The essential mineral macro nutrients can be divided into 3 primary types. These are the main ingredients in traditional fertilisers.
N = Nitrogen
P = Phosphorous
K = Potassium.
The RHS and other credible sources of horticultural expertise recommend that Lawns should be fed over the year with these key nutrients applied at the ration of N-4: P-1: K-3. This is what we do.
But we know many lawn companies do not, for the simple reason that N is a lot cheaper than P & K. In the short term lots of N may seem to work well, but it is not going to produce a healthy and sustainable lawn. After a season or two the lawn will in fact go seriously backwards building up surface thatch fast and suffering from impoverished or shallow roots.
Nitrogen helps plants grow, increasing the speed of new leaf production, and improving the quality of the leaf. Nitrogen is one of the components that make up chlorophyll, the material that provides the green pigment in plants, and it is vital for helping photosynthesis.
Phosphorus is important for root health and development. It helps in the photosynthesis process and increases the ability of plants to withstand stress. It helps support the formation of starches, oils, and sugars in plants. Phosphorus also aids the transformation of sunlight into chemical energy.
Potassium reduces susceptibility to disease in plants, assists with photosynthesis, helps build protein & improves plant quality.
The nutrient load in any fertiliser application is important. Equally important is the way the nutrient is `packaged` for delivery.
Are the key elements available to the plant at low or high temperatures? Is the product being used optimised for the time of year?
Does the product need watering in? ours do not. Is there a scorch risk if water does not arrive? Not with ours.
How long will the fertiliser last and what is the release mechanism? This is a complicated subject; we always select products that have granules which break down rapidly but with nutrition packaged to re bind to the soil in the rootzone and be resistant to leaching away with rainfall before the grass has used them.
N.P & K come in many different forms. A top-quality fertiliser uses lots of chemistry knowhow to make sure the user gets the result he wants. Cheap fertilisers are cheap for a reason.
Liquid or granular fertiliser, which is best?
We always use granules. They are more expensive, but more reliable. Liquid fertilisers inevitably dry onto the leaf of the lawn, and if it does not rain and wash those residues into the soil before a mow…they are lost. After a granule is applied the lawn can be mown within 48 hours, by which time they will have settled into the base of the lawn where a mow will not interrupt or diminish their benefit.