Why do lawns need to be fertilised?

By | 09/02/2017
Spreading fertiliser

Grass grows all over the world. It is one of our planets most successful plants. Vast open plains of grass can sustain huge wildlife populations and thrive in the wild. No one artificially fertilises the plains of Africa or the wild tundra, so why do we need to fertilise our lawns?

In the wild, grass is naturally fertilised
In the wild, grass is naturally fertilised. CC Image on Flickr by Wajahat Mahmood

Grasses require key elements to survive and grow. Some of these elements, such as carbon and oxygen, can be absorbed by plants directly from the atmosphere. Other elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are more difficult to find and are found dissolved in water and trapped in soil.

In the wild, animals graze grass and ‘recycle’ it in their bodies. They naturally deposit fertile manure back on the ground. Grass leaves also die and decompose back down in the soil. In these two processes many of the valuable elements stay in the system, always journeying back down into the soil.

Lawns need to be fertilised to keep them healthy

In a domestic lawn environment this process is interrupted. We do not have grazing wildebeest in our gardens. We also mow our lawns and remove the grass clippings. This act of taking away the leaves of the plants and not returning them to decompose into the ground removes nutrients from the lawn. Over time, this reduces the fertility of the soil and the grass will struggle to grow well.

Artificially fertilising a lawn replenishes these lost nutrients. Supplying the grass with everything that it needs.

Professional fertilisers go one step further and feed the lawn over a long period. Modern slow-release fertilisers control the release of the nutrients so that the grass is fertilised gradually over many weeks.

Grass which can rely on a steady supply of food does not become stressed. It it less susceptible to attack from fungal diseases. Grows stronger roots so that it can resist drought. Does not turn yellow in the winter and looks greener in the summer. It brings many benefits to all lawns.

So, be kind to your grass and keep it fertilised. Your local, professional lawn care service can do this for you. If you live in the Exeter area, then get in touch.

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