No doubt you’ve been at the garden centre or hardware store and seen a huge selection of fertilisers with a big NPK label on the front, so what does it mean?
- (N) Nitrogen
- (P) Phosphorus
- (K) Potassium
Each element is referred to as a macro nutrient and also refers to the amount of each nutrient in the fertiliser. Most nutrients for lawns are provided in the soil, however due to differences in soil (nutrient amounts, soil type and pH level) – your lawns need a little extra attention with the help of fertiliser.
Nitrogen is responsible for leafy growth and is a key component in chloropyll which is responsible for photosynthesis (the process that plants use to convert the sun’s energy into food).
- It helps the lawn to grow quickly.
- Improves the quality of the leaf
Nitrogen deficiency occurs when the plant is not obtaining enough Nitrogen. This can be recognised by the yellowing of the lawn or slow growth. One thing to be careful of with Nitrogen is that to much may cause you’re lawn to thatch up, so it’s best to use it sparingly
Phosphorus is responsible for plant reproduction and is a key component in improving the root system.
- It helps develop a strong root system
- It is an essential part of photosynthesis
What fertiliser contains a high concentration of Phosphorus?
- Rock phosphate
- Various liquid organic fertilisers containing Seaweed
Phosphorus deficiency occurs when the lawn turns brown and appears to be dying off.
Potassium is responsible for a wide range of physiological processes.
- It helps maintain the lawn and water balance
- It helps in building the protein, photosynthesis, and preventing disease
- It helps to increase the strength for survival in Winter
- Improves stem rigidity
Potassium deficiency occurs when there is reduced lawn growth and yellowing and/or burning of leaf edges.