Fertilizing Your Lawn & Garden

Fertilizing your lawn & garden improves not only it's appearance, but it's health. It also does not require much time and is very affordable.

Although fertilizing your lawn is not absolutely necessary, for the plushest, greenest yard you may want to consider it. Fertilizing your lawn also makes it stronger and more resistant to pests and disease. It is not complicated once you learn the basics. Fertilizers all contain the same three basic nutrients:

1. Nitrogen- Encourages the growth of leaves (foliage) and is represented on the container by the letter N.

2. Phosphorus- Encourages strong root growth and development, and is represented by the letter P.

3. Potassium- This vital nutrient helps foster disease resistance, as well as strong stem growth. It is represented by the letter K.

You can tell how much of each nutrient is in a bag of fertilizer by the numbers on the package. A 100-pound bag of fertilizer that has the numbers 5-10-5 on it will contain 5 pounds of nitrogen, 10 of phosphorus and 5 of potassium. The remaining 80 pounds will be organic filler. Do not be discouraged that you are paying for this filler, as it also contributes to the health of your lawn.

When you are ready to purchase your fertilizer, keep in mind that most brands contain the same active ingredients. This is really a case where it pays to read labels and purchase the most inexpensive product. You can purchase either liquid or granular. Liquid fertilizer comes as a powder that you mix with water, and spray onto the garden. It is fast acting and you will see almost immediate results. It does not, however, stay in the soil for long and you will have to reapply every 6 weeks or so throughout the growing season. Granular fertilizers look like little pellets and are applied to the yard using a broadcast spreader. These are available in wither slow or fast release. The slow release fertilizer will stay in the soil much longer. You can get some results by spreading a slow release fertilizer once a year, in the fall. For optimum results, spread slow release fertilizer once in the spring and once in the fall. If your yard looks a little stressed in the summer you can spray over it once with liquid fertilizer to give it a quick boost.

As you can see, this is not demanding. An afternoons worth of work, three days a year, and with minimal expense, and you will be rewarded with a stronger, healthier yard.

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