Getting to Know Nitrogen

Nitrogen is one of the main ingredients in most environmentally friendly lawn care products. In fact, if you're planning to fertilize your lawn this spring, chances are you'll be using a product that contains at least a small percentage of this important nutrient. The question is, why? Read on to learn why nitrogen is an important part of any Ottawa lawn maintenance program.

Understanding Nitrogen Measurements
When purchasing any fertilizer for your Ottawa lawn, make sure you take the time to review the ingredients label. Fertilizers are available in three different ingredient ratios:

  • 10-2-3 (this fertilizer features 10% nitrogen by total weight
  • 10-0-0 (this fertilizer is composed almost entirely of nitrogen)
  • 0-10-10 (there is no nitrogen in this fertilizer)

Not sure which nitrogen ratio is right for your lawn? Ask your Ottawa lawn sprinkler technician for more details. He or she will be able to tell you what type of fertilizer is best suited to your grass type.

Why is Nitrogen Necessary?
Nitrogen is a super nutrient when it comes to your Ottawa lawn. Just a small dose will help with:

  • Turf growth
  • Protein development
  • Cell division
  • Chlorophyll production

But be careful – too much nitrogen could cause your lawn to exhibit weak growth, increase its susceptibility to pests, disease and fungus, and wash out the soil. Too little nitrogen could cause your turf to yellow, disrupt growth patterns across the lawn, and deplete soil quality. Before you apply fertilizer to your lawn, make sure to consult with a Nutri-Lawn lawn care technician or a sprinkler system specialist. He or she will be able to provide you with estimated dosage amounts for your Ottawa property.

Different Types of Nitrogen
Nitrogen is used differently in different fertilizer products. For example:

  • Quick release nitrogen is used to help green up your grass quickly. This is a very effective tool for Ottawa homeowners, especially when used in concert with an inground lawn sprinkler system. Quick release fertilizers also contain urea, ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. Just be careful – use too much and you could risk burning your grass.
  • Slow release nitrogen makes nutrients available to your turf over an extended period of time. This fertilizer contains ureaform, sulfur-coated urea, activated sewage sludge and water-insoluble nitrogen. This kind of fertilizer takes time to break down, providing your turf with long lasting care.

Nitrogen also occurs naturally in your grass clippings. So, instead of tossing them in the trash, why not spread them on your lawn for a little added nutrition? Simply mulch your clippings using the mulch setting on your mower. Spread the clippings evenly throughout your lawn and voilà! You've created an environmentally friendly fertilizer that your lawn will love.

Spring is the Best Time To Add Nitrogen to Your Lawn
Now is the perfect time to infuse your Ottawa lawn with a healthy helping of nitrogen. As was mentioned earlier, nitrogen is a major building block for turf growth, so don't be skimpy with your fertilizer treatments. Additional nitrogen will simply help your lawn grow as much as it can during the peak spring growing season.
Nitrogen can also be applied in the fall. However, it's important that you only apply a ratio that includes phosphorus and potassium. This will help your grass store important nutrients during the colder winter season.
Is your grass ready for another spring growing season? It will be – once you contact Nutri-Lawn! Now's the perfect time to book your spring lawn maintenance and Ottawa sprinkler system installation. Call 613.739.4630 to book your appointment.