What’s really IN fertilizer, anyway?

Professional turf-grass fertilization, like proper mowing and watering, is one of three most beneficial things for lawn health. It prevents and corrects more problems and does more to keep weeds off of a lawn than anything else. The University of Guelph’s turf-grass institute has shown that proper applications of high-grade professional fertilizer at the right time of year can keep weeds down to five to ten per cent of what an untreated lawn would have.

We all know fertilizer is food for grass. But not everyone knows how it works or what the three numbers on bags of fertilizer mean, or what the components of fertilizer do for your grass.

The three numbers on fertilizer labels show the percentage of each of the three most important plant nutrients. Those are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). So a 35-5-10 blend is thirty-five per cent nitrogen, five per cent phosphorus and ten per cent potassium.

Nitrogen improves plant growth. On your lawn, it also promotes a healthy green colour, lush growth of mature blades, and rapid growth of new shoots. Vigorous growth  and thickening are the keystone’s of your lawn’s ability to defend itself from weeds and disease and to recover faster from injury. Nitrogen is the most common element in the air we breathe, but it is in a form most plants can’t easily use. Fertilizer provides a ‘fixed’ form of nitrogen that grass plants absorb quickly.

Phosphorus stimulates the growth of new roots and helps with the strength of roots. Our fertilizer is phosphate-free though, because Southern Ontario’s clay soil has enough phosphorus, and adding unnecessary phosphates is not environmentally friendly.

Potassium strengthens the blades of the grass. It helps the grass resist traffic and disease pressure, and reduces moisture lost from evaporation.

Polyon ultra high slow-release granular fertilizer is included in all of LawnSavers packages and can also be purchased separately, starting as low as $50 + tax for a single application.