September is a month full of activities. Kids are back to school, football is in the air, Halloween is around the corner, and soon old man winter will return. It is also the perfect month to start focusing on fall lawn care. One of the most critical aspects of lawn care during any season is fertilization. In this article, we explain the ins and outs of fertilization, what it’s made of and whether or not fertilizing in the fall is necessary.
Why Fertilization Is So Important for Your Utah Turf
Your turf’s soil is the heart of your lawn. It provides an anchor for your grass, any plants, all your trees and shrubs and acts as a filter system, sorting through everything it absorbs. This includes water, nutrients, oxygen, and pollutants. Like all living things, roots sometimes require supplements to stay healthy and strong. Weather stressors such as heat, drought, excess water, overuse, diseases, pests, and weeds can take a toll on your grass, zapping the roots of nutrients they need.
Think of it in terms of how humans take vitamins. While we may get some of our minerals and nutrients from the food we eat, often, this is not enough, and supplements are required. The same can be said about your turf. Added fertilization includes additional minerals and nutrients the roots of your turf need.
What Is in fertilization?
Fertilizer can either be made organically or synthetically. Organic fertilizers are made up of plant or animal sources such as manure, compost, or bone meal. Synthetics are a blend of three macronutrients. They are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, also known as NPK, and each one of these critical micronutrients serves a different purpose.
- Nitrogen helps with leaf development, chlorophyll formation, and photosynthesis. And it comes in two different forms to meet the changing needs of the season: slow-release and quick-release.
- Phosphorous is needed for early root growth and helps strengthen the root system. It also helps your grass to defend itself against diseases, pest infestations, and uncontrollable weeds.
- Potassium protects your grass and its roots from the cold winter and hot summer days. It also aids with root growth and stem development.
The other lesser-known ingredients in fertilizer include what are known as micronutrients. These are the additional ingredients in fertilizer that help keep your grass healthy. Some of these micronutrients include chlorine, copper, iron, nickel, manganese, and zinc. They assist your grass with processes like chlorophyll production, photosynthesis, and disease and pest resistance.
The Benefits of Fall Fertilization
Perfect for Our Local Utah Climate
Contrary to popular belief, fertilizing in the fall is just as important as fertilizing in the spring. Part of this is due to our local Utah climate. Here in Utah, we have cool-season grasses, including Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass. Best suitable for cooler temperate and colder climates, these plants grow best in spring and summer and go almost dormant in the winter when temperatures decline. While in this state, they will quickly absorb any fertilizer they are given, making the nutrients more effective. Other reasons fertilizing in the fall is beneficial include:
Fall Fertilization Helps Prepare Your Lawn For The Upcoming Winter
After the stresses of the summer, including excessive foot traffic, and heavy lawn equipment, it’s important to give your grass an extra boost. This boost to your grass will provide it with the bounce back it needs to rejuvenate itself after summer. September through November are important months for cool-season grasses because their root growth is especially strong during this time. As your roots prepare for the upcoming winter, they begin storing the nutrients and macronutrients they will need for sustainability. Much like a chipmunk stores nuts or a bear stores up fat, so do your turf’s roots. You can help them do this by adding fertilizer and providing them with the additional nutrients needed. These nutrients will help protect your turf against our harsh Utah winters, and the types of diseases winter bring, such as pink snow mold and necrotic ring spot, both prevalent in the Beehive State.
Ferta-Lawn’s Six-Step Lawn Care Program Provides Your Turf With All The Nutrients and Strength It Needs
Ferta-Lawn understands Utah lawns. Our six-step lawn care program combines pre-emergents, fertilizer, and high-quality weed control for a vibrant, healthy, sustainable lawn. Our special blend of micronutrients and humates is applied throughout the season to systematically strengthen your grass. In early fall, our six-step lawn care program includes a complete fertilizer to help repair summer damage. In late fall, our sixth application consists of a customized fertilizer that helps to promote growth, increase turf strength and prevent winter diseases, all the things we mentioned above. Our lawn fertilization program provides your grass with everything it needs for a healthy start in the spring.
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