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Nitrogen And What It Does For Your Grass

By Allyn Paul, filed under Lawn Tips.



When you buy fertilizer, the main thing that most people want to know is how much nitrogen it contains. This is because nitrogen is the main ingredient in lawn fertilizer that makes the turf green.

I can remember back in the early days of my lawn care career, we used to apply a fertilizer in the very very early spring that was a 46-0-0 blend. Yep, that’s right, all nitrogen and in mass amounts. This blend would make the customers’ lawns super green very fast. The product used was also 100% water soluble so it got taken in the the soil very quickly with just a little rain.

Now, we don’t use a blend like that anymore, but the point is that if you want your lawn to be green, then nitrogen is your friend. The key, however, is to apply the right amount of nitrogen without causing a growth push that is unwanted.




You see, in addition to nitrogen making the lawn green, it also stimulates it to grow. Nitrogen will push top grown in just about any lawn. This is good in some respects because the more leaf tissue you have, the more photosynthesis can occur. However, it is bad if you don’t have a strong root structure to support that growth.

In fact, too much nitrogen is like a sugar rush for the lawn. You have seen what happens when you give your kids a bunch of candy right? They get a huge burst of energy for about 30 minutes and run around all over the place. But once the rush wears off they crash and go to sleep! This is very much the same thing that happens in lawns that get too much nitrogen as well.

The right balance of lawn nitrogen is important and that is why I often recommend organics as a way to add iron to your lawn. Organics are slow release and natural, and won’t push the growth to an unreasonable level.

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