For all plants to grow they need three things, water, sunlight, and nutrients. The thousands of grass plants which make up a lawn are obviously no different. In fact, for turf to be healthy and dense it has a high nutrient requirement. Each time we cut the grass and remove the clippings, we are removing nutrients from the lawn. If we left the clippings on the lawn it would greatly reduce its nutrient requirements. However, this would be a very bad plan as the clippings would damage the turf. Without supplementing nutrients and whilst removing clippings, the grass plants will soon run out of food, both top growth and root growth will then become very slow, and the overall health will deteriorate.
The primary nutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. All fertilisers must show what percentage of each of the primary nutrients it contains. In an N-P-K format N = Nitrogen, P = Phosphorus, K = Potassium. So, therefore if a fertiliser is 12 – 4 – 8, then it contains 12% nitrogen, 4% phosphorus, and 8% potassium.
In very basic terms nitrogen is largely responsible for leaf growth, Phosphorus is key for root development, and potassium for overall health and strength. Nutrients which are used in lower amounts are called secondary, or micronutrients, of these turf needs magnesium and iron in the highest levels but uses over 60, which when in plentiful supply support exceptional health and vigour. All fertiliser needs to be broken down by microorganisms in the soil, to convert it into nutrients that are available to the plant. At The Lawn People each of our seasonal lawn treatments supplements and nourishes the microorganisms, so the soil is ‘alive’, so it becomes exceptionally effective at breaking down fertiliser and turning into available nutrients. If you feed your lawn NPK nutrients at the manufacturer’s suggested dose rate for grass, it will improve and be in far better condition than if it is not fed at all.
The nutrient requirement of turf changes according to the season. Also, according to the growth phases one is wishing to promote, whether that be root growth, the production of side shoots and tillers, top growth, or hardening. Our lawn treatment programme has been fine tuned over the last twenty years. We have worked alongside some of the countries leading turf agronomists. The Lawn People’s treatment programme is the pinnacle of turf management. We believe harnessing the power of mother nature is critical to ensure the diverse ecosystem in the soil is thriving, the grass has a plentiful supply of all micronutrients it needs, as well as ensuring all important growth hormones are in abundance. Having the soil packed full of friendly bacteria helps the lawn fight off disease and improve the function of the root system.