Chemical Lawn Treatment


Your lawn will not remain healthy unless you frequently maintain the lawn. Part of lawn maintenance is ensuring that the lawn has adequate nutrients, an appropriate pH level, and protection from pests and weeds. Homeowners have many chemicals available to them that can keep lawns healthy. Some gardeners do not support chemical fertilizers because they can disrupt the ecosystem and instead prefer organic methods. However, chemicals can have a place in lawn maintenance if used properly.


Plants need nutrients so that they can carry out a variety of physiological processes. Normally, these plants collect the nutrients from the soil through their roots. These nutrients come from naturally decomposing materials and sometimes from soil carried by the wind. However, plants do not always have all of the nutrients that they need in the soil. Therefore, you can add the needed nutrients to the soil for the plants, oftentimes in the form of chemical fertilizer.


Fertilizer is one of the most common types of chemical applied to soil. Fertilizer provides plants primarily with the essential nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Plants with no access to these nutrients will not grow very well and might not survive. Chemicals commonly used to provide nutrients to the lawns include urea, ammonium, phosphates, and potassium chloride. You may need to apply lime to your lawn to increase the soil pH. Soils with higher pH have greater alkalinity, while soils with lower pH have greater acidity. Grass needs soil at a pH of 6.5 to 7, and lime can raise this pH level. Excessive rain can lower soil pH by leaching out calcium, magnesium and potassium. Also, nitrogen fertilizers can increase the acidity of soil. Apply lime only after performing a soil test that indicates the soil has a low pH.


In addition to not having enough nutrients, other organisms that would like to eat the plant or steal its nutrient resources come into the garden. Plants often have some natural defenses for some of those threats, but they can become overwhelmed. Luckily, homeowners have chemicals that can protect plants from these threats.

Killing Pests and Weeds

Pesticides protect lawns from harmful insects. Lawns normally do not need pesticides if you take good care of the lawn by watering it regularly and making sure that the lawn has optimum nutrients and pH. However, some pests might attack lawns, creating brown patches Some plants grow where you do not want them. These plants will not only look unsightly but can also harm the lawn. However, gardeners often worry that herbicide applications will harm the lawn as well as the weeds. Whether the herbicides harm the lawn depends on if you use selective herbicides. Selective herbicides can stunt and kill other plants, but do not harm turfgrass. You should use contact herbicides on annual weeds and you should use systemic herbicides on perennial weeds. Contact herbicides damage the weeds when touching them, while systemic herbicides enter into the plant and destroy the plant from within. When killing weeds in a lawn, gardeners usually use glyphosate, a chemical that inhibits the weed's ability to create various proteins.


Pesticides can poison family members and pets if not used properly. Therefore, everyone should stay away from the area where the fertilizer was applied. Learn what you can about the herbicides applied to your lawn. Herbicides can also poison humans and wildlife if used in large quantities. Additionally, some herbicides can remain in the soil for a long time and can kill wildlife over a long period.

Keywords: lawn maintenance, ph level, organic methods, potassium chloride

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.