Lawn fertilizer can provide three essential nutrients that your grass needs: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Nitrogen makes the grass grow and gives grass its green color. Nitrogen also supports more density, thick shoots, and sturdy growth, creating an environment that naturally fights off insect pests.
Potassium enhances your lawn’s ability to resist disease, drought, wear, and cold weather.
Phosphorus encourages strong grass root growth.
Most fertilizers contain all three of these nutrients, but in differing amounts. The amounts are reflected in a three-digit number, such as 30-10-10, which indicates the percentage of each element in this order: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Different blends serve different purposes. For example, more potassium is good for winterization. The factors you need to consider in choosing a fertilizer are grass type, climate, season, and soil type.
Fertilizers are available in granular (slow and fast-release) and liquid form. Liquid fertilizers act fast and require application every two to three weeks. Granules, which can last eight to twelve weeks, are dry and require that you water the lawn immediately after their application.
You can also choose between synthetic and organic fertilizers.
Synthetic fertilizers are manufactured chemically. These engineered fertilizers offer immediate release of nutrients and penetrate the soil quickly. However, they are not natural, and may have toxic side effects. Synthetic fertilizer needs to be applied more often, as results don’t last long, and can also burn your lawn if not applied properly.
Organic fertilizers are made from once-living organisms and their bi-products. Examples of organic fertilizers are compost, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, super phosphate, and manure. Because they lack some added ingredients to slow the nutrient release, you may have be apply organic fertilizers more frequently.
In summary, when choosing a lawn fertilizer, consider the current nutrition of your lawn, how much money you want to spend, how much labor you want to invest in application (initial and repeats), and your personal preference.
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