When it comes to lawn care, some of us can get a bit carried away. After all, we want our lawns to look the best it can be. We think that the more fertiliser we use, the healthier the grass will grow. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is such a thing as over-fertilising your lawn and it can have detrimental effects on your lawn’s health.
Fertilising your lawn is an essential component of lawn care, but that doesn’t mean you should overdo it. Here we’ll be discussing the signs of how an over-fertilised lawn and what you can do to remedy the situation.
Why fertilise your lawn?
First of all, it’s important to know why we fertilise our lawns. A fertiliser is a natural substance that’s used to provide the essential nutrients plants need for optimal growth. When there is a lack of nutrients in the soil, your lawn won’t grow properly and it can cause a number of different issues like brown patches and weed growth.
What happens when you over-fertilise your lawn?
Over-fertilising your lawn can lead to unwanted plant growth, particularly leaves and thatch. This can affect the grassroots because the thatches and leaves will start stealing the water and nutrients your lawn needs. A fertiliser is made up primarily of mineral salts and excessive use can cause salt build up in the soil, making it difficult for water to be absorbed. Simply put, your lawn will get dry and damaged if you use too much fertiliser.
Signs of an over-fertilised lawn
- A salt-like crust of fertiliser on the soil
- Brown patches of scorched leaves due to fertiliser burn
- Weakened and darkened roots
How to address an over-fertilised lawn
If the damage has been sustained during the growing months, then your lawn should be able to recover quickly. To accelerate the healing process, water your lawn regularly to leech the excessive salts from the soil. You can also aerate your lawn to improve its composition and allow the roots to absorb as much water and nutrients as possible.
How to avoid over-fertilising your lawn
Here are a couple of tips that you should follow when fertilising your lawn.
- Read the label rates before applying the fertiliser. A good rule of thumb is 20 grams per square meter, making two kilograms of fertiliser sufficient for a 100 square meter lawn.
- Always water in your fertiliser after applying. Otherwise, you’ll risk burning the grass leaves. If you want to save water, you can apply your fertiliser before heavy rain pours.
- Test your soil’s pH levels to ensure the alkalinity and acidity is balanced. The optimal pH range for plants is around 5.5 and 7.0. Aim to keep your soil’s pH levels at these numbers before applying fertiliser so it can absorb the nutrients as efficiently as possible.
- Fertilise your lawn only a few times a year. You can do light applications of quick-release fertiliser if you’re trying to address a lawn issue or if you’re experiencing difficult growing conditions where your lawn requires a quick boost of nutrients.