Need Help Choosing Your Fertiliser?
The following few questions within the table are designed to help you choose an appropriate fertiliser. Answer them in order starting at the top and you’ll be lead to a link that displays fertilisers that have been selected to suit your needs.
Where are you using your fertiliser? Generally if you don’t know what height you’re cutting it at you will in all likelihood be ‘Amenity/outfield turf’. Though you might want to obtain fine turf by using the appropriate products.
How are you applying it? Either through a fertiliser spreader, in which case it’ll be a granular fertiliser or through a sprayer therefore it will be a liquid fertiliser.
What time of the year is it? Apparently straightforward but its good advice not to ask somebody who works outside about the weather...
Organic or mineral fertilisers? They each offer different qualities though generally an organic fertiliser operates better during the growing season and a mineral fertiliser simply contains the elements stated on the bag, no micronutrients or biostimulants.
How long do you want it to last? You get what you pay for, if you want it to last longer it will have a higher analysis (contain more nutrients) but correspondingly you will pay a little more for it.
Any other activities? Some fertilisers have been endowed with the capacity to control weeds and moss. These are best used during the growing season. As with all pesticides, follow the application guidelines fully.
If you have any questions or require further assistance, please call our technical sales team on .
|Choosing the right fertiliser
|Where are you using it?
Cutting height below 10mm
Cutting height above 12mm
|How are you going to apply it?
|What time of the year is it?
|Organic or Synthetic?
|How long do you want it to last?
|Any other activities?
Article: How To Select The Correct Fertiliser
Fertilisers are a key part of a lawn maintenance programme; intrinsic to lawn repair, renovation and grass care. To understand the difference behind various fertiliser prices and products it is useful to understand a little bit about plant physiology. Plants use the suns energy to convert carbon and oxygen (CO2) and hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) into a plant food (starches and sugars), this process is known as photosynthesis. These elements are found in air and water, however the plant also needs other nutrients known as macronutrients and micronutrients (trace elements):
|Role within plant
|Nitrogen – N
|Nitrogen fertiliser is mainly used for the growth of leaves and stems
|Phosphorous (phosphate) – P
|Phosphate fertiliser is primarily used for flowering and root development
|Potassium (potash) – K
|Potassium fertiliser is used for fruiting, root growth and disease resistance
|Calcium – Ca
|Is used within the plant cell wall
|Magnesium – Mg
|Important within the process of photosynthesis and enzyme production
|Sulphur – S
|Important in food, enzyme and chlorophyll production
|Iron – Fe
|Used in the formation of chlorophyll
|Manganese – Mn
|Involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates
|Copper – Cu
|Important for reproductive growth
|Boron – B
|Used in the production of sugars and carbohydrates
|Molybdenum – Mo
|Utilised by the plant when using nitrogen
|Zinc – Zn
|Used within the transport system of the plant
|Chloride – Cl
|Used when the plant metabolises other nutrients
Fertilisers provide the major plant nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and commonly deficient nutrients as well as nutrients that have an obvious aesthetic effect such as iron. For this reason fertilisers can also be termed as NPK fertilisers. The nutrient value is commonly expressed on the bag in a specific way as shown in the diagram to the left:
How to decide which fertiliser you need for the perfect lawn
The type of fertiliser needed is dependent upon a number of factors; level of lawn maintenance required, time of year, the nutrient release characteristics desired of the fertiliser, budget, means of application, necessity for lawn repair, the turf managers strategy as well as grass care personal preferences. Fertiliser types are broken down into 3 categories: Granular, liquid and soluble.
Within this category we need to decide whether we require an organic or conventional fertiliser. Broadly speaking, organic fertilisers, also known as natural fertilisers, are better during the peak of the growing season, May-September, when microbial activity is higher thus enabling the fertiliser to be used by the plant. Organic fertiliser commonly contains other ingredients such as seaweeds and humic acids, which are used within the plant, supplying secondary nutrients and trace elements. Conventional fertilisers, also known as chemical fertilisers, are better utilised outside of this period as they are not reliant upon microbial activity which is higher during the warmer period of the year.
Conventional fertilisers make up the majority of fertilisers sold in the UK. They can either be applied at the time the plant requires the nutrient or applied in advance as long as they are polymer coated. By applying a polymer coating the aim is to replicate what would naturally happen within nature i.e. nutrients become available as temperature and moisture increases; this is known as a slow or controlled or controlled release fertiliser. The polymer coating commonly requires moisture and warmth to degrade and allow the nutrients to become available. Generally more cost-effective fertilisers are a blend of straight N, P and K, also known as blended fertilisers i.e. each particle is either n, p, k with a carrier e.g. on average with a 20-10-10 analysis out of a 100 granules 20 will be nitrogen, 10 will be phosphate and 10 will be potash the remaining 60 granules will be a carrier to enable the stated analysis to be spread evenly over the surface. Homogenous fertilisers are fertilisers where each granule contains a proportion of each of the nutrients therefore each granule would contain 20% n, 10% p, 10% k and 60% carrier. The most sophisticated fertilisers, Lebanon fertilisers, are a mixture of conventional and controlled release fertilisers and do not require a polymer coating.
The type of turf will dictate what type of size granule that can be used, i.e. a turf that is cut at a height that is greater than 12mm can use a regular granule size whereas a turf that is cut below this height will require a ‘greens grade’ fertiliser granule size, generally described as a mini granule. Granular fertilisers should be applied through a fertiliser spreader.
Certain granular fertilisers also contain other agents e.g. herbicide and/or moss killer.
The period when it is best to apply conventional granular fertilisers:
The period when it is best to apply organic granular fertilisers:
For turf that is used as a playing surface e.g. golf green, bowling green or cricket square there is a preference for using liquid fertilisers during the playing season as this does not interfere with the roll of the ball. The nutrient values are generally restricted to summer analyses as granular fertilisers are a more effective way of delivering nutrients outside of the playing season. They are used to complement existing granular fertiliser programmes and can be used in conjunction with herbicide applications though advice should be sought for specific recommendations. The longevity of liquid fertilisers is generally shorter therefore they require reapplying more frequently but they offer the sports facility a tighter control of their fertiliser application enabling them to target their applications of fertiliser to coincide with fixtures and calendar dates. Liquid fertilisers also offer incomparable evenness in application although they need to be applied through professional machinery i.e. a pedestrian sprayer.
The period when it is best to apply liquid fertilisers:
As the name implies, this facilitates all the advantages of a liquid fertiliser and reduces the amount of material that is ‘hauled’. Water is added to the product before it is applied and this can offer some cost savings over more material intense liquid fertilisers although again they need to applied through professional machinery i.e. a pedestrian sprayer.
The period when it is best to apply soluble fertilisers:
Please call our team of experts for professional lawn care advise on +353 (0)1 841 7399.