Now’s the time to get outside and survey lawns, gardens and shrubs to see how they weathered the winter. After a long period of dormancy, plants and turf are ready to grow during what amounts to a short season for most of Canada.
To maximize the health, resiliency and growth of your plants, regular feeding is required. All plants require nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to grow. Nitrogen boosts growth and green colour. Phosphorus feeds seedlings and stimulates new root growth. And potassium provides all around vigour and health and strengthens resistance to disease and stress.
When it comes to lawns, feeding promotes a thick, healthy turf that can fight off weeds and withstand drought conditions. Fertilizer provides nutrients in the proper amounts. Review your options at your local lawn and garden centre by reading the fertilizer bag label or by testing your soil with a home kit or professional lawn care service.
The three numbers on the bag indicate the ratio of three key nutrients included in all fertilizers: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, listed in this order. For example, if a bag reads 21-4-3 it contains 21 per cent nitrogen, 4 per cent phosphorus and 3 per cent potassium.
Know the size of your lawn and buy only what you need. Follow the instructions on the bag and remember that more is not always better. Use a good quality lawn fertilizer spreader or a handheld model to distribute fertilizer evenly.
Feed your lawn every other month beginning in the spring. A lawn fed three to four times a year develops a deep root system to resist heat, drought and wear. It also develops thick green top growth to naturally resist weeds, disease and insects. Canadian holidays are an easy way to remember best times to feed your lawn — think Easter, Victoria Day, Labour Day and Thanksgiving.
To keep fertilizer on the grass and prevent it from running off into sewers, sweep any stray granules on driveways, patios and sidewalks back onto your lawn where it can do its job.
Find more information online at greenerworld.ca.