Proper Fertilization: Reduce Nutrient Loss and Water Runoff

Fertilized Lawn

Proper mowing and watering are not the only essential components of lawn care. Fertilizing is important too, with studies suggesting that correctly fertilized lawns have a smaller nutrient loss and water runoff. Be sure, however, to take precautionary measures, so that nutrient loss from your lawn will stay low.

Utah lawn experts, Greenside Landscaping, share a few steps to take to lessen nutrient runoff and loss from your home lawn:

  • Select the right fertilizers. Choose those that contain 25% to 50% slow-release nitrogen. Such fertilizers offer a consistent source of nitrogen for the grass. Slow-release fertilizers, furthermore, provide better nutrition for the long-term than quick-release products.
  • Do it every year. Lawn care experts suggest fertilizing your lawn at least once a year (be sure to do it right) to keep the grass healthy. Research suggests that failure to do so can decrease the density of grass stand, while also increasing runoff up to 70%.
  • Follow with watering. After applying fertilizers, water your lawn to boost the effectiveness of the product. This also reduces the risk of nutrient losses and prevents the grass from burning. Failure to do so may cause drying out of plant cells, with the grass turning brown.
  • Mind the weather. It is best to fertilize when the weather is cool and lawn is dry. This is will reduce the risk of fertilizer burn. Be sure to apply the fertilizer carefully, as too much spill will cause brown spots even if you water after.
  • Sweep up spills. When fertilizing lawn, it is inevitable that some may land on driveways or sidewalks. Be sure to sweep up the spills, as this may cause the fertilizers to enter streams, lakes, and other waterways through storm water.
  • Dry vs. liquid. Dry fertilizers, for the most part, are better than liquid ones. Slow-release granular fertilizers are also better for lawns suffering from heat stress. But note that there are also liquid fertilizers with controlled nitrogen sources.

Keep your grass green and healthy with proper fertilization. It’s also a good idea to consult lawn care professionals if you are unsure about proper application and to know additional grass care tips.