VIRIDIS Lawn Care of Salt Lake City wants you to have the most beautiful, healthy lawn possible. Fertilizing is an important part of lawn maintenance. Hiring a professional to fertilize for you is an easy option that insures it will be done correctly but doing it yourself is often more cost effective and some people enjoy being more involved in their lawn’s care. Here are some tips to help you understand fertilizer so you can apply it correctly should you chose to do it yourself.
Fertilizer made for lawn care will include three main ingredients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Three large numbers will appear on the package which represent the percentage of each of these components. They are always listed in this order. The remaining percentage is made up of fillers to help disperse the fertilizer more evenly.
Nitrogen helps grass with above ground growth and greenery. This is often a higher number or percentage on fertilizer specifically made for lawns. Nitrogen leaches out of the soil quickly so the higher percentage helps replenish this important nutrient. However, over use of nitrogen or under watering a recently fertilized lawn can lead to stressed, burned grass. Also, with a new lawn, nitrogen should be a lower percentage than phosphorus because the young roots can’t support a lot of rapid green growth.
Phosphorus aids in growing strong root systems and producing fruits. In lawn fertilizers, this number is generally lower than nitrogen but can be high in lawn starting fertilizers. It typically stays in the soil well so doesn’t need to be high in application to a previously fertilized, established lawn.
Potassium builds strong plant tissue and cells which help the grass withstand temperature changes and other stressors. This number may be high in fertilizer applied in the fall to help the lawn handle the stress of winter better.
A typical bag of lawn fertilizer for a normal lawn should have the highest amount of nitrogen and low amounts of phosphorus and potassium but different situations call for different percentages of each nutrient. Using the correct blend can save you time, headache, expense in the long run.