Lawn Fertilizer - Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium

Discussion in 'Lawn Care' started by Frank, May 10, 2005.

  1. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 25, 2005
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    Galway, Ireland
    A small informative article about lawn nutrition:

    Lawn Fertilizer by Linda Paquette

    Let's not talk about lawn fertilizer. Let's talk about air. Air has oxygen and carbon dioxide and a bunch of other elements in it but mostly air is composed of nitrogen. This is good news for your lawn since the other day I read this, "Few soils have enough natural nitrogen to maintain desired turf grass quality and recuperative ability throughout the growing season." However, the good news is that grass is one of the most efficient nitrogen processors on the planet!

    Now, if you want to fertilize your lawn, you can find plenty of information on how to do it from every company that sells chemical lawn fertilizers on the Internet. However, fertilizer is really just a four-letter word— food. Lawn fertilizer, like any other type of fertilizer is plant food. Unfortunately, for your lawn that isn't a dirty word, because lawn fertilizer typically does nothing for the soil. At best, it's only a temporary fix for your turf.

    Fertilizer Facts

    Fertilizers have three major components:
    -(N) Nitrogen: promotes blade growth, forms proteins and chlorophyll (the green stuff)
    -(P) Phosphorus: helps root, flower, and fruit development - the last two are probably elements you don't want to see in your lawn!
    -(K) Potassium: Helps stems and roots grow and helps your grass turn protein into nutrients (photosynthesis)

    In addition, depending upon brand, fertilizers may also contain calcium, sulfur, magnesium, boron, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. At first glance, this looks like a good thing— sort of like a multi-vitamin for your lawn. However, your grass, like any other plant gets its true nourishment from the soil under it. Although excess chemical fertilizers leech into the ground, many of the chemicals they contain do more harm than good to the complex eco-system that provides a continuing source of nutrition for your lawn and ultimately your turf pays the price.

    The truth is that established lawns generally don't need fertilization. If you feel that you must fertilize your lawn, an established organic fertilizer will enrich your soil as well as feed your grass. Don't spoon-feed your turf. Instead, provide your turf with a balanced diet from nutrient rich soil.

    About the Author

    Anita is editor of Facts and Reviews about Lawn Mowers
    and Lawn Care
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