Lawn Fertilizer…Explained!

Fertilizing your lawn will make a world of a difference! This is how to create the dreamy green golf course look for your own house.

To cover the basics of lawn fertilizer we first must understand what the numbers on fertilizers mean. There will be three different, very distinct numbers you will see on any fertilizer. These number stand for Nitrogen-Phosphorus Potash (Potassium). NPK is also a common term for those numbers.

Nitrogen is responsible for your plant to grow strong. This is the number most important for the greening factor of lawn.

Phosphorus is responsible for the growth of roots to develop into a strong foundation.

Potash(Potassium) is responsible for improving overall health of the plant and making it disease resistant.

 

When to Fertilize? Three times a year is a perfect amount. Once in the early spring when the snow just melts, summer, and fall.

Why Fertilize? Similar to other plants your lawn is using up the nutrients you give it, over time the nutrients become depleted causing you to have an unhealthy lawn.

What Type of Fertilizer Should I Use?

In the early spring (April)  you will want to fertilize your lawn with a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and lower in Phosphorous and Potash. A fertilizer we carry for this time of year is 32-4-8, 34-0-0, or 9-3-6 with moss control.

Again, In the late spring and summer (May-July) You want to move into a more balanced fertilizer. A fertilizer we carry for this time of year is an 18-18-18. If you find that your lawn isn’t as green as you’d like it to be at this time of year you can use a product called ironite. This will green your lawn without effecting the other nutrient levels of the soil.

In the fall (August-September)  we want to ween the grass off high nitrogen and phosphorus so that it can prepare itself for winter to come. At this time of year a fertilizer that is high in Potash should be used. One we carry has the numbers 15-0-30.  This fertilizer allows the grass to be as healthy as possible going into winter and becoming dormant. Although, we don’t tend to think about it a fall fertilization is very important to prevent snow mold and winter kill.

Fertilizer For New Sod or Seed?

When it comes to fertilizing new sod or grass we want to concentrate on establishing the root system in the fresh grass. A fertilizer for Sod or Seed should be high in Phosphorus compared to Nitrogen and Potash. The fertilizer we carry has the numbers 16-32-6. This will help the roots establish while still helping the lawn green.

Fertilizing With an Organic Fertilizer

It is safe for pets and children, organic lawn fertilizer can be used. The only downsize to using organic fertilizer is that your NPK values will be less. Our organic fertilizer for example has the numbers 8-2-5. While  low numbers still will get the job done, it may take longer for it work.

Grub’s In My Lawn & Garden! Nematodes to Help!

Does your lawn look like the photo above?
You may have Grub’s!

What Are Grub’s?
Grub’s are the larvae of Scarab Beetles. This includes three types of beetles; European Chafer, Japanese Beetle and the June Beetle.  They are frequently found feasting on the roots of turf and grass. Initially the damage resembles that of a drought stressed lawn, but as time goes on the lawn begins to look similar to vole damage with “veins” in the lawn.  Where as, the lawn begins to lift away from the soil, because the root system no longer exists.

Grub’s regardless of the different species of C-shaped bodies with tan or brown heads and six prominent, spiny legs. ( Picture below) We then first hatch they are 3-4mm, but at full size 1 inch. 

June Beetles are most common in the Yukon. These Beetles feed on the foliage of aspen, chestnut, elm , maple, oak , poplar and willow. They emerge from the soil during the later part of May and early June and fly in larger numbers. In the summer the female June Beetles lay there eggs, they hatch within a few weeks. In the winter the they burrow deep into the soil and remain there until the spring. Thus, starting the cycle again.

Treatment!

To get on top of this cycle of the Grub’s (larvae) themselves treat by spraying Nematodes on your lawn & turf. Nematodes are eel-like animals resembling but not closely related to an earthworm. Most Nematodes are 1/50 of an inch in size, so small they can only be viewed with a microscope!  Nematodes feast on the Grubs underneath the lawn preventing your whole lawn to be affected! They are easy to apply, just add water with the Nematodes and spray your lawn! We sell both the hose-end water attachment sprayer and the Nematodes! This video show you how easy it is to apply Nematodes!

 

 

References:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/08-023w.htm

http://www.ontaweb.org/photos-and-links/what-are-nematodes/

 

Fertilizer! When do I stop for Tree’s, Shrub’s, & Perennials?

It’s the time of year again when half of the gardening season is over… at this time of year is it very important to start preparing you’re plants for winter time.

Beginning July 1st plants should be on a water only diet! No more fertilizer for tree’s, shrub’s, and perennials. We want to encourage the plants to start settling down by not producing new bloom’s or leaf’s! By giving your plant(s) a water only diet this will allow the plant to focus it’s energy on the growth it already has and not new growth. As we get closer to winter the plant needs time to harden off, tender new growth won’t have the enough time needed to complete this process!