A key thing to remember when looking at adding Nitrogen to your lawn, is to make sure it coincides with the growth rate of the grass. When the grass is actively growing quicker is when it is going to be absorbing more nutrient.
This means that spring and summer are the primary seasons where your lawn is going to be searching for a bit more Nitrogen. The lengthening daylight hours and warmer soils are perfect growing conditions for grass. Make sure in spring that you don’t apply Nitrogen to your lawn too early. It’s not until soil temperatures are back up above 14 degrees for warm season turf varieties that they will begin growing strongly again.
In Autumn, your lawn will need a little bit less Nitrogen. As the temperatures decline, there will become an increased need for macronutrients that help overall plant health and root strength.
In winter, your lawn will have slowed in growth and will not require much Nitrogen at all, so it is important to limit application during this time. Over applying Nitrogen to a lawn in winter can lead to disease issues and burning of the leaf. Knowing your soil type and temperature has a big impact on the form of Nitrogen you should choose to maximise results.
It is the most talked about nutrient for lawns and is usually the highest percentage of your NPK ratio (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium). While Nitrogen is largely responsible for leaf growth, it also plays a role in all areas of turfgrass growth including stolons (aboveground runners), rhizomes (underground runners) and roots.
Nitrogen usually comes in the following forms: Ammonium, Controlled Release (synthetic), Nitrate and Urea. Nitrogen helps with the formation of proteins that the cells within the grass needs to grow. Without sufficient Nitrogen, your lawn can suffer stunted growth and yellowing.
Lawns love Nitrogen, but it is important to strike a balance between strong leaf growth and strong roots capable of supporting it as well. If there is too little nitrogen, not enough chlorophyll will be produced. Too much though, and you end up with thin cell walls and poor root development. This is why other macronutrients including phosphorus and potassium are also very important. To read more about these other macronutrients click here.
Nitrogen deficiency usually presents itself as a yellowing of the grass leaf. This is known as chlorosis and occurs when the roots are unable to find usable Nitrogen within the soil. This prevents optimal chlorophyll production which is what makes the grass green. Learn more about the science of how grass grows here.
The best way to apply Nitrogen to your lawn is by applying a well-balanced lawn fertiliser. As said above, too much of one nutrient without considering all of the grass’s needs will lead to deficiencies, which can lead to a host of other lawn problems.
Lawn fertilisers are formulated to consider these requirements and will have an appropriate mix of your NPK ingredients (macronutrients), micronutrients and trace elements. There are a host of products on the market, all with different attributes and nutrient combinations. Some turf varieties will need more of some nutrients than others so this can form part of the consideration process. If you are unsure what you need, reach out to your local Lawn Solutions Australia turf supplier who can provide some specific advice for your variety and climate.
While the Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen, grass is unable to absorb the nitrogen in the air. But when it rains, the rain forces the nitrogen to the ground. Microorganisms then take over, converting the nitrogen in the soil into ammonia or nitrates that are absorbed by the grass.
Not sure whether a liquid or granular lawn fertiliser is needed? We have some more information here.
Lawn Solutions Australia Premium Fertiliser is a slow release granular NPK fertiliser, containing a balanced amount of Nitrogen. This Nitrogen is slowly released to your lawn over a few months and is ideal for all lawn varieties.