Any lawn owner has heard it a million times before. To get the best out of your lawn, you need to be sure to regularly fertilise. You heard it from the turf supplier. You heard it from the garden contractor. You heard it from your neighbour.
But oftentimes it remains the backyard equivalent of flossing your teeth. You know you should, but it just slips the mind. It also may not be super clear exactly why you should be doing it.
So let’s have a look at exactly why we need to feed our precious turf.
Grasses as Monocultures
Every available lawn variety that you see today started out its life as a wild grass. Whether it be Couch, Buffalo or Ryegrass, they all started out somewhere in the world, untouched and spreading free.
When growing unencumbered in their natural environments, each variety has everything they need to survive and thrive, whether that be in relation to air quality, water availability, companion plants or soil PH. If they didn’t, the plant simply would not grow.
When we humans want these grasses to do a job for us, we are taking them out of their comfort zone and placing them in whatever conditions our backyard may be home to, and asking them to just deal with it. We grow them as a singular culture, and without the help of the natural environment that they have evolved to do well in. This process of growing a single plant within a specific controlled area is called a ‘monoculture’.
How Does This Effect Lawn Care?
Without the exact conditions of its ideal environment, we need to do our best to make the plant feel at home. Substituting the natural conditions it has evolved to enjoy with more man-made solutions is required.
All this really means is having a good lawn care routine. Obvious things like knocking any threatening weeds on the head and ensuring that your lawn has sufficient water and sunlight are simple, and will be the basics of pretty much anyone’s weekend work.
Where Fertilisers Fit In
Along with making sure the grass has adequate sunlight and water, you also need to provide an appropriate amount of nutrients to keep it healthy and happy.
In the grass’s natural setting, for example, they may reside in a Nitrogen rich soil. If your backyard isn’t particularly nitrogen rich, you may have to invest in a Nitrogen-rich fertiliser in order to provide the sorts of conditions that the grass has grown to love.
By fertilising we are just helping to make our foreign backyard seem a little more like home to the plant. Artificially providing the sorts of nutrients that may be otherwise lacking gives our new lawn the best chance of success in our backyard’s soil.
So it’s as easy as this: If you want your lawn to be the best it can be, invest in a good fertiliser and give it the nutrients it wants.
Sure, you can get away without it. But leaving your lawn unfertilised will mean you haven’t allowed it to hit its potential, which means your entire backyard won’t be as good as it otherwise could be.
So get out there and fertilise. And floss. Always floss.