If the lawn lacks nutrients, it loses the competition against moss and weeds. A well-dosed lawn fertilization specifically prevents deficiency symptoms. The timing is just as important as the fertilizer itself. The 10 best tips show you how to do it right.
No Beautiful Lawn Without Nutrients
A velvety green, even lawn carpet does not thrive on its own. As part of regular lawn trimming, a large part of the existing nutrients are used up and transported away in the grass catcher box.
Although lawn grasses have a dense root network, the main root mass is in the top layer of soil. Adequate compensation through targeted lawn fertilization is therefore necessary during the growing season. These nutrients are mainly to be supplied later:
- Nitrogen (N) for constant growth, lush green grass, and cell strengthening
- Phosphorus (P) for healthy, strong roots and to regulate the energy balance
- Potassium (K) for promoting resistance, strengthening the metabolism, and improving frost resistance
In addition, minerals and trace elements are important so that the noble grasses in the lawn do not lose out to weeds and moss.
Soil analysis provides transparency
If a lawn suffers from a lack of nutrients, this deficiency is visually recognizable as stunted growth or a pale color. A professional soil analysis will only reveal where exactly the problem is.
To do this, take soil samples from the top layer of soil at 10-12 locations on the lawn. These are mixed in a bucket to send 500 grams to an appropriate laboratory.
After 3-4 weeks you will receive a dedicated result about the soil condition including a fertilizer recommendation. Carry out a soil analysis every 4-5 years, you know the weak points in the nutrient supply. As part of lawn fertilization, you compensate for the deficiencies biologically or minerally and avoid the risk of over-fertilization.
Short-term fertilizers make tired lawns lively
The use of calcium ammonium nitrate (KAS) has proven itself to stimulate lawn growth in the spring. This is a fertilizer that mainly contains nitrogen (28%). When the lawn is fertilized, calcium ammonium nitrate sets in motion a rapid growth that gives weeds and moss no chance.
- Advantages of KAS: immediate effect, with a simultaneous displacement of moss and weeds
- Disadvantages of KAS: contains neither phosphorus nor potassium, high risk of burning noble grasses
Calcium ammonium nitrate is therefore a short-term fertilizer that cannot replace full-fledged lawn fertilization. In addition, the active substance is of environmental concern due to the rapid leaching of nitrate into the groundwater.
Common weed killers only really work over a large leaf mass of the unwanted plants. The larger the dandelion and colleagues are at the time the herbicide is applied, the more effective the control will be.
Experienced hobby gardeners, therefore, fertilize the weedy lawn with calcium ammonium nitrate two weeks in advance in order to then deal a devastating blow to the weeds that are shooting up.
Apply complete fertilizer to the lawn at most once a year
When it comes to mineral lawn fertilization, take the path of least resistance with a compound fertilizer. The fertilizer is ideally dosed according to the findings of soil analysis. A single application in the spring between March and April is sufficient for a normally stressed lawn. How to proceed:
- Apply fertilizer with the spreader on a dry lawn
- Absolutely avoid overlapping distribution
- Sprinkle the lawn extensively immediately after fertilizing
when lawn fertilization makes sense
There is no silver bullet for the ideal fertilizer plan. Rather, there are various factors that determine the rhythm of lawn fertilization with mineral-organic preparations. These include the type of lawn, soil conditions, weather, and location. The following specifications apply as a guideline :
- Time for ornamental lawns with normal traffic: in spring (March/April) and in summer (July/August)
- Time for extremely stressed sports and playing turf: in March, May, August, and October
- Timing for shade lawns: March/April, June/July, and September/October
When exactly the lawn should be fertilized is determined in particular by the composition of the chosen fertilizer. The exact dosage of NPK is indicated on each package: N for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, and K for potassium.
Fertilize your lawn naturally in harmony with nature
If you want to fertilize your lawn naturally, a fertilizer with exclusively biologically composed ingredients comes into focus. These are of purely vegetable or animal origin and are first decomposed by microorganisms before they are available for the lawn.
This not only ensures the supply of nutrients; at the same time, long-term soil improvement takes place.
Of course, you fertilize green areas with compost, manure, plant manure, horn meal or horse manure. When you fertilize the lawn biologically depends on the specific local conditions. Basically, do it right, according to the following schedule:
- In spring and summer, 30 liters (8 gallons) of compost per square meter plus 30 grams of horn meal
- Comfrey manure containing potassium in September or October to strengthen winter hardiness
- Alternatively, apply commercially available organic fertilizer in March, May, August and October
Scarifying increases the willingness to absorb fertilizer
Irrespective of whether you use mineral, mineral-organic or organic fertilizers, you can increase the effect of lawn fertilization with the following care measures:
- Before fertilizing the lawn in March and September, scarify the lawn
- Then apply the fertilizer with the spreader, by hand, or with the pressure sprayer
- Thorough sprinkling is a must, even if you fertilize naturally
Lawn seed and fertilizer at the same time – the efficient new system
If lawn seed and natural fertilization go hand in hand, you will give your green business card an excellent jump-start. The best time to seed a new lawn is in September or October. The soil is still warm from the sun so that the grassroots can establish themselves well before winter.
An organic starter fertilizer can be spread at the same time as the lawn seed because there is no risk of burning the tender seeds.
Fertilize in autumn with a view to winter – potassium does the trick
In September, the lawn begins its last surge of growth before winter. In order to properly prepare it for the cold season, experienced hobby gardeners use special fertilizer for the fall.
Instead of driving the noble grasses forward again with nitrogen, potassium-enhanced lawn fertilization is used. Biologically oriented lawn owners choose an organic NPK fertilizer with a composition of 7+3+10. How to do it right:
- Scarify the lawn lengthways once in September or October
- Spread and water organic autumn fertilizer with the spreader
- Alternatively, fertilize naturally with home-made comfrey manure or pure wood ash
The special effect of potassium on winter hardiness is based on the fact that this nutrient specifically strengthens the cell walls in plant tissue. Thanks to this careful lawn fertilization, the lawn grasses cope much better with the grueling temperature fluctuations of winter with changing frost and thaw weather.
Tips and Tricks
Tired of annoying scarifying? Then get help in the form of microorganisms that like to eat thatch and moss. The new micro-lawn fertilizer from Cuxin contains lots of soil organisms that convert moss and thatch into valuable humus over a period of up to 100 days.