The world of lawn care is full of myths and misconceptions. Among the most common topics that attract myths are fertilizers and how they impact your lawn. As a conscientious homeowner, it is imperative to separate lawn care fact from fiction to make informed decisions on maintaining your landscaping.
Myth: Fertilizer Will Burn Your Grass
Fertilizer burn is the scorching or browning effect on plants caused by excessive nitrogen content in fertilizers or improper application. This causes plants and grass to dry out or even die, leaving unsightly brown patches.
In order to avoid fertilizer burn, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for proper application rates and intervals. In many cases, less is more when it comes to fertilizer. Applying a slow-release granular fertilizer can also help avoid rapid changes in nutrient levels that cause burns while providing the lawn with lasting benefits.
Myth: Organic Fertilizers Are Always Better Than Synthetic Ones
Organic fertilizers are sourced from natural materials like animal manure, blood meal, bone meal, or composted plant material. In contrast, synthetic fertilizers contain identical nutrients but are synthesized artificially in labs.
Organic options offer essential micronutrients which help nourish the soil, but synthetic options act faster as they release nutrients more rapidly and can produce immediate results.
The choice between organic and synthetic fertilizers depends on your type of lawn and the soil requirements. Assessing your soil type through a professional soil test provides valuable information on nutrient imbalances. It helps you identify the right mix of macronutrients, micronutrients, and pH adjustments for optimal growth.
Myth: Fertilizing In The Fall Is A Waste Of Time
Fertilizing in the fall helps strengthen the grassroots for winter to ensure healthy growth come springtime. A balanced nutrient formula that supports root development, such as high phosphorus content, strengthens plant roots before winter, while potassium boosts disease resistance during this vulnerable period.
Applying fertilizer when the grass has stopped growing but is still green allows optimum absorption before the dormancy period arrives. Therefore, you may want to include this step in your general winterization preparations for your property.
Myth: Fertilizer Can Fix All Your Soil Problems
Healthy lawns require healthy soils. Unfortunately, underlying factors like compaction, poor drainage, or mineral imbalances can negate even the most diligent fertilizing efforts.
Different soils have unique compositions that impact nutritional availability. For example, sandy soils with large particles drain quickly but lack micronutrient retention. In contrast, clay-heavy or compacted soils may hold water excessively while preventing oxygen from reaching roots.
Improving soil health starts with understanding your soil type and addressing any underlying issues impacting plant growth. Aeration, adding organic matter, or applying gypsum are steps to improve nutrient delivery.
To learn more, contact a lawn fertilizing service in your area.