Lawns require fertilizers rich in nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium to remain green, thick and healthy. While many chemical fertilizers are readily available, consider feeding your grass organic or natural alternatives composed of 100 percent natural elements. These fertilizers provide a source of food for microbes and earthworms that feed grass roots and strengthen the grass so it resists weeds and pests naturally. The hazards associated with synthetic fertilizers have led many homeowners to turn to the wide variety of natural ones available.
Due to the recent awareness and trend of "green living," many options for natural fertilizers are available to gardeners instead of traditional cow dung. Fish emulsion (a liquid fertilizer is obtained from fish scraps), bone meal and blood meal are animal-based organic fertilizers while alfalfa meal, corn gluten, seaweed and cottonseed meal are plant-based organic fertilizers.
Blood meal is an excellent source of nitrogen, Bone meal provides phosphorus, and fish fertilizers provide essential micro nutrients, while kelp meal provides potassium.
Natural fertilizers exist in many forms. Fertilizer spikes or sticks that contain compressed organic formulations are inserted into the soil at specified intervals. Granular fertilizers or pellets are spread over the soil by hand or with a spreader and usually require watering immediately afterward, while liquid formulations are mixed into irrigation water or poured directly into the soil.
Upon application, these fertilizers slowly release essential nutrients that the soil of an average lawn lacks, as opposed to chemical alternatives that release the entire nutrients in one go, immediately after application. This difference is due to the fact that organic elements contained in natural fertilizers decompose slowly to promote slow, controlled release of carbon dioxide that is distributed by the roots and starts converting nitrogen into nitrates.
There are several important advantages of natural fertilizers over synthetic ones. Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly into the soil, reducing the chances of over-fertilizing plants or grass. They improve the structure of the soil by improving drainage and air circulation, break up clay soil and increase the water-retention capacity of sandy soils, thus making it easier for roots to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil.
Test the soil frequently to determine what it needs so you use the appropriate fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing on a rainy day as it washes away easily. Spread grass clippings over the lawn as opposed to discarding them after mowing. Rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, they are beneficial for lawn grasses and improve overall health.