Fertilizing is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lawn throughout the year. When selecting a fertilizer for your lawn, you may have noticed that there are many types available. Understanding these various options and what will work best for your lawn can help you achieve optimal results for your landscaping efforts. Knowledge of the correct time and amount of fertilizer to use can also help you reap the most benefit from fertilizing, but selecting the best type of fertilizer is a great starting point.
Performing a quick soil test on your lawn or garden to determine the pH is the best place to start. The pH of the soil will affect the ability of the grass to use the nutrients in the soil and fertilizer. The optimal pH level will be between 6.0 and 6.5, while any amount below 5.5 or above 7.0 is considered problematic for growth. pH levels below 5.5 are considered acidic and can be combated with an application of lime. For amounts higher than 7.0, the soil is in alkaline condition and will need an application of sulfur. Determining the pH level of your lawn’s soil can be easily accomplished with an electronic device or can be performed by your landscaping company.
Fertilizers are mainly composed of three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These are often referred to collectively as NPK. Fertilizers on the market will typically be marked with a number indicating the percentage of these materials. Paying close attention to these numbers can help you choose a fertilizer that best fits the needs of your lawn.
Nitrogen promotes rapid growth in grass and a lush, vibrant color. Phosphorous helps grass to develop healthy roots, and thus this ingredient is more essential for starting lawns than for maintaining established ones. Potassium boosts disease resistance and helps grass to withstand drought and adverse temperatures. By selecting a fertilizer with higher levels of a certain material, a lawn can have bolstered growth, endurance, or other aspects.
Many types of fertilizer that offer additional benefits or unique formulas will indicate this on the packaging, such as weed or insect control. Paying close attention to your lawn and its particular struggles will help you choose the most beneficial fertilizer. If you’re unsure of what your lawn needs, you can always consult a lawn care professional to assess your lawn and offer advice on the best fertilizer for you.