What nutrients does my lawn need?

What nutrients does my lawn need? What are macro-nutrients? What are micro-nutrients? Did I lock the front door? These are the questions that keep me up at night!

You are probably familiar with the main macro-nutrients in regards to your lawn. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium frequently appear in the bags of fertilizer that you purchase for your lawn. For more details, check out my blog post Fertilizer numbers, what do they mean? to refresh your memory.

Some of the common secondary macro nutrients are Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur.

Calcium is always provided when you make an application of lime to the soil to help bring the pH. To find out more about your soil pH and why it’s important, read the post entitled Lime…it’s not just for margaritas and tacos!

Magnesium usually shows up in a few bags that will encourage a “green up” without the extra growth.

Sulfur is often used on soils that have a high pH or are too alkaline. Consistently dry conditions are typical for alkaline soils. Sandy soils will usually be alkaline too.

Micro Nutrients such as Iron, Manganese and Zinc are only required by the turf in very small amounts.

In fact, almost all commercial and consumer retail fertilizers fertilizers don’t even supply these nutrients with the exception of iron.

Iron (Fe) is often found in fertilizers that are sold or labeled as “Fall Fertilizers”. Iron itself will often be combined with Magnesium to promote a “green up” of the lawn without pushing addition green growth. Often times, coming out of the hot summer, lawns can be a little pale looking and in need of Iron.

Well that’s all folks! I hope this helps you with your journey to creating a great looking lawn!

Clint Baxter

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