Proper lawn maintenance is essential for seeing healthy, attractive grass in Lagrangeville, NY. Fertilization is one very important aspect of this maintenance. Here are a few guidelines regarding the fertilization of cool-season lawns:
Why Fertilization Is Necessary
Fertilization keeps a lawn dense and brilliantly green by encouraging its growth and recovery after exposure to stresses such as heat and drought. When applied correctly, fertilizer helps plants to store all the essential plant nutrients they require for growth and recovery. Unfertilized lawns, without this additional boost, cannot tolerate stress as gracefully and will gradually lose density. This makes them vulnerable to infestation by crabgrass and weeds. Periodic fertilization is, therefore, important because it reduces the need to control weeds, pests, and disease. This not only saves you money, but reduces your use of pesticides and other products that may have undesirable environmental effects.
What the Fertilizer Should Contain
It is important to apply strictly those nutrients for which a particular lawn is deficient. The nutrients typically required in large quantities by lawns include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Nitrogen promotes the growth of leaves and maintains their green color. Phosphorus and potassium ensure that roots and stems are strong and are particularly useful when establishing a new lawn.
Even though most plants require these three nutrients to grow, the quantities in which they are required can vary greatly from lawn to lawn. It is, therefore, important to have your soil tested to determine its nutrient requirements. Soil test results also indicate the pH of the soil, which can limit the availability of nutrients to plants if out of balance. Rest assured: Your lawn maintenance company will correct your unbalanced soil pH in addition to beginning the fertilization program.
Related: Using Lawn Fertilizers Responsibly
When One Should Fertilize
A cool-season lawn will benefit most from a large quantity of nitrogen applied in the late summer and through autumn. The nitrogen will promote its recovery after summer, making the lawn greener and more dense, while preparing the grass for winter. What’s more, the fertilizer will achieve all of these effects without instigating a massive surge in growth. Less fertilizer should be applied during spring, when the lawn is growing at its highest rate. If fertilizer is applied, it should be a slow-release variation that will minimize excessive growth. In summer, lawns are watered and mowed more frequently. This frequent nourishment leaves little to no need for nitrogen fertilizer.
How to Decide on a Fertilization Schedule
Annually, the typical fertilization schedule consists of two to six applications of fertilizer. Your fertilization schedule will be customized to achieve your specific goals for your lawn. It can be based on your desire for a lawn of optimal health. On the other hand, it can also be customized to achieve your desired concentration of color. For an incredibly green lawn, more fertilizer will be required in more frequent doses and your fertilization schedule will most likely map out four to six applications throughout the year. However, it is also important to note that the more fertilizer you apply to your lawn, the more often if will need to be mowed. You can reduce your need for fertilizer and, as a result, mowing by opting for a grass variety that is naturally more green.