3 Surprising Things You May Not Know About Fertilizing Lawns

Beautiful lawns do not just happen spontaneously. They require care and nurturing, including the applications of fertilizer for the grass. Lawns that do not receive fertilization must rely solely on what’s already in the soil, which at most properties, is inadequate and constantly diminishing.

If you want a truly lush and green lawn, then fertilization is a must. Even so, we find that a lot of homeowners don’t know too much about it and are often surprised to learn that fertilizing lawns can have some positive benefits they did not even know about.

That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of surprising facts about fertilizing lawns.

1. Fertilizing Lawns Provides Essential Nutrients

All fertilizers add nutrients to the soil to help plant growth. The key nutrients that lawns need are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Each of these nutrients serves different functions for your grass. 

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Nitrogen is used by plants to push leaf growth and boost its green color. Phosphorous is used to help form new roots. It's also used to help fight disease. Potassium helps grass to better tolerate disease and environmental stresses.

These three nutrients are very important for plant function and are also the elements most deficient in soils. That means without lawn fertilization, your grass isn’t going to thrive. Fertilization is a key differentiator between a so-so lawn and one that is looking and performing its best.

2. A Thick and Healthy Lawn is Good for the Environment

Many times when there is talk about lawn care and the environment, it could be in a negative context. That’s why you might be surprised to know that a thick and healthy lawn, made that way by lawn fertilization, has a number of positive environmental benefits.

For one, a thick lawn will ultimately have less storm-water runoff than a thin lawn with a lot of bare patches. Healthy lawns are also great at filtering rainwater. Rainwater filtered through a healthy lawn can be as much as 10 times less acidic than water running off a hard surface, according to The Lawn Institute. Healthy turfgrass also has many miles of fibrous roots that holds soil in place, preventing erosion. 

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The Lawn Institute also reports that lawns trap more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually. Plus, turfgrass, like that found in our lawns, is much cooler than asphalt or cement, acting as an “air conditioner” for the surrounding area (lawns can be 22 degrees cooler than urban asphalt "heat islands").

Healthy and thriving lawns also release oxygen. It is estimated that a 50 by 50 foot lawn (2,500 square feet), releases enough oxygen for a family of four, while absorbing carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and perosyacetyle nitrate. 

Of course, the key to this is the proper application of fertilization products—something that the lawn care professional is trained to do; Otherwise the benefits can be negated. 

Lawn care companies must adhere to strict regulations relating to both the products they use as well as the rates at which they apply those products. However, homeowners could make mistakes when fertilizing lawns that could potentially cause problems.

3. You’ll Get Better Results with a Professional Lawn Care Service

This may not seem like a “surprising” fact. As with most things, when you hire a professional, you’ll ultimately get better results—after all, they are trained experts. 

Lawn care technician spraying liquid fertilizer on healthy grass

Even so, when it comes to fertilizing the lawn, a lot of homeowners still believe they can get the same results with a DIY approach. They might even adopt the mentality of why should I pay for something I can do on my own?

It’s true that you can buy lawn fertilization products on your own. But the fact is, many homeowners are challenged by finding the right products and getting the timing and the application of those products exactly right.

Plus, you should know that professional fertilizers are more than just the N-P-K combination that many “over-the-counter” products are. Some of the professional formulations also have additional micronutrients, bio-nutritional materials, coatings for slower release, and more. With professional-grade products, you’ll ultimately get better results.

Of course, there’s also the process of applying fertilizer to your lawn—which may not be as simple as you think. We already mentioned the importance of timing in terms of results. But you also risk harming your lawn if you make an application mistake or accidentally dump a product. If you’ve ever seen “fertilizer burn,” you know it’s an eyesore. It will take some time to recover a burned spot on your lawn. You’ll essentially have to start from scratch.

But when you choose to work with a professional fertilizing company, you eliminate these DIY risks and hand the work over to a professional technician who is trained to know exactly what your lawn needs (and when). This will make all the difference when it comes to the results.

A Complete, Carefully-Designed Lawn Care Program

Of course, you should know that lawn fertilization is ultimately just one part of a complete lawn care program that will address all of your lawn’s needs.

Master Lawn technician discussing lawn with customer

Like every aspect of our lawn care programs, our lawn fertilization approach is re-evaluated each year in order to ensure that it’s continually producing the best possible results. That means if there are tweaks that we can make to the program, including new and better products as they become available, we’ll make them. We are constantly evolving all aspects of our lawn care program as needed.

At Master Lawn, we know that timing is everything when it comes to lawn fertilization. Our three lawn care program options include fertilization that is designed to jumpstart growth in early spring, maintain turf health during hot, dry summers, and preserve the lawn through fall and winter. 

There’s no reason you have to go on living with a lawn that isn’t as good as it could be. By adding a lawn care program that includes professional fertilization, you can finally get the beautiful grass that you’ve been wanting.

Ready to have a great-looking lawn at your Tennessee or Northern Mississippi home? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

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Joey Steele, Lawn & Plant Health Care Manager

Since 2004, Joey has been using his B.S. in Landscape Construction and his turf and ornamental certifications to transform properties in our area. He loves seeing the fruit of his team's hard work and enjoys the many relationships he's formed since joining our team in 2008. He's an Olive Branch, MS native and enjoys spending time with his wife and three young boys, fishing and going to football games.

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