Fertilizers for Landscaping – Oakville Lawn Care Management

If your lawn is no longer a smooth green carpet and, instead, looks drab and uneven with patches of brown or yellow, it makes sense that fertilizer should be an important part of the lawn renovation plan. Trying to choose the best fertilizer, however, can be challenging. Here are some fertilizer basics to help you navigate the options at your local Oakville garden center or home improvement store.

Fertilizer Numbers

Looking at a bag of fertilizer, you should see three numbers prominently displayed. These stand for nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K), three nutrients critical to plant growth and health. The numbers represent the percentage of each in the fertilizer. For example, fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 has ten percent each of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. In a twenty pound bag of fertilizer, than would be two pounds each of the three main nutrients.

What Do N, P and K Do?

Each of these nutrients provides different benefits, which is the reason you will see fertilizer with different quantities of each. Nitrogen is good for producing leafy, green growth. A lot of lawn fertilizers have higher percentages of nitrogen than other nutrients.

Phosphorous stimulates root growth and is also useful for producing flowers and fruit. High phosphorous fertilizers are good for establishing new lawns and for plants with ornamental flowers.

Potassium is important to overall plant health, helping them to withstand stress, heat and cold. In Ontario, potassium helps turfgrass and ornamentals prepare for winter.

When to Fertilize

Spring and fall are the best seasons for fertilizer application. For lawns and landscaping, Oakville residents should generally use a high nitrogen fertilizer in the spring, with additional phosphorous for vegetables and ornamental flowers. In mid fall, use a high potassium mixture, with phosphorous to encourage winter root growth.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are made completely from animal and plant based matter, such as manure or compost, rather than through synthetic industrial processes. They are better for your soil and the environment. The structure of soil is improved so that it holds more air and water. There is also less runoff of excess nutrients, reducing potential harm to natural water systems. Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly, typically resulting in a healthier rate of growth.

If you are not sure about the best approach to fertilizing your lawn and ornamental, there are several Oakville landscaping companies qualified to help. Ask them for advice or talk to them about lawn care and maintenance services. Your local business is usually the best resource for home landscape information.

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