Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Fertilizer

A key part of any lawn maintenance plan is fertilizer. It comes in several forms, but any fertilizer worth its salt will have the right macro and micronutrients to give you grass all the building blocks it needs to produce the vibrant green lawn of your dreams.

What Makes Lawn Fertilization Tick

Your lawn craves two things: macronutrients and micronutrients.


All fertilizer has a three-digit number like 4-1-2. This is the ratio of the three macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. So if you purchased that particular blend, it would contain four parts nitrogen, one part phosphorous, and two parts potassium. Fertilizer needs to be carefully chosen depending on the needs of the soil. Too much of any one nutrient can cause problems – especially nitrogen, as you’ll see later.

Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen fertilizer helps your grass grow quickly, which is ideal for applying in spring and early summer as your lawn’s growth kicks into high gear. It also helps with leaf development, chlorophyll formation, and photosynthesis.

A Note On Nitrogen Fertilizer

Nitrogen fertilizer comes in two forms: fast and slow-release. Everyone wants a lush green lawn, but if you apply too much, you could actually burn the grass! Be sure to ask your lawn care service professional what the best choice is for your lawn.

Fast-Release nitrogen fertilizer will provide a fast response. However, it could cause uneven growth, and parts of the lawn may seem greener than others. In the worst-case scenario, you could burn the grass if you apply too much. And overfertilizing can be easily flushed out with good rain, which means you’ll have to buy more fertilizer and run the risk of damaging the grass all over again.

Slow-release, also known as controlled-release, creates a more uniform growth, is less likely to burn the grass, and dissolves slowly. However, this may not produce as fast of a result.

Phosphorous (P)

Phosphorus is linked to a plant’s ability to use and store energy and includes photosynthesis. It’s also needed to help plants grow and develop normally. It also helps with early root growth and aids in seed formation.

Potassium (K)

Also referred to as “potash,” potassium is important in synthesizing some plant components and regulating processes. It actually helps your grass process nitrogen better, which is why you need both in the proper quantities. In addition, adding potash to the soil helps grass with drought tolerance, cold hardiness, and disease resistance. Potassium deficiencies in grass may cause increased susceptibility to those extreme conditions. In short, good potassium levels help your grass stay tough.


Micronutrients are just as important as macronutrients, but your grass doesn’t need as much of them. These minerals are boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Like the macronutrients, they assist your grass with processes like chlorophyll production, photosynthesis, DNA synthesis, disease resistance, and more.

Forms Of Fertilizer

The last thing to consider is what form your fertilizer comes in. Some release faster than others; some are less expensive if you have a tight budget. Ask your TurfMaster technician which one is the best for your situation!


Granular fertilizer gives you more control over the nourishment of your lawn. It’s sold in various time-release formulas.


If you’re looking to green things up fast, this is the option for you. Generally, they are less expensive than other forms, like organic, and they often are sold with hose attachments so you can distribute them more conveniently.


This could include agriculture manure or DIY fertilizer like compost. Organic fertilizers will slowly release nutrients into the soil as they naturally break down over time.


These types of fertilizer are water-soluble and fast-acting, which helps you achieve more immediate results. This may be the choice if your lawn has extensive damage. Be sure to as your lawn fertilizer service which option is best!

Get Professional Lawn Fertilization Near Memphis

If you’re tired of seeing a lackluster lawn, give the experts at TLC TurfMaster a call! Our lawn care program delivers all the vital nutrients your lawn needs to succeed! We time our visits throughout the year to match the changing needs of the season. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at (901) 509-9005, or you can contact us online, and a team member will get back to you soon!

You can learn more about what we do and how to take perfect care of your lawn by reading our monthly blog here, or you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or even browse our Pinterest boards!

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