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Lawn Fertilization

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Lawn Grass

A greener lawn just seems to make you feel better. It makes your home and gardens more beautiful. But how do you keep it green? Just as you and I need our three square meals a day, utilizing all the food groups (of course), a lawn has similar nutritional needs. Your lawn’s needs are simple… it needs nitrogen for lush, green grass, phosphate for strong, deep root development and potash for growth and drought resistance. These elements are known as N-P-K, for Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash… To keep it strait, just remember N (for nitrogen) is for everything above ground (grass, leaf) P (for phosphate) is for everything below ground (roots) and K (for potash) helps lawns interact with the soil. These elements are present in most balanced fertilizer products. The percentage of each element might differ, but these percentages are listed on every fertilizer product. They are the three numbers listed in the formulation; i.e., 25-5-5 would mean 25% of the bag weight would be available in nitrogen, 5% phosphate, and 5% potash.

If you were to buy a 50 pound bag (10,000 sq ft coverage) of 25-5-5 fertilizer, then 25% or 12.5 pounds would be nitrogen, 2.5 pounds would be phosphate and 2.5 pounds would be potash. To finish the equation, you then divide the total pounds by the coverage area. In this case you would apply about 1.25 pounds of nitrogen. An average lawn needs 4 pounds of nitrogen (per 1000 sq ft of M), 2 pounds of phosphate (/M) and 1 pound of potash (/M) annually. Your lawn might differ from the average, but if you are looking for a “green-up” then look for high nitrogen fertilizers. If your lawn seems to wilt under the stress of summer heat waves, consider a fertilizer higher in phosphate and potash.

Most folks like to see a quick green-up, but be careful, as too quick a top growth can occur at the expense of good root development. A good solution to this problem is WIN or W (water) I (insoluble) N (nitrogen). It allows the nitrogen to be released over a longer period of time. It is usually coated so that it is broken down over a natural weathering process.

A great lawn is in the bag… literally. Knowing what’s in the bag should keep you and your lawn in the green! Stop by with any questions.

PDF - Download & Print Gardening Guides – Lawn Fertilization (Download & Print)