To keep your lawn green, growing, and looking its best, a quality fertilization program is essential. Regular fertilization will lead to a thicker, weed free lawn. Fertilizer contains 3 primary (and many secondary) ingredients, also known as its analysis: Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (K). Nitrogen promotes strong color and top growth. Phosphorus stimulates root growth and Potassium helps with disease resistance and water retention.
Peters Lawn Service offers a Custom Lawn Care Program with nutrient rich fertilizer options that are well balanced and have slow release characteristics. We also offer organic fertilizer options as part of our Premium Organic Lawn Care Program.
When is the best time to fertilize? In Spring, nutrients are converted into food that will promote growth which helps prevent weeds from invading your lawn. During summer, turf can use some slow but steady help during the season. In Fall, these nutrients are focused on the root system, filling the reserves to carry thru the winter season. The healthier your lawn in the fall, the better growth you can expect in the Spring.
What is the difference in fertilizers? This is a great question and is an area that sets us apart from our competitors. Some fertilizers have low numbers (10-0-0) and contain only quick release nitrogen. Others (19-19-19) have higher numbers and contain all three nutrients. Fertilizers can also have different slow release qualities. Currently, the State of MN bans Phosphorus (K) from lawn fertilizer applications unless you have a soil test that shows deficiency or if you are establishing a new seeding. Don’t be fooled by lawn care companies that disguise their fertilizer apps or claim feed with every weed app, you might be surprised what you are getting.
Conventional urea based fertilizer feeds the plant. It is most common because it is easy to customize, quick to act, is more readily available, and is relatively less expensive. These fertilizers effectively feed the plant, but their salt content can be harmful to the beneficial organisms living in the soil, especially when mistreated.
Organic fertilizer feeds the soil. Most are sold as soil conditioners. Organic fertilizer can be very slow to release their nutrients because they require microorganisms to be active in the soil to break them down to be available to the plant. Organic means that the nutrients come from the remains or are by-products of a once living organism. Many organic fertilizers are high in one nutrient and very low in the other two. Some can be low in all three. Corn Gluten Meal, for example, provides only nitrogen and needs to be applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, which 3 to 4 times the amount of urea based fertilizer. The organic fertilizer industry has come a long way and has recently been providing more choices for quality organic fertilizer but they can be very expensive compared to their synthetic counterparts.