Plant Nutrition and Fertilization
Essential Plant Nutrients
Of the more than 100 known elements, 16 are essential plant nutrients. The three most important to plants are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; which plants get from air, water and the organic matter in the soil. Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen make up 94% of the dry weight of plants. Three key nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Nitrogen is a component of protein, which is essential for all plant growth.
Phosphorus is part of nucleoproteins, which are needed for cell division and the growth of new tissue in a plant. Thus phosphorus is very important for establishing new grass.
Potassium or potash helps increase winter hardiness, disease and drought resistance in plants.
If you look at a fertilizer bag, you will see three numbers on the front, for instance, 25-4-9. These numbers tell you the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (in that order) in the fertilizer. Different kinds of fertilizers are used for different situations. For instance, a fertilizer high in phosphorus will help a newly-seeded lawn develop. A fertilizer with a greater percentage of nitrogen can be used to promote growth in an established lawn.
It's not enough just to know the amount of nutrients. You'll also need to know what kind of nitrogen is in the fertilizer. Fast release nitrogen is available to the plant immediately. Weed Man slow release nitrogen is coated with sulphur, so that the nitrogen is only available to the plant when soil bacteria have broken down the sulphur coating. This process is gradual, so the slow release nitrogen provides nutrients to the plants over a period of about 8 weeks.
There are two advantages to slow-release nitrogen:
- The nitrogen is made available to the plant as the plant needs it, over an 8-week period. With a fast release fertilizer, it's either feast or famine for the plant.
- Since the fertilizer is used gradually, very little is wasted.
The Weed Man Fertilizer Program
A Weed Man fertilizer program will feed your lawn 3-8 (depends on location) times a year at approximately 6-10 week intervals. Weed Man uses only the highest quality products, which have been specially developed for home lawns. As you can see, Weed Man fertilizer contains a small percentage of fast release fertilizer that is immediately available to your lawn. Larger quantities of slow release nitrogen will become available to the lawn as it needs the nitrogen. Weed Man fertilizer also contains potassium and soil conditioners. Combined with proper mowing, watering, aerating and weed control (and in the absence of disease and insect problems), Weed Man's fertilizer program will give you a healthy lawn all season long.