Your new lawn needs proper nutrition if it is to thrive. In this article we advise on when to feed a new lawn.
Why feed a new lawn?
There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that they never feed their lawns and that the grass grows OK. Well, growing OK is one thing. Thriving, staying beautiful and shrugging off weeds and disease is something else.
You have invested in a new lawn, an outdoor carpet. Why not take the time to care for it? Would you buy an indoor carpet and not look after it? I don’t think so…..
When you create a lawn from turf, you are placing the grass plants under stress. They have been lifted from the field where they have spent 12-18 months growing happily. A large part of their root system has been chopped off during the harvesting process. Next, the turf is rolled up so that the leaves can’t see the light, packed onto a lorry, delivered to your home (maybe with a short stop at a garden centre), and then re-laid onto different soil.
That’s the equivalent of you going on a very long journey with no food, no water and no comfort breaks. It’s tough and recovery time is needed.
Part of that recovery process is excellent nutrition.
What nutrients do new lawns need?
When we are recovering from stress (running a marathon, travelling, illness etc), humans need carbohydrates for energy, protein to replace damaged cells and fat to help transport vitamins (also vital for recovery) to tissues and organs.
Grass plants have to make their own food from chemical compounds they find in the soil. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and a plethora of micro-nutrients are the compounds they need. Together these substances create the building blocks for that will repair damaged cells, grows new cells and fight off diseases.
Isn’t there already plant food in the soil? Why do I need to add more?
Some soils are better than others when it comes to soil nutrients. Some types of soil lock nutrients away so that the plants can’t access them. Other soils are so well drained that nutrients get washed away quite quickly.
Unless you have a degree in soil science and a laboratory to test the soil in your garden, it’s better to hedge your bets. Supplement the plant nutrients in your garden by adding a balanced lawn feed.
When should I feed a new lawn?
If you applied a pre-turfing fertiliser to the soil before laying your turf, there should be enough nutrition in the soil to last for at least a month.
No pre-turfing fertiliser or not sure? Feed your new lawn after its first cut. That will help the plants to recover from being mown and encourage them to grow new shoots and new roots.
Which lawn feed to use
Use a specialist feed that is right for the season. Between march and august – spring summer formulation is the one to use. Between September and February, you need an autumn-winter formula. Applying the wrong balance of nutrients can create the ideal conditions for lawn diseases so please be careful.
If you need advice, the Turfonline team are on hand monday-Friday from 7 am to 5pm. Phone or email us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.