So you want fertilize your lawn. But you also want to avoid using unnecessary chemicals because of their potentially hazardous effects. So what can you do? There are several organic solutions for feeding your lawn without sacrificing environmental health. Most organic fertilizers are made from animal by-products, most often from animal dung, say cow or bat manure, for example. But there are a variety of other options as well.
Types of Organic Fertilizers
The two basic types of organic lawn fertilizers are organic and synthetic organic. Organic fertilizers contain animal, plant, or fish by-products. They come in either a granulated form, which can easily be distributed over your lawn using a fertilizer spreader, or they can be found in liquid form. Liquids are just as effective, but they can be harder to spread evenly over a lawn.
Synthetic organic is formed using “urea”. Urea is a chemical compound found in urine that can be synthesized. It contains nitrogen, which is an important nutrient in lawn care products. The reason synthetic urea is considered organic is because it contains carbon in its structure.
Organic Fertilizers by Season
The nutrient value of organic fertilizers can vary greatly depending on the organic matter used to produce the fertilizer. Those fertilizers that are high in organic matter, but low in NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) can be used more heavily on your lawn. This type of lawn fertilizer delivers nitrogen at a slower release rate and is usually considered a summer fertilizer. They are helpful in feeding the large microbe population of your lawn.
Spring lawn fertilizers contain a much lower amount of organic matter because the microbe population is generally dormant during the early spring months and don’t require as many nutrients. Some spring fertilizers contain pre-emergent herbicides to help prevent crabgrass and other weeds from growing.
Fall organic lawn fertilizers have higher organic matter content than spring fertilizers and may also contain synthetic nitrogen sources, which are great for using on late season cool weather grasses or on warm season grasses during the summer. Using an organic fertilizer helps feed your lawn naturally, but also helps keep artificial chemicals out of the environment.
Author: Philip Brown is a lover of green, healthy lawns. A former lawn care services professional, Philip now spends his time sharing what he knows with others and blogging about it at TruGreen.