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What’s In Your Fertilizer?

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What’s In Your Fertilizer?

Using fertilizer can make a huge difference for your lawn; making it greener and fuller. Knowing which fertilizer to use and how to use it safely can be difficult. You want to be sure you’re not wasting your money on the wrong fertilizer and more importantly, you want to be sure you’re keeping your family and yourself safe.

When it comes to choosing a fertilizer, you need to pay close attention to the numbers on the label. Fertilizers have numbers printed on the labels. For a lot of us, those numbers could mean anything but they are actually printed there to help you pick the right one for your lawn’s needs. These numbers tell you how much nitrogen, phosphate and potassium are in the mix.

Nitrogen can help your lawn grow greener, however, depending how much you use, it could also make it grow faster. Experts suggest using 2-3 pounds of nitrogen over the entire growing season or one-tenth per week.

Phosphate is good for the roots of your lawn. It helps it absorb water and other nutrients to keep it growing healthy and green. Phosphorus can be found in the ground but it is used in fertilizer because there is often not enough in most soil to boost your lawn’s roots. Potassium is important to stimulate growth. It also strengthens your lawn and makes it less susceptible to diseases.

When all three, nitrogen, phosphate and potassium are used together, they can really make your lawn the envy of your neighbors. The catch is they have to be used properly and in the right formula. If you get too much nitrogen, you could find yourself up to your knees in grass and not enough phosphate and you could have patchy, brown spots. Knowing the right ratio can be really confusing. There is a lot of math involved. You need to figure out the weight of the entire bag of fertilizer, then from the percentage determine how much weight is actually nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. Then divide that number to determine how much your lawn is getting at any given time. I know what you’re thinking, that sounds really confusing, right? Here’s an example, a mix of 25-5-10 gives you one pound of nitrogen so if you divide that by four weeks, you have about a quarter pound a week, which is two and a half times the recommended amount.

This process can certainly be overwhelming! This is why it can be so much easier to hire a professional who knows and understands best how to apply the right formula to your lawn. They also know which mixtures to use for what times of year. A lawn care professional can also distribute it much quicker and a lot more evenly due to specialized methods and equipment. If you’re not careful, you could end up baling hay rather than a full, green lawn. Contact a professional today for an estimate and save yourself the time and the risk of going cross-eyed from all the math.

 

Originally Published: 10/23/2014