Friday, 24 February 2012 14:01
Nitrogen: What Does it Do For Your Lawn?
If you're thinking about fertilizing your lawn this spring, it's important that you first consider the role of nitrogen and how it will affect your lawn maintenance in Ottawa. Nitrogen is one of the main nutrients found in most fertilizers and it plays a vital role in the health of your lawn. Read on for more information about nitrogen and how it can impact your Ottawa lawn maintenance.
Nitrogen and Fertilizer for Your Ottawa Lawn
When purchasing fertilizer, it's important that you first review how much nitrogen is included in the mixture:
- 10-2-3 – this fertilizer is 10% nitrogen by total weight
- 10-0-0 – this fertilizer is nitrogen-only
- 0-10-10 – this is fertilizer without nitrogen
But What Does Nitrogen Do for My Ottawa Lawn Maintenance?
Nitrogen is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to fertilizer. It plays a role in:
- Protein development
- DNA health
- Cell division
- Chlorophyll (the chemical that allows plants to experience photosynthesis)
When is the Best Time to Add Nitrogen to My Lawn?
First, you should consider the season. It's best to add nitrogen to your lawn during the spring and early summer as a part of your regular Ottawa lawn maintenance plan. It doesn't hurt to add more during these months, since this is when plants are actively growing; additional nitrogen will simply encourage them to grow as much as they can!
Generally people don't apply nitrogen in the fall. You want your grass to put its energy towards maintaining healthy roots at this time, not growing. However, if you apply nitrogen with phosphorus and potassium, it can help improve your grass' ability to store nutrients during the colder season.
The Many Faces of Nitrogen
Fertilizers use nitrogen in a variety of ways, depending on what you want the fertilizer to do:
- Quick release: when you want nutrients to get to your grass fast, this is very effective for your lawn maintenance in Ottawa. Quick release fertilizer has urea, ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. Use this with caution. If you're over-eager, you can burn your grass.
- Slow release: this makes nutrients available to your lawn over time. It has ureaform, sulfur-coated urea, activated sewage sludge, and water-insoluble nitrogen. This will take some time to break down. On the plus side, it won't burn your turf.
- Grass Clippings: instead of putting your grass clippings in a garbage bag, why not put them toward your Ottawa lawn maintenance? Simply mulch them up using a mulching mower and leave them on the lawn. The advantage is that they're a natural form of nitrogen and they help to reduce waste!
Things to Consider When Dealing with Nitrogen
Nitrogen is great for plant growth, but don't go crazy with the application. If you use too much, the following can happen:
- Weak growth
- Increased susceptibility to pests, disease, and fungus
- Washed out the soil
Too little nitrogen can also have a detrimental effect on your turf:
- Yellowing of grass
- Poor plant growth
- Disruptive growth patterns across the lawn
- Poor soil quality
Now is the perfect time to book your spring fertilizer treatment or core aeration. Call 613.739.4630 today to schedule your treatment. But don't wait – our spring service calendar is filling up quickly! We'll provide you with a complimentary consultation and a custom maintenance schedule.