Lawn fertilisation – Ultimate Guide

lawn fertilisation

Fertilising lawn? Which fertilizer should you choose for your lawn and when in the year is it best to fertilize? Here are the fertilizer tips you need for a well-kept and beautiful lawn.

Why fertilise lawn?

The wild plants are self-sufficient in nutrition, the grasses in the natural meadows are fertilized at most by grazing animals – yet it grows and greens as it should. The fact that the cultivated plants, also the lawn, require an extra supplement of nutrients is mainly due to the fact that higher demands are placed on the appearance – in this case a denser and greener lawn.

Only mowing the lawn removes large amounts of nutrients, which must be restored by fertilizing the lawn.

Apart from basic fertilization at the lawn plant, maintenance fertilisation (other names are top fertilization, supplementary fertilisation, surface fertilisation) is one of the most important care measures, together with the mowing.

The fertilization of the lawn is often forgotten, you wait in vain for rain, you travel away, have a holiday, etc. Therefore, you should already in advance, in the spring, decide when the maintenance fertilisation should be done.

When to fertilize the lawn?

In early spring, midsummer and autumn, you should fertilise the lawn. The fertilisation is done just before the expected rain or in connection with watering.

How to fertilize a lawn?

Fertilizing a lawn and spreading manure by hand is difficult and requires training. Uneven manure spreading gives uneven greenery to the grass – therefore get a good mechanical manure spreader !

Maintenance fertilization of the lawn is often the subject of discussion. How early or late in the autumn, for example, can you fertilize, are the special slow-acting fertilizers worth their price, etc.

It is important that you fertilize and NPK fertilizer works excellently, they are well suited for the purpose and have not caused any problems.

If for some reason you want to speed up the greenery, there is lime salt, but then you have to be careful so that neither the grass plant nor the environment around it is damaged. 

Picture right: Fall spreader (spreader for manure) and centrifugal spreader. The latter is easiest to use. but both types of manure spreaders require careful tracking so as not to spread twice, ie. overlap the spread of manure. After use, the spreaders must be thoroughly cleaned, so that they also work next time.

 Dangerous confusion: lime with lime nitrate. “Liming” the lawn with lime nitrate can give the grass severe burns.

Read simple guide to avoid fertilisation mistakes >

Facts about fertiliser for a lawn

A distinction is made between organic fertilizers that come from plants and animals and inorganic ones that originate from the bedrock.

The organic fertilizers must first be mineralized with the help of bacteria before they can be taken up by the plants, while the inorganic ones are usually easily soluble in the soil liquid. Therefore, the organic fertilizers are always long-acting, unlike the inorganic ones which have a rapid effect on the vegetation.

Examples of organic fertilizers are mainly different types of manure, bone meal, horn shavings and blood meal as well as special fertilizers such as Chrysan. All of them work slowly and are best suited for basic fertilization. The least interesting for the lawn are bone meal, horn shavings and blood meal.

The inorganic fertilizers are easy to put together. A simple fertilizer used for surface fertilization (over-fertilization). of the lawn is lime nitrate, which contains about 15 percent fast-acting nitrogen (nitrate-nitrogen).

NPK fertilizer

Compound fertilizers that contain nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are called NPK fertilisers . It also usually contains micronutrients (trace elements) in a suitable amount. The proportions between nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in NPK fertilizers are different depending on what they are intended for. A suitable NPK mixture for the lawn should contain such a large amount of nitrogen that you avoid summer fertilization with lime nitrate, an agent that more quickly than others can cause burns on the lawn if it is spread without connection to rain or watering.

Note, however, that NPK manure can also cause burns, for the same reasons as for lime saltpetre, and that no commercial manure must be left dry in the lawn.

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