All plants, including grasses, need certain nutrients to grow and sustain life. Most plants and grasses don’t naturally produce enough of the nutrients they need to thrive. That’s where lawn fertilizers come in. They provide a complementary source of nutrients.
With so many types of fertilizers on the market, how do professionals choose the best fertilizer based on the grass you have on your lawn? This guide will give you an overview of the fertilizer fundamentals and the key considerations for choosing the proper fertilizer.
Understand the Numbers
If you look at a fertilizer label, you’ll no doubt notice three digits printed on the label. Known as the NPK ratio, the numbers represent the percentage of the basic nutrients—Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium—the fertilizer contains. For instance, a fertilizer listed with an N-P-K of 15-0-7 has 15% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus, and 7% potassium.
Generally, nitrogen produces leafy growth in plants and helps green up your lawn. Phosphorus strengthens plant roots, so newer lawns may require a higher percentage of this nutrient over older, well-established ones. Finally, potassium keeps plants healthy and balanced, enhancing their overall growth and guarding against disease and drought. Depending on the climate you live in and the turf you have, one combination will be better than the others.
Lawn care professionals can determine what nutrients your lawn needs and recommend fertilizer N-P-K values based on a soil analysis. Turfpride Lawncare will evaluate your grass species to ensure you get a fertilizer with the optimal nutrient balance for your specific needs.
Select Your Type
Once we’ve ascertained the best NPK ratio for your lawn, Turfpride must now decide between an organic or synthetic fertilizer. Each option has its pros and cons. Synthetic fertilizers work to deliver fast results. Unfortunately, they have a reputation for burning (killing) grass if improperly used and can pose health risks and environmental damage if they leach into the local water supply.
On the other hand, living organisms form the basis for organic fertilizers. While they may take a while to work their magic, they have low environmental and health risks.
Find Your Formula
Fertilizers come in either liquid or granular form. Liquid fertilizer may come as either a fluid that requires dilution in water or a powder to which you should add water. It can pose an environmental risk if it contaminates the local water supply and requires more frequent application than granules.
Nevertheless, granular fertilizer delivers quick results, so experts recommend using it sparingly and only when you need rapid fertilization.
Granular fertilizer works in a slow-release fashion, taking up to a month to deliver results. It poses far less of a health risk overall and requires less frequent follow-up. If you can wait a few weeks for your lawn to green up, granular fertilizer may generally provide you a better option.
Do you need help fertilizing your lawn? Trust TurfPride Lawncare for all your lawn care needs. Call us at 770-590-7200 to schedule an appointment today or contact us here.