With the arrival of spring comes the need to sprinkle a good lawn fertilizer on your lawn. You might be confused about when and what type of fertilizer should you invest in. Application of the right lawn fertilizer at the right time will give your lawn the essential nutrients to grow it to be beautiful and healthy. We would look at 5 best lawn fertilizers for spring.
What is The Need for Lawn Fertilizers?
Your lawn has many enemies like pests, weather, insects, etc., so keeping it healthy and fresh becomes a challenging task. Lawn fertilizers are a solution to this. But do we actually know why lawn fertilizers are important?
A lawn fertilizer provides all the healthy and important nutrients for the grass to grow in a high-quality soil. Potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus are the three food elements that your lawn needs to be green and fresh. Not only these elements, but sunshine and water are also required for the grass to thrive. Lawn fertilizers are organic and environmentally friendly. As I have already shared in this post, they provide your lawn the healthy nutrients which helps the grass to grow at a faster rate.
How to Choose the Right Lawn Fertilizer for Spring?
I have often heard my friends complaining about the confusion in choosing the right lawn fertilizer for their lawns. Hence, another important decision to be made is the choice of your lawn fertilizer to maintain your lawn beautifully. Fertilizers come in different blends of plant nutrients to take care of lawns and to complete other basic needs.
An ideal lawn fertilizer should release the nitrogen slowly into the soil, making sure that its loss to the environment is as little as possible. Phosphorus is an important element required by the grass to grow, but an excess amount of phosphorus might get washed away into the nearest water bodies and harm them. Using phosphorus free products is also an option to avoid water pollution. Potassium is important for the grass to make it heat & cold tolerant and also for protecting it from diseases.
If you are choosing a lawn fertilizer, then you should also take the climate conditions into mind as well. You might notice a three-digit number on the packaging of a lawn fertilizer. This is known as the NPK ratio, which explains the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a product. Depending on the NPK ratio needed by a lawn, a lawn fertilizer should be chosen. For example, if an NPK ratio mentioned on a product is 20-0-10, then it signifies 20% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus and 10% potassium.
A lawn fertilizer comes in two different forms - liquid and granular. Choosing the granular lawn option might prove to be a better one for your lawn rather than choosing the liquid one. A liquid lawn fertilizer might pose a risk to the nearest water bodies, exposing it to harmful chemicals like cadmium and arsenic. Since the liquid lawn fertilizer drains off easily, you might have to apply it more frequently as compared to the granular one. The only disadvantage of a granular lawn fertilizer is that it takes time to show results.
The Negative Impact of Fertilizers on the Environment
Fertilizers provide all the important nutrients to the grass, but have we ever considered how they are negatively affecting the environment? Nitrogen is converted into ammonium or nitrate by the microbes in the soil so that it can be used by the plants. This nitrate gets easily released into the environment, hence causing soil acidification. The released nitrate can penetrate into the groundwater used by humans for domestic purposes, further posing as a threat to their lives. Cadmium is known to be present in soil in minute amounts. If large amounts of cadmium are released into sandy soils, then it can turn out to be a severe problem for the growth of the grass.
High intake of phosphorus in a fertilizer might result in the accumulation of algae in the nearest water bodies which results in the death of aquatic animals as they are robbed of all the oxygen content in the water bodies. The effect of lawn fertilizers on humans as well as plants’ health is a controversial topic until now. It is believed that the NPK ratio in the fertilizers damage crops faster than those which are not receiving fertilizers. If a higher amount of nitrogen is used for green leafy vegetables, moreover if it is eaten raw as a salad, then it might have an adverse effect on the health of humans.
Top 5 Best Selling Lawn Fertilizers
After my thorough research on the internet, I personally found these five products to be quite useful for lawns.
1. Joyful Dirt Concentrated All Purpose Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food
2. Bonide 60460 Premium Lawn Food, 5M
3. Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK - Lawn Food Natural Liquid Fertilizer
4. Scotts Natural Lawn Food, 4,000 sq
5. Lesco Professional, 50 LB, 12,000 SQ FT Coverage, 18-24-12
Out of the five products that I have discussed in this post, I feel most strongly about Bonide 60460 Premium Lawn Food, 5M. This fertilizer is in the granular form so you don't have to worry about reapplication of the product again and again. It comes in different packaging of 16 and 48lbs which covers a large amount of square feet of area at once. It is a phosphate free fertilizer so it will not result in the damage of the nearest water bodies. It is efficient in releasing nitrogen slowly into the grass which helps the plants to grow healthily.
The content of iron is also high in this product which makes the grass look fresh and green. This product also meets all the necessary EPA requirements for nitrogen, which comes under the 4 phase fertilizer program. The only drawback of this product is the high concentration of nitrogen; this can also be overcome if the product is used in the right quantities and in the correct manner. Just like all the other products in the market, a good lawn fertilizer also has its own advantages and disadvantages, but using it is also a necessity for all types of plants and grasses. Every lawn might have a different requirement, so it is better to research different fertilizers before choosing one for your lawn.