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Green On - Lawn Fertilizer Essentials

Feb 26, 2008
There are sixteen essential elements that your lawn needs in order to stay alive and healthy. Many of them are naturally given to the lawn, but you need to be responsible for supplying the other elements. You can do this by adding fertilizer that includes nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

You can't just give the lawn any fertilizer with these, though. You need to make sure it has the proper amount of each element. To know this, you have to understand what each one does for your plants.

Nitrogen is the most important element for your lawn. It is the element that causes the grass to grow. In addition, it makes the grass green. It makes the blades of grass thicker and stronger, making it easier to fight off pests.

Potassium helps to immunity of your lawn. It will help it to resist disease, drought, cold weather, and other hardships.

Phosphorus is used to make the roots of the grass stronger. Most fertilizers have all three of these necessary elements., but they are made with different combinations of them. If you read, 30-10-10 on the package, for example, it means that the mixture contains 30 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium.

There is not just one correct combination to use. There are a variety of factors that can influence which is best. Higher potassium is good to use right before winter, for example. The grass type, climate, season, and soil type are all important to consider when choosing a mixture.

Another way to figure out which mixture you need is to take a simple pH test, so you know what the current levels of the elements are in your lawn.

These different combinations of elements are available in different kinds of fertilizers, including granular both slow and fast-release, organic, liquid and synthetic.

Granular fertilizers are the easiest to use, and are therefore the most popular. It is a dry fertilizer, making it easy to spread. The slow release version can last anywhere from two to six months. It is convenient to have so much time available before you need to apply fertilizer again.

The fast release version is best for cold weather. You will have to be careful to avoid grass burn with this, however. Watering more often will help to fight this.

Liquid fertilizer for lawns needs to be mixed with water before use, because they come concentrated. You can apply the fertilizer by attaching a hose and nozzle to a spray bottle. It is pretty simple to do. The biggest advantage of liquid fertilizers is that the nutrients get right to the roots immediately. You can even mix in herbicides to the fertilizer to do tow jobs at once.

Because of how quickly the liquid fertilizer works, you will have to re-apply more often than you would with the other fertilizer types. Liquid fertilizers can cost you more money, but if you need a way to give nutrients quickly, it could be worth it. Synthetic fertilizers are chemically manufactured, and release nutrients immediately into your lawn. They get through the soil and too the roots quickly, making your grass green. If they are not applied correctly, your lawn can become burnt. Also, the applications do not last very long, so you will have to reapply often. Although synthetic fertilizers work well, they are not natural, which bothers some people.

For a natural alternative, you can use organic fertilizers. They are made from organic material from animals, and are applied using spreaders, rakes, or by hand. The nutrients are broken down and used slowly. The texture, density, and overall health of your lawn will be improved, but this comes at the cost of the smell if it contains manures.

There are many things to consider when choosing which fertilizer to use. You need to know your lawn, it?s current condition, and what it needs to handle the season. You should also take cost and ease of application into account, if those things are important to you.
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