Saturday, 30 June 2012

Lawn Fertiliser Types

All lawns require a balanced fertiliser program in order to maintain good health and vigour. If a lawn is deficient in nutrition then the quality of the lawn will suffer. Lawns that receive the correct amounts of nutrition are green and healthy with a tight knit sward. They are able to suppress and withstand many common diseases.

Lawn and turf fertiliser's contain 3 key nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Each of these nutrients has its own benefits on the grass plant.

  • Nitrogen (N) - This is the most important of the three key nutrients. Nitrogen is applied at regular intervals when grass growth is active, during the spring and summer. Nitrogen gives the grass it's deep green colour, and encourages strong consistent growth. Nitrogen should not be applied during the autumn and winter as it can encourage lawn diseases, such as fusarium patch disease. Unlike many other nutrients, nitrogen is leached through the soil quickly and repeat applications are necessary during the summer.

  • Phosphorous (P) - Phosphorous encourages a healthy root system. This encourages earlier growth during the spring. The grass is also able to withstand stressful conditions such as drought. More resources and nutrients can be tapped into, due to the healthy root system, resulting in a healthier lawn.

  • Potassium (K) - Although not as important as the others, Potassium helps harden the grass plant. This helps during times of plant stress and especially with drought tolerance and disease resistance.

  • A fertiliser that contains just 1 key nutrient is known as a straight fertiliser, a fertiliser that contains 2 or more is known as a compound fertiliser. Sometimes a fertiliser that contains all 3 key nutrients is known as a complete compound fertiliser.

    Fertiliser Types:

    Conventional and slow release fertilisers

    There are two types of fertiliser available, conventional and slow release lawn fertilisers.

    • Conventional release - A conventional release feed simply releases the nutrients to the grass plant quickly, and the grass takes them so as long as they are available in the soil. The main disadvantage with a conventional feed is the nutrients are used quicker. These feeds also produce an initial surge of growth, gradually tailing off until the nutrients are depleted.

    • Slow release - A slow release feed releases the nutrients gradually, over a longer period of time. Slow release feeds have a greater longevity and the growth is generally more consistent and even. In some cases this type of feed can nearly last an entire growing season. The main disadvantage of a slow release is the cost, compared with a conventional feed.
    Fertiliser Applications:

    Depending on whether you are applying a liquid or a granular feed will determine what method you use to apply fertiliser to the lawn.

    • Liquid feed application - There are basically two choices if you are applying a liquid feed to your lawn. You can use a sprayer or a watering can. Follow the manufactures product application instructions for the best results.

    • Granular feed application - Granular feeds can be applied by hand or by a spreader. For the best results use a fertiliser spreader. Like all lawn care products it is important to apply them evenly and at the correct rate. This is especially true of granular fertilisers, if they are not applied correctly they can scorch and kill areas of the lawn which can result in patches. Again follow the manufactures product application guidelines to avoid any problems.

    At Mighty Mow we can fertilise your lawn and recommend what lawn fertiliser type is necessary to keep it at its peak all year round.