A guide to lawn feeding
A lawn is one of the garden elements that not only benefits from regular feeding but is also dependent on nutrients from an external source. Nutrients are needed for healthy, vigorous and green growth and the root establishment.
Regular mowing and heavy foot trafficking can cause the topsoil to compress down, preventing oxygen intake. Oxygen is necessary for micro bacteria, responsible for the soil breakdown to thrive and reproduce, which further results in the release of nutrients that are currently unavailable. If the nutrient release is suppressed, your lawn struggles to grow, which can lead to a weak, unhealthy appearance.
Regular feeding can restore or maintain the vibrant green colour once established. Furthermore, the density of grass limits the development of moss and weeds.
Different lawn fertilisers and their uses
Nitrogen is responsible for healthy growth and will green up your lawn prior to the growing season. The nitrogen-rich feed should be applied in the spring after scarification and aeration. Thatch removal and the holes in the soil punched by the lawn aerator will ensure that the nutrients are delivered to the soil where they are needed and can be fully absorbed by the roots.
After you have taken the correct steps and after the nitrogen-rich feed application, your lawn will produce vigorous growth. At this point, you should be prepared to mow the lawn twice a week to prevent seed formation.
Seeding grass consumes too much of the plant’s energy and the seed removal will ensure to divert it into further healthy growth.
Phosphorus based fertiliser
Phosphorus is an element needed to produce an equally important root establishment. Lawn food rich in phosphorus should be applied after the second scarification and aeration in late summer or early autumn. At this time of the year, the grass hardly produces any seeds, therefore its energy is diverted into the root establishment.
Grass roots spread underground as rhizomes. The stronger root system will result in a fuller appearance next season, closing down any bare patches and preventing the growth of unwanted moss and weeds.
4 in 1 fertiliser
4 in 1 lawn feed promises to green up your lawn quickly, fill out the patches and control the moss and weeds. While there is definitely some scientific evidence behind it, we don’t always recommend trying to find shortcuts, if that’s what you are looking for.
Your lawn establishment is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires passion, dedication, and ongoing care to grow or maintain a lawn of the highest standard.
However, if you feed your lawn on a regular basis (e.g. every four to six weeks), 4 in 1 lawn fertiliser can be useful during the active growing season. Truthfully, it contains both nitrogen and phosphorus in a balance.
How to feed your lawn
You can apply the feed by the use of the spreader or by hand. When using the spreader, fill with the fertiliser and start walking at a casual speed. Only open the gauge halfway as you set your walk to prevent a spill. You can calibrate the expenditure setting when working or follow the manual provided.
When spreading the food by hand, work by walking backwards and throwing one handful of feed every step.
In both cases, we recommend working one way followed by a crossway to ensure complete coverage.
How often should I feed my lawn?
The frequency of lawn feeding depends on your availability to maintain it. If you can dedicate the time and efforts to regular lawn care, such as mowing and watering, to ensure its best possible look, you should feed your lawn every four to six weeks.
Gaining a fine lawn is not forgiving to any abuse. Missing or ignoring the mowing sessions will result in a poor, patchy appearance in the long term. This happens because the stronger, dense grass blades suffocate the new growth emerging from the ground by limiting the sunlight.
Therefore, if you are prone to irregular lawn maintenance due to restricted time, you should only feed your lawn twice a year after scarifying and aerating.
What should I not do when feeding my lawn?
Do not apply fertiliser when the grass is wet.
We don’t recommend feed application after it has rained, after irrigating or following a dewfall in the morning. When the lawn is wet, the fertiliser tends to stick to the grass blades, resulting in your lawn burning. You should only ever apply feed in dry conditions.
Do not apply before mowing
When the grass is long, the food granules don’t find their way down, but instead, remain on the top of grass blades. As in the previous case, this can cause the lawn to burn. Furthermore, mowing after the application will remove the feed.
Do not overfeed the lawn
Too much fertiliser is not good either. An overdose might be more limiting than beneficial. The increased level of nitrogen and salt in the soil might cause permanent or temporary damage to grass roots, depending on the excess amount of feed.
Please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before applying.
After feed care
After you have successfully fed your lawn, the only task remaining is watering. The feed granules need to fully dissolve in the water to enter the soil. This should be done up to three days after the application, or as advised by the manufacturer. Undissolved organic matter contributes to thatch build-up and can cause your lawn to burn.
Whether your lawn is your pride and joy, passion or something fresh to look at out of the window, feeding it is one of the tasks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As explained in the article, you should feed your lawn regularly to maintain its vibrant green look, but ensure you don’t overfeed, apply feed while the grass is wet, or apply the feed before mowing.