Have you looked over at your neighbour’s lawn and thought “Why is their grass so much greener and thicker”? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most of us want that beautiful, thick, green lawn and it isn’t as hard as you think to achieve it.
We all know that vegetables and trees require water and nutrients to survive and thrive. Grass is no different. Today I want to focus on the fertilizer and weed control. Look back at the mowing height blog and watering habits (coming at a later time).
Let’s start with weed control. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, how much weed control you put down, you need to come to terms with the fact that weeds will appear in your lawn at some point. What we are trying to do is limit how many weeds do emerge early in Spring so we can thicken up the lawn to choke them out. Since the provincial ban on pesticides has come into effect, there are very few pesticides allowed for use. Fiesta is one of those approved and in use by most companies. It is an iron based liquid and is applied directly to the weeds and not broadcast over the entire lawn. It is safe for pets and children which will give you peace of mind. While Fiesta is effective, for best results applying multiple times is required to ensure weeds are knocked out. Combining this with a good fertilizer program will help eliminate most weeds.
Now let’s discuss fertilizer. Just like people, lawns need energy. This is where fertilizers come in. There are many types of fertilizers and we are all familiar with the 3 numbers on the bag or bottle. We know these numbers are important but what do they mean?
Let’s start with the first number. This represents Nitrogen (N). Nitrogen is associated with growth. This will make your grass grow taller, thicker and greener. Generally, we choose a higher Nitrogen number in Spring and Summer but want it to be lower in Fall as we want the grass to stop growing before winter. The second number is Phosphorous (P). Phosphorous is generally associated with blooming. In grasses, we normally do not choose a fertilizer with any Phosphorous in it. The exception is when we are seeding to help promote root growth. The final number represents Potassium (K). Potassium is linked to disease resistance, cold tolerance and also aids in root development. Just as we choose a high Nitrogen number in Spring and Fall, we like to choose a higher Potassium number in Fall. This will help your lawn prepare for winter. So now we know what the numbers are but what are the actual numbers? These are percentages of each ingredient in the bag or bottle. A fertilizer that is 30-0-10 has 30% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorous and 10% Potassium. (A great fertilizer for Spring and Summer by the way!) Wait a minute that only adds up to 40%? What the…
Don’t worry the rest of the bag is filled with a filler. In this case 60%. Filler can be a combination of other nutrients and/or products to help your lawn take up the nutrients better and more efficiently. Finally, fertilizers come in a quick release format or a slow release. Slow release has now become the normal procedure. These fertilizers are applied at longer intervals as the nutrients are released slowly and evenly over a long period of time. This helps give your lawn the nutrients and food it requires in small doses. Quick release fertilizers release almost all the nutrients at once. These fertilizers must be watered in to prevent burning your lawn. By feeding your lawn regularly, you are creating a thick, lush lawn. This lawn will increase its root growth as well. By increasing root growth, there is less room for weeds to develop.
Oakridge offers different types of fertilizer and weed control programs to meet your needs. Our goal is to provide you with that picturesque, lush, green lawn that will make your neighbours envious and they will be the ones asking the question.
Call us for a free estimate today!