slow growth, poor root and stem development, and reduced resistance to environmental changes. This mineral also helps maintain the turgor pressure in plant cells, which makes them more resistant to drought and disease.
Potassium fertilizer is best applied in the spring and fall to promote a healthy lawn. A soil test should be done before fertilization to determine the fertilizer used. According to the University of Purdue, a property with a potassium level between 0 and 25 ppm should receive six pounds of muriate of potash. As the ppm level increases, the amount of fertilizer should decrease. A lawn between 25 and 50 ppm requires four pounds of fertilizer, and one pound of muriate of potash is recommended for a property with 100 ppm.
The amount of potassium in the soil can vary, depending on the depth of the earth. The upper layers usually contain higher levels of potassium than the lower layers. Your local agricultural extension office can perform a soil test. Collecting a soil sample at least three inches in depth is recommended.
Choosing the right fertilizer to fertilize your grass is essential for your lawn’s health. The fertilizer you use depends on the amount of nitrogen your property requires. Quick-release nitrogen fertilizers are an excellent option for newly established lawns and young plants. However, you should be careful when selecting a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer for your property. Some varieties can cause harmful chemical reactions when applied to the lawn. In this case, you should contact an experienced lawn care service so that your yard does not become damaged.
Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers are another option. They are also water-insoluble in nitrogen and can sustain growth for up to three months. Adding phosphorous to the fertilizer will encourage healthy roots. Phosphorus is supplied as phosphate (P2O5) and does not leach through the soil like nitrogen. However, some areas have banned the use of phosphorous fertilizers.
A way to add slow-release nitrogen to your lawn is through grass clippings. Clippings are a great source of organic material for the soil and can be composted. You can mulch your property with a mulching mower to minimize yard waste and prevent water runoff. However, you should avoid applying more than a half-pound fertilizer per square foot. Using too much will damage the lawn.
If your lawn lacks nitrogen, it will become yellow and thin. It may also become covered in weeds. Without nitrogen, plants will have a hard time growing and will start to die. The first step in repairing a lawn’s health is recognizing the symptoms. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can address it effectively.
Whether you choose synthetic or, organic fertilizers depends on what you think is best for your lawn. Many organic fertilizers are designed to stimulate microbial activity. The microbes that live in the soil are essential for plant health. Without these microbes, plants cannot survive. A soil test can tell you the level of organic matter (O/M) in your lawn, but it doesn’t tell you how much of that O/M the soil microbes consume. Organic lawn fertilizer contains fresh organic matter that helps to keep soil microbe populations high.
Using organic fertilizer on your lawn has many benefits. Not only does it add essential nutrients, but it also helps improve soil structure. Calcium is a crucial mineral that improves soil structure. It acts like a sticky sap, binding clay particles, and organic matter together, enhancing drainage and providing a holding place for nutrients.
Organic lawn fertilizer can save money on maintenance and is safer for your family and the environment. It also lasts longer than non-organic fertilizers. Natural fertilizers are slow-release and will dissolve in the soil with water. However, it is possible to over-fertilize organic lawn fertilizers. It is essential to check the label on any organic fertilizer product to be sure that it’s certified organic.
Organic fertilizer can also be made from animal manure. Goat and rabbit manure are excellent sources of organic lawn fertilizers. Ensure that you use a product close to a slow-release formula and avoid using a fertilizer with too much phosphorus.