Turf Fertilization

Let’s Talk Turf

Fertilizing  turfgrass isn’t just about enhancing green color for aesthetic. Fertilizing turf maintains the lawn density and plant vigor, and encourages growth and recovery from turf damage and seasonal stresses (such as a drought season). If you own a commercial property, manage an HOA, or a facility manager at a municipality, you’re probably well-informed about this subject already. But do you know that your window of time to fertilize is short? Are you working with certified and licensed landscapers skilled in the fertilization testing and application process? We aren’t talking about regular ‘ol landscape maintenance. We are talking TURF. And having unhealthy turfgrass is out of the question for your facility or property.

What happens when you don’t fertilize turf?

Unfertilized turf will gradually lose density. Undesirable grasses (such as crabgrass) and broadleaf weeds (such as dandelion and clover) will encroach and the risk for soil erosion then increases. Properly fertilized turf better tolerates heat, drought, cold, and regular wear from traffic.  Malnourished turfgrasses are also more prone to damage from diseases and insects — this damage is more noticeable and recovery takes longer.

Applying the correct fertilizer at the right time helps turfgrass accumulate and store the essential plant foods (sugars/carbohydrates) that it requires for healthy growth and development. Dense, properly fertilized lawns require fewer pesticides to manage weeds, insects, and diseases in the long run.

Fertilizing turf should be handled by a professional, to achieve the best results. The process includes soil testing, tissue testing and reviewing the “fertilizer basics.”We review the phosphorus and potassium levels, as well as nitrogen sources. We review the nutrients offered in fertilizers and compare to turf testing results. From there, we calculate the ratios for turfgrass fertilization.

We strongly encourage our commercial, municipal and HOA clients to take the next month to have your turf tested and fertilized. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Before and After Turf

The turf on the left has not been fertilized for three years and is malnourished. The leaves are yellowing (chlorotic) and the soil is becoming visible near the canopy base. The turf on the right has been regularly fertilized. It has a pleasing green color and much higher shoot density to resist pests. Photo and caption from Purdue Extension.