Lawn fertilization is one of the most neglected steps when it comes to proper lawn maintenance. Many people feel fertilizing is a completely optional task, but in reality, lawn fertilization can be one of the single most important things you do to promote a healthy, beautiful lawn for your home or business. The correct selection and application of fertilizer is the key to success, which is why many people rely on professional lawn fertilization companies to do the work for them. Before you try fertilizing on your own, or hire a lawn service company to do the work for you, be sure you understand these key aspects of lawn fertilization.
Why Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?
If a friend, neighbor, or lawn fertilizer service has recommended you fertilize your lawn, the first question that probably came to your mind was, “Why?” The answer relates to providing your lawn with the basic essentials it needs for growth.
Just like the human body requires specific vitamins and nutrients to grow healthy and strong, so does your grass. A well fertilized lawn will develop deeper, stronger roots underneath the ground and a visibly healthier appearance above.
The following nutrients are particularly important for your lawn:
- Nitrogen to promote growth and a vibrant green color
- Phosphorous to stimulate root growth
- Potassium to strengthen the cell wall thus helping the grass become more resistant to disease and changing weather conditions
Choosing the Right Fertilizer
Your lawn needs nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium for proper growth. Getting the right combination to match your lawn’s needs is quite tricky, which is one of the key reasons people rely on lawn fertilization companies.
Every bag of fertilizer lists its nutrient components in what is known as the N-P-K ratio, where N=nitrogen, P=phosphorous and K=potassium (this comes from the periodic table of elements, where K is the chemical symbol for the element potassium).
A ratio of 10-10-10 indicates equal amounts (10% of each nutrient); a 21-3-3 ratio indicates a large percentage of nitrogen and a smaller percentage of phosphorous and potassium; a 21-0-0 indicates a fertilizer that only contains nitrogen. There are all sorts of N-P-K ratios for the various types of fertilizer.
To choose the right fertilizer, you have to understand what your lawn needs at that moment. Guessing based on the appearance of your lawn is not a good idea, so lawn fertilizer companies conduct soil tests to assess nutrient status and pH level in order to choose the right fertilizer.
Other factors can also affect what type of fertilizer your need, which is where a professional lawn fertilization company can help. The type of grass, the season, the grass’s life stage and the fertilizer’s form (granular, liquid, etc.) are all factors that fertilization services consider.
How and When to Fertilize
Lawn fertilization is performed using a spreader which is a piece of equipment designed to release the proper amount of fertilizer as you walk the span of your lawn. Instructions on how much to apply are given on the back of your fertilizer bag. Too much lawn fertilizer can actually burn your lawn, so it’s important to use the spreader settings properly.
Lawn fertilization companies can tell you how often and when you should apply fertilizer, but here are the most common times:
- Early spring, as your lawn wakes up hungry from the winter season
- Late spring, when grass is particularly busy and actively growing
- Summer, to strengthen the lawn during months of hot sun and heavy foot traffic
- Fall, when warm days and cool nights provide ideal growing conditions for your lawn.
When to Hire a Lawn Fertilizer Service
As you can see, fertilizing your lawn is not as simple of a task as you might think, which is why people turn to lawn fertilization companies for help. If you don’t have sufficient knowledge when it comes to fertilizing your lawn, it’s best to hire an expert. Professional lawn fertilization service technicians can provide you with quality results as well as save you a lot of time and stress.