We all know what a healthy lawn looks like; it is beautifully green, shiny and luxuriant in spite of lawn mowing and the usual activity it endures on a daily basis. This look requires quite a bit of work and time investment because you’ll have to provide all of the nutrients and minerals that your grass needs which it’s not already getting from the soil. That’s why today we’ll discuss the best lawn fertilizing methods to help you understand what needs to be done to get your dreamed lawn.
The importance of micronutrients and macronutrients
Like any other living organism, grass relies on micronutrients and macronutrients to be healthy and to do what it’s supposed to do. Micronutrients are those nutrients that living organisms need to obtain in small quantities in order to go through all of their physiological functions. In the case of grass, it needs micronutrients such as: Boron, Iron, Copper, Chlorine, Manganese, Zinc, Nickel and Molybdenum; these are, in fact, the essential micronutrients for plant growth and health. Something you should know is that most of these are not included in your average bag of fertilizer.
Macronutrients, on the other hand, are needed in large amounts in order to benefit living organisms; these you can indeed find in your average bag of fertilizer. These nutrients are usually not present in the soil, but they are indispensable for your plants’ growth and health. Some of the essential macronutrients include: carbon, oxygen, sulfur, calcium, hydrogen and magnesium.
What’s in fertilizers?
You’ve probably asked yourself this question before. Well, on the information provided in your bag of fertilizer you’ll see three numbers, these numbers represent the percentage of the three main macronutrients–Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus—present in a given amount of fertilizer. For example, if you have a 30 pound bag of fertilizer and the first number that you see is 20, then this means that there’s 6 pounds of Nitrogen in the bag. If you want to understand this a bit further, there are many resources online that walk you through the different mathematical formulas used by experts.
Types of fertilizers
There are several types of fertilizer, such as: synthetic fertilizer, liquid fertilizer and organic fertilizer. The most common one is the synthetic fertilizer and you can find it in granular or liquid form; granular fertilizers are easier to use, so if that’s what you’re considering then they would be the best option for you. It’s very simple to apply them, all you need is a drop spreader or a rotary.
Then we have liquid fertilizers which happen to be a little bit more difficult to use because there’s complex equipment involved in the process; this is why this type of fertilizer is mostly used by professional companies. If you’re interested, you can find out even more about how the pros grow grass in this professional’s growing guide.
Last but not least, you have organic fertilizers which are packed with micronutrients. They come in different presentations; there are about 25 different products and each of them is ideal for your lawn, they just have different degrees of efficiency and quality so which one you use will depend on the needs of your lawn. It goes without saying that “organic” stands for natural, so there are no synthetic materials involved; that doesn’t mean there’s no processing, though. This type of fertilizer is mostly used gradually because the soil breaks down the organic matter into different elements that the grass then absorbs; it’s also very easy to use and safe. Most of these fertilizers are made of manure or plant byproducts and others are made of sewage-based materials.
There are bridge products out there that contain a combination of both synthetic and organic fertilizers; they’re mixed to various degrees and some of them are meant to work on specific seasons. In case you didn’t know, microorganisms that are found in the soil are dormant during cold seasons and they’re very active in the summer. That’s why these mixed bridge products are meant to give your grass everything it needs during the cold, harsh seasons.
Not all fertilizers are the same though, these are some that are called “all mineral”; this type of fertilizer is activated once you add water and it’s on the cheaper side of the spectrum; a 50 pound bag can cost you only $30.
All that being said, it’s important that you know that the best way to shop for fertilizers is to know your soil and what it already contains so it will be easier for you to choose a fertilizer that provides all of the extra potential that your soil needs.