Sod fertilizer is not lawn food. Grass and plants make their own food in the form of sugar through a process called photosynthesis. Lawn nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium aid the grass in the process of photosynthesis. When choosing a fertilizer keep in mind a slow release granular is always better than a quick release liquid, every sod species has an amount of these nutrients at which it will grow best and fertilizing according to your geographical location and time of year is important.
Reading the sod fertilizer label goes something like this. Suppose you buy a 50 lbs. bag of fertilizer which reads 10-10-10. The first number is (N) Nitrogen, the second is (P) phosphorus, and the third is (K) potassium or pot ash. Multiply 50 (pounds in the bag) X .10 (the nutrient amount). This bag contains 15 lbs. of nutrients, 5 lbs. nitrogen, 5 lbs. of phosphorus, and 5 lbs.of potassium. The rest of the weight is just filler. Bahia, Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede and Zoysia all require different amounts of these nutrients to be applied through out the year.
Nitrogen (N) is a macro-nutrient important in healthy plant growth and essentially what makes your grass green. The greener the grass the more photosynthesis can occur and the thicker the lawn will become. Be careful with too much nitrogen the grass will grow too rapid for the root system to keep up with the new growth and the lawn will begin to thin and look sparse. Also rapid growth will require the lawn to be cut more frequently in order to prevent added stress by cutting off too much growth at one time. An overdose of nitrogen also invites insects and disease or can cause chemical burn and the lawn to turn yellow in spots. Conversely a lawn deficient in nitrogen
Phosphorus (P) is also a macro-nutrient important for the development of grass roots but also the overall growth of the lawn. Without phosphorus the sod lawns growth will slow dramatically. Individual sod grass blades will turn from dark green to purple or reddish pigments. The grass will then thin and weeds will begin to grow. It is important for water conservation and quality not to over fertilize with phosphorus. Unused phosphorus from sod fertilizer is thought to attach itself to soil and can enter water sources through run off and erosion. Use sod fertilizer before or after a lot of rain fall, avoid excess watering of your lawn and do not exceed recommended amounts for your sod grass species.
Potassium (K) is another macro-nutrient important to strength of the grasses cell wall structure aiding in the grasses ability to withstand stresses such as cold, drought, heat and disease. It aids in the plants ability to photosynthesis, water abortion and respiration. Grasses low in potassium will be stunted in growth and yellow requiring an application of sod fertilizer. You can slowly add potassium by using a mulching mower and allowing the clippings to return to the soil.
Jacksonville Sod Service can help you determine what sod grass species and cultivar is best for your needs. We are a professional sod delivery and St Augustine and Jacksonville sod installation company. Our website is full of information about different types of sod, sod disease, sod insects and and sod maintenance to keep your lawn looking good all year around. Find our information on Jacksonville sod prices or give us a call and schedule an appointment for your free sod installation estimate.