How To get a Lush Lawn using Organic Fertiliser

How To get a Lush Lawn using Organic Fertiliser

A comprehensive guide to organic fertilisers

Maintaining a healthy, vibrant lawn requires more than just occasional mowing and watering. One of the key factors in achieving that coveted lush green carpet lies in the type of fertiliser you choose.

In this comprehensive guide, we consider why we need to fertilise lawns, define different fertiliser types, and decode lawn feed labels. Finally, we delve into the realm of organic fertilisers, weighing their advantages against inorganic alternatives, and highlighting the importance of timing in achieving optimal results.

Why do we fertilise lawns?

Plants need nutrients to help them to grow, survive and thrive. Plants are able to obtain some of these nutrients from the soil environment around them, but this is often not sufficient for really successful, healthy growth. The healthiest, most vibrant lawns are usually given additional feed, in the form of fertilisers. The three primary nutrients contained in fertilisers are:

  • Nitrogen (N) to help plants grow and provide structural support for cells
  • Phosphorus (P) to help plants build a healthy root system
  • Potassium (K) to assist with water regulation

Fertilisers often contain other nutrients known as secondary nutrients and micronutrients to support good plant health and growth.

Fertiliser types

Fertilisers come in different forms which affect how quickly nutrients are delivered to the plant and how long they last for. Materials such as composts and manures in their natural form can provide plants with nutrients but here, we consider the use of materials that have been purposely developed into fertilising products.

Liquid fertilisers are the most rapidly available form of fertiliser and are excellent when a quick feed is required but the effects will usually only last for around 2-4 weeks. Liquid fertilisers can be made from both organic and inorganic materials.

Granular fertilisers can be longer lasting, depending on the formulation they can last for 12 weeks or more. Granular fertilisers can be made from organic materials, from inorganic (mineral) materials, or can be a mix of the two (organo-mineral) fertilisers.

Organic vs. inorganic granular fertilisers: the pros and cons

Organic and organo-mineral fertilisers contain materials derived from natural sources such as plant by-products (e.g. distillers grains) and animal by-products (e.g. blood, fish and bone); manure, and plant residues (e.g. seaweed). They provide a slow release of nutrients, promoting steady growth, reducing the risk of nutrient runoff which can harm local waterways and reducing wasted resources. Organic and organo-mineral fertilisers can also help to improve microbial activity in the soil, fostering long-term soil health and resilience.

Inorganic fertilisers, also known as synthetic, mineral, or artificial fertilisers, are typically manufactured from naturally occurring materials including air, natural gas and mined ores. Chemical or industrial processes are often used to convert these natural materials into fertilising products. Some inorganic fertilisers offer plants a quick nutrient boost. This can be useful when plants are growing rapidly and are able to utilise the nutrients quickly but at other times it can lead to environmental risks including water pollution and disruption of natural ecosystems. Not all inorganic granular fertilisers release nutrients quickly. For example, controlled release formulations utilise coatings to slow down nutrient release. Some inorganic fertiliser formulations also have other beneficial features such as including herbicides so that you can control weeds at the same time as feeding your lawn.

Organic, organo-mineral and inorganic fertilisers can all provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs for healthy, green growth. Deciding which fertilisers to use ultimately depends on your long-term lawn care goals and environmental considerations.

Decoding lawn feed labels: essential nutrients for optimal growth

Understanding the nutrient composition of lawn feed labels is crucial for selecting the right fertiliser for your grass. Key nutrients to look for include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), commonly referred to as NPK. Nitrogen promotes leafy growth and vibrant green colour, phosphorus supports root development and overall plant health, while potassium assists with water regulation, enhancing disease resistance and stress tolerance.

Lawn fertilisers will often be low or zero phosphorus formulations because grass plants rarely require much additional phosphorus as they are able to satisfy their needs from soil reserves of this nutrient.

In addition to NPK, organic fertilisers often contain secondary nutrients and micronutrients essential for balanced plant nutrition. Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are examples of secondary nutrients that contribute to soil fertility and pH balance, while micronutrients like iron, zinc, and manganese play vital roles in enzyme activation and metabolic processes within plants.

Timing matters: when to apply weed and feed for maximum impact

Spring is an ideal time to kickstart your lawn care routine, as grass begins its active growth phase after the winter dormancy period. Applying a spring lawn fertiliser enriched with organic nutrients provides the necessary boost for healthy growth and resilience against weeds and pests. Summer feeding can help to maintain lawn vitality through the growing season whilst autumn feeds help to boost resilience for the winter months ahead.

For effective weed control, consider using a weed and feed product that combines fertiliser with herbicides targeting common lawn weeds. Applying weed and feed when weeds are actively growing ensures maximum absorption of herbicidal ingredients, leading to better control and prevention of weed infestations. For moss control iron-based products can be used or organo-mineral fertilisers containing high levels of potassium as well as bacteria which will digest the moss as it breaks down.

Best organic based fertilisers

Spring/Summer

  • Viano Recovery Organic Fertiliser: Enriched with organic nutrients, Viano Recovery Organic Fertiliser rejuvenates tired lawns, promoting vigorous growth and enhanced resilience against environmental stressors.
  • Viano Lawn Boost Organic Fertiliser: Produces strong grass growth and a vibrant green colour due to the added magnesium and iron. Viano Lawn Boost is ideal in late spring and summer.

Autumn

  • Viano Autumn Lawn Fertiliser: The added magnesium gives grass a strong natural green colour whilst the high levels of potassium support water regulation, enhancing disease resistance and stress tolerance.

Moss Control

Answering common questions

  • What is organic fertiliser, and does it work? Organic and organo-mineral or organic based fertilisers contain ingredients derived from natural sources. They offer slow-release nutrients for sustained plant growth. They work by improving soil health, fostering microbial activity, and promoting balanced nutrition for lush, resilient lawns.
  • What feed is best for lawns? Lawns will respond positively to the addition of nutrients applied at the right time. Organic and organo-mineral lawn feeds enriched with essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are ideal for promoting healthy grass growth. Products that also contain secondary nutrients and micronutrients can offer additional benefits for plant health.
  • When should you use lawn feed? Grass should be fed during the growing season to support growth. Spring is the best time start feeding the grass as it enters its active growth phase after winter dormancy. Applying feed in spring provides the necessary nutrients for robust growth and helps prevent weed infestations, setting the stage for a vibrant, healthy lawn. Pay attention to the suggested longevity of your chosen fertiliser and continue to feed as required through until the autumn months to maintain growth and health.

In conclusion, using fertilisers can provide your grass with the nutrients it needs for healthy growth and a vibrant colour. Organic and organo-mineral fertilisers offer numerous benefits for long-term health of the soil and sustainability. By understanding the nutrient needs of your grass, decoding lawn feed labels, and timing applications appropriately, you can achieve lush, resilient lawns that enhance the beauty of your outdoor space while contributing to a healthier environment.

Take a look at some of the leading fertilisers on the market here.