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Different types of lawns have different fertilising needs, but one thing is for sure: fertilising your lawn is one of the most important parts of lawn maintenance. Unfortunately, many people overlook this crucial activity, and it is one of the most common reasons for poor overall lawn health.
Why Fertilising Lawn With Essential Nutrients Is Important
Lawns need a variety of macronutrients in large amounts) and micronutrients (required in small amounts) to stay healthy and perform necessary plant functions. The primary macronutrients crucial for plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These macronutrients are often deficient in soil and are typical ingredients in all fertilisers. Micronutrients, also known as trace elements, include boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, and zinc.
Lawns that aren’t fertilised rely on the nutrients that already exist in the soil, and unfortunately, the soil in most homes these days tends not to have a great deal of nutrients. Fertiliser fills the gaps in the soil's nutrient profile and ensures your lawn gets everything it needs to be healthy.
The Best Ways To Fertilise A Lawn
Fertilising your lawn is just about the easiest task imaginable. There are two ways to go about it: using a hand-held fertiliser spreader or simply using your hands.
The goal is to spread the fertiliser evenly, whether you’re using pellets or liquid fertilisers. Then, thoroughly water the lawn to allow the nutritious fertiliser to soak deep into the soil and encourage the roots to grow and strengthen.
If you’d like to see how we do it in under two minutes, feel free to watch our video.
What To Fertilise Your Lawn With
Synthetic fertilisers contain inorganic chemicals. These chemicals provide the nutrients your lawn needs but do not provide any benefits to the soil itself, and can sometimes even be detrimental to soil quality if applied incorrectly.
Synthetic fertilisers come in liquid or granular form. The most popular form is granular, as it is easy to apply, requires only basic equipment, and lasts a long time in the soil. We recommend you use a hand spreader when applying synthetic fertiliser to ensure even coverage.
Organic fertiliser is made up of naturally occurring biodegradable materials, such as animal manure, compost, mineral deposits, and seaweed. These lawn fertiliser ingredients help improve soil structure and increase water-holding and nutrient-holding capacity. They don’t cause leaching or kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil as synthetic fertilisers sometimes do.
When Do I Fertilise My Lawn?
Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo should be fertilised every ten weeks, Eureka Kikuyu Premium VG and Tif Tuf every three months, and Sir Grange every four months. Additional fertiliser applications can also be used to boost lawn health, help it recover from winter or traffic, or increase self-repair.
What Is The Best Lawn Fertiliser?
If you’re looking for the right fertiliser for your new lawn, we recommend you use Oxafert. This controlled-release fertiliser has a fantastic balance of nutrients to suit our Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Tif Tuf, Sir Grange, and Eureka Premium VG lawn varieties. Simply place the Lawn Solutions Fertiliser in your hand spreader, spread it over the entire lawn area, and then water it in thoroughly.
Lawn Tips: Four Frequent Fertiliser Fails
Fertilising your lawn is a pretty straightforward job, right? Buy fertiliser, dilute it if it’s liquid, spread it out, and water it if it’s granular. Actually, there’s a little more to it, as you’ll know if you’ve ever applied fertiliser only to find that a few days later, your healthy lawn looks horrible!
Where did it all go wrong? Here are some of the usual mistakes.
1. Too soon
‘This fertiliser does nothing!’ could be the mantra of the overkeen gardener! But it’s probably not the fertiliser that’s the problem – it’s the timing of application.
If you apply fertiliser during cold weather – that is, anytime the soil temperature is consistently below 14°C – you’re pouring good lawn food (and good money!) down the drain. Do not fertilise your lawn in winter; grass must be out of its winter dormancy and actively growing before it will benefit from a dose of fertiliser. We recommend you fertilise lawn areas in early spring and summer. Applying fertiliser at the right time of year will ensure you get the most out of your lawn.
2. Too much
Can you over-fertilise your lawn with necessary nutrients? Absolutely. Over-fertilising your lawn will cause sudden growth of leaves and thatch. However, this rapid leaf growth is not matched by equivalent root growth, so you’ll be left with a root system that cannot supply the lawn with all its water and nutrient needs. And this is not the only problem.
As fertiliser is primarily made up of mineral salts, excessive fertilising will also cause a buildup of salts in the soil, which encourages water to be retained in the soil rather than being absorbed by the roots. This dries out your grass, causing discolouration or, in severe cases, even death of the lawn.
Finally, although nitrogen is an essential nutrient for lawns, excessive nitrogen can kill the microbes that support healthy grass, resulting in burnt grass.
Signs you may have over-fertilised your lawn include:
- Browning leaf tips and yellowing lower leaves (‘fertiliser burn’)
- Darkened, weakened roots
- A salt-like crust of fertiliser on the soil surface.
3. Too erratic
The method of application is just as important as the fertiliser itself. Chuck fertiliser about willy-nilly, and you’ll end up with a lawn that looks like it’s been maintained by a goat! Instead, apply fertiliser as you walk systematically back and forth across the lawn to ensure a uniform spread. For granular fertiliser, it is best to use a spreader. For liquid fertiliser, use a watering can.
4. Too strong
Fertiliser concentrate that has not been adequately diluted can kill the microbes that keep the grass healthy, resulting in grass burn. Liquid fertiliser can be diluted appropriately before application, but granular fertiliser is different.
Granular fertiliser must be watered in after application to make it soluble. This is why those in the know often fertilise just before rain is forecasted. But be careful not to apply it if you expect a deluge of rain, as too much rain will wash the fertiliser away. Apart from the fact that your lawn won’t get the full benefit of the fertiliser, this can be harmful to the environment.