You are what you eat. You sow what you reap. Just as our bodies are greatly affected by the food, vitamins, and nutrients that we put into them, your lawn and yard plants also benefit from the appropriate fertilizers and extra TLC. For the consummate gardener, knowledge of fertilizers and how to use them most effectively is as basic as to gardening as knowing which plants grow best in which climates.

 

Why Do You Need to Fertilize?

We assume that all of the nutrients that plants need are right there in the soil, but most times they either are not present naturally, can’t be reached, or have been leached out over the years from various interferences such as traffic, construction, and intensive farming. This is why we need to help our plants along and provide what is missing.

 

Plant fertilizers promote rapid growth and blossoms and can even reverse malnutrition. But conversely, if not used correctly, they can be harmful. So, be sure that you understand your plants and the soil they are in, or seek a lawn care professional to guide you.

 

The Three Essentials to Fertilization

There are three essential chemical elements that all plants need - nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, also known as N-P-K.

 

N = Nitrogen promotes the healthy growth of leaves and stems by stimulating the production of chlorophyll, which is what makes plants green. Nitrogen deficiency is evident by yellowing of leaves or grass blades.

 

P = Phosphorus promotes the healthy development of roots, stems, fruits/seeds, and blossoms. It is great for blooms, fruits, and vegetables. Phosphorus deficiency shows up as in red and purple leaves and usually stunted growth.

 

K = Potassium is a “general, all-around” nutrient, which bodes well for stress-proofing and winterizing through its natural ability to work on plants at the cellular level. Potassium deficiency shows itself as dying or curling leaves, weak branches, and a failure to thrive and grow.

 

When to Fertilize

Knowing when to fertilize is as important as using the right fertilizer. If you don’t plan your fertilizing properly, you may as well not fertilize at all. Most perennials, annuals, vegetables, and lawns respond best to fertil­izer early in the spring, but not before the spring showers, or all of the nutrients can be leached out of the soil. Fertilize annuals again 3-4 times during the season with a water-soluble fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus. When fertilizing flower beds, use granular fertilizers in spring and fall, with an equal balance of N-P-K.

 

A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design was officially formed in 2017 when two homegrown Lake County businesses became one. The iconic Woodland Landscape Contractors & Nursery merged with the rapidly growing A.M. Landscape & Design LLC. This combination has helped strengthen our position in the industry and we look forward to beautifying our community for many years to come! To consult with a lawn and gardening professional, visit A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design email info@amwoodland.com or call (847) 224-2167. We have a “well-seasoned” staff with decades of landscaping and design experience.