Lawn fertilizer is an essential part of maintaining optimum turf grass growth. It is available in several different forms and provides the nutrition necessary for the health of the lawn.
Lawn fertilizer adds essential nutrients to the soil to establish and promote the healthy growth of turf. It is sometimes mixed with specialized herbicides to suppress the growth of weeds and further strengthen the grass.
Lawn fertilizer is comprised of three basic nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen encourages bright green color and vigorous growth, phosphorous increases root formation, and potassium helps turf grass synthesize chemicals and process other nutrients.
The three basic types of lawn fertilizer are fast-release, controlled-release and winterizer. Fast-release fertilizer quickly adds nutrients into the soil, controlled-release fertilizer releases the nutrients over a long period and winterizer fertilizer is applied just before winter to increase cold-tolerance.
Lawn fertilizer should be applied to turf grass during mid-fall to provide proper nutrition prior to winter and boost growth in early spring. Turf grass fertilized during fall will also be hardier during summer and more resistant to drought and disease.
Lawn fertilizer can cause groundwater pollution when applied excessively. A soil test can indicate the amount of fertilizer needed to supplement the soil and reduce the chance of ecological damage.
- University of Illinois Lawn Talk: Choosing Fertilizers for Home Lawns
- University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension: Fertilizing Lawns
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About this Author
Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.