The importance of fertilizer requires it’s own page I feel. For so long, people just assumed we were all about machines, machines MACHINES!!! But we are much, much more. 😛
So… WTF is fertilizer?!?!
If I were to compare it to an everyday thing that us humans use or need, it would be food(DUUUUH!). Though nature has a very magical way of keeping itself alive by making use of the environment, fertilizers(Synthetic and Organic) can help push nature in the right direction for health, nourishment and longevity.
So yeah, if you can’t figure out why your lawn looks like poop… maybe it’s because you’re not feeding it??? HMMMM?! Or maybe if you are, are you feeding it enough?! Or are you feeding it too much???
No Feeding Result
If we lived in a very controlled climate where it wasn’t too hot or cold throughout the entire year, then your lawn will not need fertilizer. You see, plants have this uncanny ability to live off sunlight and water. That ability to absorb sunlight(photosynthesis. come on, I am sure you heard this word before :P) helps with the production of chemical energy that is created through sunlight. Carbon and water create a carb source(SEE, EVEN PLANTS USE CARBS AS A SOURCE FOR ENERGY BECAUSE IT’S THE MOST EFFICIENT FORM OF ENERGY FOR LIVING ORGANISMS! EVEN IF YOU EAT ONLY FAT, THE PROTEIN YOUR BODY TAKES IN WILL BE REFORMED IN THE LIVER AS GLUCOSE. THIS PROCESS IS CALLED GLUCONEOGENESIS! All you people who hate carbs need to shut up!) that helps with the plants growth and overall activities. The process of creating a energy source, releases oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, hence why plant life and it’s nourishment of plant life is so vital to us.
So what is the result of not feeding if plant life cannot take care of itself? Death! DEATH!! If the plant is unable to create it’s own energy source, even with only one of the energy sources, water or sunlight, it’s not enough for the plant to sustain itself. We have to constantly, and I mean CONSTANTLY, compare all life forms, be it plant, animal, human etc… on the same basis of how life can live and that is; all living things need food, water, love and less stress. I must sound like a hippy, but whatever; we all live on this planet together and nature, god, or something of a grander scale, created us for a specific purpose, and it’s not to control or kill each other, but to maintain and nourish each other. We LITERALLY live off each other so to completely destroy, hate or kill each other makes ZERO SENSE! Anyways, lets get the idea of fertilizer done properly and start on the right foot.
Nitrogen is probably the most highly sought after element for plant growth because it is required for photosynthesis(that #%&@ing word again!). Just in case you didn’t read it, photosynthesis is the process of the plant producing it’s own energy source(sugar through water and carbon). Another thing that makes nitrogen so crucial is because it is comprised of protein strands which are essential for life. You ever wonder why bodybuilders get all veiny like an erect pee pee? It’s because of their nitrogen levels are at a higher state from all the amino acids which helps them be anabolic; repairing or rebuilding tissue. Nitrogen rich foods for humans help blood circulation which helps promote growth and recovery where as for plants, nitrogen supplies amino acids(protein strands) to help build structure. More or less the same idea; Nitrogen helps to build!
Phosphorus is mainly known for growth of roots and for blooming. The thing with phosphorus is that it’s found within the growing cycle of a plant, so once maturation occurs, most of the phosphorus is found in the seeds of the plant. With that being said, phosphorus is incredibly important for younger plants that have just been seeded, or installed into the earth. Phosphorus at this stage will dictate the integrity of your plant in which stem strength, flower formation and germination will occur. Sadly most regular fertilizers contain very small amounts of this compound so if you’re bringing something up in the spring, and it’s a fairly new plant, it’s best to find a fertilizer that specializes in root growth and blooming, such as bone meal. Or you can even use your own dookie! Rich in phosphorus and rich in nitrogen if you love your protein! Double whammy!!!
Potash is essentially potassium. So you are probably wondering why potash is called potash instead of straight up potassium? Because the old process of producing potassium salts, commercially for plants, was plant ashes soaked in a pot… anyways, so what potash does is helps retain water in the plant, which by itself, helps yield better results and overall health and production of the plant. Potash apparently helps yield better taste and texture for edible plants. You ever eat those grainy tasting apples? I call them sand apples, or better known as, &@^# apples. Anyways, I am assuming that has to do with a lower amount of potash in the production of the fruits? I could be wrong, but definitely, potash helps with producing better tasting vegetation. With that being said, don’t eat potash! Despite it being common sense, I wouldn’t be surprised considering the intelligence of people these days. Tide pod eating challenge and all.
Compound Fertilizer Choices
So we get this question a lot. “What fertilizer should I use right now?!?!” I like to answer this question with a concept of eating food, e.g. Are you allowed to eat breakfast style food for dinner? If yes, then why the hell not can’t you use a “Summer” fertilizer for spring?! The idea is that YOU CAN use any fertilizer any time of the year, however, that will always depend on the circumstances of the lawn itself like temperature, irrigation so simply thinking that a summer fertilizer will benefit you only in the summer is incorrect.
Biomarkers of a Healthy Lawn
IT’S &#^@ING GREEN! Ok, so aside from that, technically all lawns should be fine even if they have yellowing… to a degree. This is when fertilizing won’t help much so this is when the base of your lawn, the soil, is the problem. So a healthy lawn has:
Soft and Rich Soil.
Soft but not too soft. Textured so you know you don’t have dry or sandy soil. Rich? No, I don’t mean money in the lawn(seriously, I have to write this because people are so dumb). Rich, fertile soil retains moisture and is not sandy in your hand nor clump up. One way of making sure your soil is properly preserved is to aerate. Aerate to release compression in the soil. the less compressed the soil is, the more likely hood the soil will fall apart and allow water in and retain it. Now the opposite is just as bad, where water does not properly drain, in which case sand is necessary, HOWEVER! In Japanese there is a term called “tekito” which means half assed. So if you want to half ass your work and be “tekito” then just add sand on top. You see, the problem I see with this is that the sand is not dispersed properly throughout the entire lawn. If you are thinking, ” But I sprayed it around and raked it in! F U, MAN! I DID A GOOD JOB!” … Yeah, raked it into what? Do you gave a magical rake that allows you to move it through solid objects? You didn’t do anything but spread sand on the TOP and thinned it out by spreading it everywhere. It didn’t penetrate the lawn and the likely hood it will mix with the soil is low because you didn’t aerate, and if you did, you basically filled in the holes with sand so its not even spread through out the soil. You basically just have pockets of sand in the ground. That’s uneven dispensing and not ideal for a lawn you’re trying to correct. You know what I like to compare putting sand on turf that’s not draining properly? It’s like putting newspaper on piss and sh!t. Good job, mate.
So What is the best way to drain then??? Unfortunately, It’s an extremely bothersome task of adding sand to the bottom of the lawn before adding soil… Depending on the circumstance, I really don’t recommend doing this unless you’re going to renovate your entire lawn. Going half measure and just doing the areas with poor drainage is asking for trouble. Would you just replace one tire on your vehicle? Yeah, you could, but won’t the other tires be effected by the superior traction of the better tire? The same principle applies to your lawn so if any fundamental basis were to change, all things accordingly related will be impacted, inadvertently. Though, I can understand why most people would disagree, you still cannot deny that the lawn is an interwoven root system that is connected with one another so you shouldn’t blindly think that one area can be site treated unless the condition of the lawn is limited to superficial or cosmetic issues, rather than health related ones.
***work in progress. if you find errors, I apologize. I can’t concentrate on writing and listen to five finger death punch at the same time, and no, turning off five finger death punch is not an option***