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Fertilization is the single most important element in our organic lawn maintenance services; it improves lawn quality and is essential to maintain a high quality, healthy lawn. A good fertilizer program usually contains 4 feeding: spring, early summer, summer and fall.

Fertilizer Basics

Most lawn fertilizers contain the three major nutritive elements – nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium:

Nitrogen is the most important part of lawn fertilizer, the element that promotes dark green color, leaf and blade development and density of lawn. Nitrogen does, however, stimulate top-growth.

Phosphorus enhances root growth and promoting plant maturity.

Potassium is good for the general health and vigor of plants.

All fertilizers will have 3 numbers displayed prominently on the label; representing the percentage by weight of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, in that order.

The first step in the Lite Gardener’s lawn care is a soil test to determine the soil acidity and the levels of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. The Lite Gardener chooses a fertilizer containing the correct amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for the situation. Nitrogen, very soluble in water and has to be replenished every year, while phosphorus and potassium are relatively stable in the soil. If the soil test indicates a need for phosphorous or potassium, the Lite Gardener will factor that into the choice of fertilizer. In a soil that is too acid or too alkaline the fertilizer will remain insoluble and its usefulness will be limited and the Lite Gardener will recommend measures to correct the soil pH.

The Lite Gardener uses a properly calibrated spreader to ensure that the proper amount of fertilizer is applied. The average lawn requires about 3 to 4 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 ft² throughout the season to help grow a thick and green lawn.

Fertilizing immediately after aeration allows the fertilizer to get to the roots. The Lite Gardener recommends aerating the lawn at least once per year..

When possible, The Lite Gardener uses organic fertilizers, which releases certain nutrients more slowly into the lawn which helps to avoid burning and reduces nitrate contamination of the groundwater somewhat.There are times, however, when we cannot get access to organic fertilizers and so use the best commercial products available.