Are you looking for your lawn to be the talk of the town? Do you want passers-by to have mouths agape when they spot your little patch of paradise? If you treat your grass well, it will treat you well back, and the way to any patch of lawn’s heart is through its stomach. You need to fertilise.
Treating your lawn to a Michelin Star meal every now and again will not only allow it to reach its potential, but also safeguard it against more trying times. When properly applied, the nutrients provided by fertiliser are photosynthesised into energy that is stored in the roots, crown, rhizomes and stolons of the plant, allowing the grass to get through periods of drought when nourishment may be a bit lacking.
The Art of Fertilising
So you’ve decided to scatter a bit of the good stuff on your patch of turf. How best do you go about it?
Firstly, you want to make sure the fertiliser isn’t too clumped, and you’re providing a fairly even spread for your lawn. A cage roller for larger areas may be a worthwhile investment.
Solid fertiliser will sit atop the soil and blades of grass until dissolved, either by rain or watering. It is recommended, unless you are entirely sure that a good rain is on the way, that you water your fertiliser in.
The watering process will dissolve the clumps of fertiliser and allow them to pass into the soil. From there, soil micro-organisms break down the fertiliser into a form that will allow the roots of your grass to ingest the nutrients, and pass them throughout its vascular system.
When Should I Fertilise?
If you’re growing from seed and have just prepared your patch ready to scatter, infusing your topsoil with fertiliser prior to seeding will give your new patch the sort of kick start it would’ve dreamed of.
Following up with another bout of fertiliser at six weeks, when your grass has taken a good foothold, will ensure continued strong growth.
For pre-existing lawns, the fertilising routine can differ slightly between different varieties. It is always prudent to check the specifics of your lawn on the Mckays website in order to provide the best care.
In areas with four distinct seasons, as a general rule of thumb, fertilising in early spring – when the mercury is rising and after the last of the frosts have passed- is always a great time to feed your grass. A light dose in summer and autumn is also advisable.
For more tropical climates, while the schedule above is still advised, avoiding fertilising before and during the wet season is wise. The heavy rains of this period can wash away the freshly laid nutrients before your lawn has had a chance to chow down.
Areas with particularly sandy soil may need light applications far more frequently, as the porous nature of the soil will not hold the nutrients for as long.
And finally, always fertilise after a fresh mow. The fertiliser will have less of a fight to get to the soil, particularly if you’ve caught the clippings.
What Fertiliser Should I Choose?
There are many different options when it comes to fertilisers and, again, different lawns appreciate different things is a fertiliser. Generally though it’s preferable to go for a “slow burning” fertiliser – one that releases its nutrients over a period of time rather than all in one go.
There are options that require less water than others but may have a comparative lack of nutrients compared to high-water fertilisers. You’ll also find that the more nutritious and strong fertilisers may be a bit more odourous, which may not be ideal for a frequently used entertainment area.
As always, it’s just a matter of researching the best fit for your situation.
At the end of the day, your choice of fertiliser won’t matter as much as the pure fact you’ve decided to fertilise in the first place. A hungry lawn will appreciate a good feed no matter what it tastes like, and the results will soon be on show for all your jealous neighbours to see.