Spring is a wonderful time to fertilize your lawn, after a long winter of harsh weather the time is perfect to get a jump on a beautiful green lawn.  This brings us to another debate, which is whether to use organic or chemical fertilizer.  It’s helpful to do a brief compare and contrast in order to select the best application for your situation.

Before we compare, it’s a good idea to know what fertilizer works.  Fertilizer is made up of three compounds, abbreviated as NPK.  Nitrogen which makes the lawn green, Phosphorus which develops roots and potassium feeds the lawn long term.  Synthetic fertilizers are made up of chemicals while organic fertilizers are derived from natural elements which might be biosolids, manure or other protein byproducts.

 

Advantages of chemical fertilizer:

It is found almost everywhere as it’s the most common fertilizer used.  It has a broad variety of chemical formulas which makes it easy to vary the elements for specific growing conditions.  It’s fast acting, effecting a change usually within a week or two.  And it is available in many forms, such as pellets, tablets, granules and liquid.

Disadvantages to chemical fertilizer:

Some common drawbacks to chemical fertilizer are: it is water soluble which make cause a loss of nutrients before they’re all utilized, it has a short life span unless the chemical fertilizer is long acting, and it can cause excess growth and may upset the delicate balance of soil fertility.  At times, trace nutrients are missing from chemical fertilizers.

Advantages of organic fertilizer:

It is overall much better for the soil, providing organic matter which is essential for microorganisms.  It has a more consistent and slow release of the nutrients that the plants are able to use, it has trace minerals, won’t leach out because of the organic matter that binds the nutrients, and is beneficial to the environment and encourages soil life such as earth worms which are Mother Nature’s little aerators.  And best of all, organic fertilizers are safe for kids and pets to walk on immediately.

Disadvantages of organic fertilizer:

Of course, all things have a downside and organic fertilizer is no different.  There are a few things to be aware of when using organic fertilizer.  It is a slower release which take longer to see a difference, the grass is dependent on microorganisms to assist in the transfer of nutrients, organic fertilizer has a higher cost per sq footage and is more difficult to find than conventional fertilizer in some areas.

 

We have both options available to us at APM and are happy to provide whichever fertilizing option you prefer. Fertilizing at the same time as your spring aeration will give your lawn a jump start on a season of enjoyment.