There are other ways to provide nutrients to your lawn:
- Humus or compost (green matter)
- Blood, fish and bone
- Hoof and horn
- Manure particularly chicken manure
- Seaweed; liquid or solid
- Top Dressing
- Mulch Mowing
None are bad and none are ideal but all offer some benefits in some situations. The industry may be moving in the organic fertiliser direction due to a combination of economics and green issues. Demand for fertiliser for food and bio-fuel is increasing fertiliser prices. Secondly, the trend for recycling and re-using makes ‘green waste’ readily available, hence an abundance of compost and chicken manure products.
If you plan to use compost it must be decomposed into humus by bacteria before it is useable as plant food. This decomposing uses oxygen. If the organic fertiliser that you purchase is not thoroughly decomposed then the decomposing will take place on your lawn. This means you may well be depriving the root zone and soil of oxygen. Therefore, if you intend to use organics all the time rather than occasionally you need a completely aerobically decomposed humus product.
Benefits of organics
- Slow release
- No danger of ‘fertiliser burn’
- Provide micronutrients not normally available in most fertilisers
- Adds organic content to the soil
- Requires a considerable quantity to have an effect
- Not in the ideal NPK ratio that grass requires
- Organic matter and manure can encourage worms; this may be a good or bad thing
- Can be smelly for a while
- Some treatments like top dressing require a lot of effort
- Adding heavily fibrous organic matter (compost) at the surface can hold rain water or even draw water AWAY from the grass roots. Apply after hollow tining only
The ones of value…….
Chicken manure; a good but slightly smelly lawn feed
- Use if your lawn is short of bug and worm life as this is a great stimulant
- Apply once or twice a year at the rate on the container
- Apply in cool wet weather to minimise pong
These take the best of the synthetic and mined mineral nutrients and combine them with organic products. This means a product specially blended to benefit grass whilst combining the added benefits to the soil of organics. Lawnsmith® Spring & Summer Excel is such a product.
Seaweed; the equivalent of ‘lawn superfood’
- Use as a feed supplement
- Not so much a feed but a ‘vitamin and mineral’ fix
- Greens the lawn nicely because of the high iron content
- Combining with non-organic fertiliser makes this a good safe bet
- Can also apply as a liquid during the growing season
- All Lawnsmith® Spring & Summer fertilisers - Clay Soil, Sandy Soil & Excel contain seaweed
- Only worth doing if you have other reasons to top dress
- If your mower instructions allow then it’s FREE!
- Only mulch if clippings do not form clumps
- Do NOT mulch mow when weeds or weed grasses are seeding
- Very beneficial to conserve moisture in dry weather
- Will stimulate worm activity, so if you have high worm populations this can make it worse
- Will increase weed content of the lawn