Why do I need to fertilise my lawn, when it produces its own food?

Posted on March 19, 2020 by Ashlee Hall

Have you ever considered why we have to fertilise our lawns, when they produce their own food?

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Photo courtesy of Lawn Solutions Australia

To keep your lawn looking fresh and healthy, fertilisation is an important part of your turf care routine. But we’ve taken a look as to why it needs it, when it creates food on its own. Read on to find out more and, if you’d like a little further information, give us a call on (07) 5448 6398.

How does your turf make food?

The grass in your front and back yard produces its own food through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and certain bacteria to harness energy from the sun and change it into chemical energy.

The process involves your turf receiving carbon dioxide, water, chlorophyll and energy from the sun, which results in it producing glucose and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. The purpose of the carbohydrates that grass produces is to build and maintain its structural components and to provide the necessary energy for plant growth.

So, why does your lawn need fertiliser?

There is a common misconception that the food for your grass is the fertiliser itself – even the turf industry itself calls it ‘lawn food’ – but that isn’t the case… turf produces its own food. Here are a few reasons why fertiliser is still needed though.

Lawns release oxygen into the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis

One of the major issues our lawns face on a day-to-day basis is that there is generally a lack of nutrients contained within the soil. The reason for this is that the turf in your backyard was not created in the exact soil conditions it is currently being grown in, so supplementary nutrients may be needed. This means we can achieve a balanced level of nutrients and a great looking (and healthy) lawn!

Cooling & growth

Lawns cool down both themselves and their surroundings, which means your home will have less cooling needs. If your turf is looking a little under the weather, colourless and looks like it may need a little bit of nutrients, fertiliser can help promote growth and feed the roots of your lawn.

When should you fertilise your lawn?

Spring is an awesome time to fertilise your turf, especially later in the season. Lawns must protect themselves during the warmest times of summer so, if you get that fertiliser onto your grass before the summer heat starts (when your turf is growing its fastest!), this helps prepare your lawn best.

It’s all about balance

When it comes down to it, it is all about balance. Some turf varieties require more (or less) fertiliser and/or nitrogen, so we always recommend speaking to an industry professional (such as Rosemount Turf) and they will be able to provide you guidance in relation to your specific turf type.

Give us a call on (07) 5448 6398 if you’d like some further help!

Resources:

Live Science
Photosynthesis
Lawn Solutions Australia
If your lawn makes its own food, then why does it need fertiliser?

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