Fertilizers - What you Need to Feed Your LawnWritten by L. J. Bruton
Just like humans need food, water and shelter to survive, lawns depend on certain elements to live, sixteen to be exact. Most of these elements are already found naturally in environment, but several others need to be added to your lawn. Adding fertilizer with these three elements, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, does job.
Before you run out to store to purchase a complete fertilizer, or, one that contains all three, it is important to understand why your lawn's livelihood depends on it.
Nitrogen- This is possibly most important element your lawn needs. It makes grass grow and gives it its green color. It will also allow for more density, thick shoots, and sturdy growth, thus creating an environment that will naturally fight off pests and bugs.
Potassium- Since you can't toss bananas in your yard, your best bet for this mineral is to use fertilizer! Potassium enhances your lawn's ability to resist disease, drought, wear and cold weather.
Phosphorus- This is used to encourage strong grass root growth.
Most fertilizers you will find in your local home and garden stores will contain all three of these elements. However, there are different amounts of each. This is reflected in a three-digit number, such as 30-10-10, which tells percentage of each in this order: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These blends will serve different purposes. For instance, more potassium in blends are good for winterization. The factors you need to consider are grass type, climate, time of season and soil type. Once you know what your needs are, you will be able to determine right combination of these elements. An additional way to scan your needs is determine current levels of these nutrients in your soil. This can be done through a simple pH test.
In addition to variation in percentages of key elements, there are also different types of fertilizers to consider. There are four major options that will greet you in fertilizer aisle: Granular (slow and fast-release), Liquid, Synthetic and Organic.
Granular fertilizers are perhaps most popular, probably due to their ease in use and duration. Since these are dry, they are much easier to spread. Granular fertilizers can come in a slow time-release formula, which provides fertilization over two to six months.
This is an efficient choice for homeowners, as it will not need another application for months to come. Granular is also available in fast-release, and although applied in same manner, nutrients are released quicker and work better in cold weather. This method also costs less. However, grass burn can occur and there will be a greater need for watering.
Hills and holes: Not part of your landscaping design? Written by L. J. Bruton
Do pests 'gopher' your lawn? Chances are, if you have a lawn, you risk chance of having pests, such as gopher and his cousin mole. And, perhaps even those pesky six-legged creatures- ants and other insects- call your grass patches home. Why are these animals and insects attracted to your lawn? And, what can you do to stop them from burrowing and nesting? Those answers and more will follow in this article.
Most household lawns are not large enough to attract so many pests that a serious problem will result, but nonetheless, they can be a nuisance and cause some minor damage to your grassy nook. Insects are not very easy to spot, as some are so small they are naked to eye, however, they can be identified by dead, brown patches of grass. Telltale signs of moles and gophers are a little more obvious- dirt hills on top of your lawn, and beneath them, tunnels and holes. Once you identify that you have pests, you then need to decide best way for you to take care of problem.
The first option is to call an expert. Use your local directory or a referral from someone you know that had a similar problem. But if you are like most people today, you may want to do it yourself. And, if you are a DIYer, first thing you need to do is size up your situation, and what you are up against. Let's look at insects first.
When dealing with insects, first thing you must realize is that not all insects are bad guys. Sure, we probably would swat at them all, but in reality, some insects can actually act as exterminators against others. Other insects can actually help control your thatch level. There are two types of insects when it comes to ones who invade your lawn: above and below ground insects. Above ground insects usually feed on your grass, and can be seen fairly easy. Some examples of these can be chinch bugs, green bugs and armyworms.
The below ground insects are just that, they feed on your lawn through root system, which means they are most destructive of two. They are also most difficult to identify since they are not easily seen. These can include grubs, beetle larvae and billbugs. There are literally thousands of species of insects, far too many to list here. You could borrow a book on insects from your local library, or check out some entomology websites to learn more about what roles and functions they have. After all, you don't want to kill off any allies!