Another common lawn care practice is applying fertilizer. Many of us know we probably should, but don’t really know how or why.
Fertilizers have a three number identification system, N-P-K (i.e. 16-16-16). These represent the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potash (K) the fertilizer is made up of. Nitrogen greens your lawn and promotes top growth, while phosphorus keeps your roots strong, and potash builds cell strength so your lawn can withstand drought and foot traffic.
The first thing you need to do is determine what condition your lawn is in now, and what you want to improve.
If you’re laying down new sod, your best place to start is with Greenhorizons’ Starter Fertilizer 10-25-10. It has more phosphorus to help you grow strong roots. Mix it in with the soil before putting down your sod or seeding for the best results.
Greenhorizon’s Green Thumb 16-16-16 is a perfectly balanced fertilizer, with an equal amount of all the elements. We like to think of it as a sort of ‘meat and potatoes’ diet for your lawn; nothing too fancy, just good, healthy ‘food’ for your lawn. It should be applied three or four times a year: early May, late June, early September and early November (this is to help your lawn stay healthy as it goes dormant for the winter).
If you’re happy with how heathy your lawn is, but you really want to get it golf course green, then you can consider the BigYellowBag Professional Grade Fertilizer 30-5-10. This is one of the fertilizers we use on our golf course at Willow Valley Golf Course. It’s a slow release product that should be applied three times a year.
There are a few important things to remember with fertilizer. Some varieties will burn your lawn if you apply too much of a good thing. Some require watering to activate, and others don’t. Be sure to take measurements of your lawn so you know how much to apply, read the directions carefully, and ask us for clarification if you’re not sure – we’re happy to help!