The Difference between Lawn Fertilizing and Lawn Fertility
When it comes to lawn care, we are a steward of our environment. At least that is how lawn care companies SHOULD view turf applications. Too many companies (most of them actually) only care about Fertilizing the grass, and spraying weeds. We care about that too, but there’s something even bigger that needs to be included, the SOIL.
Back when Fertilawn started, which by the way was almost the same time Trugreen was founded, we cared about these 2 things as well… It worked, it still works, but now we are seeing a shift in how we view lawn care. It’s important to not only think about what the grass needs, but also what the soil needs. Yes you can shove fertilizer down your lawns gullet in the spring and get a deep green lawn, but at what cost?
Let me ask you this, if I mainline 3 Red Bulls into your system when your sleeping, what’s going to happen? Your going to wake up early, spunky as all hell, then crash soon after.
The same goes for fertilizing a lawn. Anyone (and most big name companies do!) can push tons of growth in the springtime to get a deep color. Look at the most used homeowner “Lawn Care” 4 step program. TONS of Nitrogen (lawn energy drinks) early in the spring to “jump start” your lawn, this is bad, not good. Your lawn is going to crash, and that’s what exactly happens. Once summer hits, (mid morning in my energy drink example) your lawn is going to get tired, worn out, and be susceptible to many environmental stresses like drought and disease. The only way to keep this going, is to shove more “energy drinks” into it. This is the cycle many companies follow.
If you keep this up, what would happen if you used energy drinks to sustain this high energy? Personally I know I’m hitting the sack before anyone else in the house, if I even make it that long. Your lawn is the same way.
A Better Morning Ritual
Now, lets go a different route. Kids are sleeping at Grandma and Grandpas house, you get to bed at a normal time because you didn’t crash, and you get to wake up on your terms. If you’re like me, you get a cup of coffee automatically brewed so it’s ready for you in the morning, you may get something small to eat and you start your day. You’re much happier throughout the day right? More energy, less stress.
This is how your lawn needs to be looked at. Let it slowly wake and feed it the energy it needs, when it needs it, and don’t over do it.
How do you think this blog got completed? I can tell you it wasn’t the product of energy drinks.
Gotta be honest though, I just gave my 3.5 year old a “Dunkaroos” for breakfast, this would go into the category as NOT a good morning ritual.
So how does Lawn Fertility come in?
So now that we understand the whole morning ritual thing, what about feeding vs fertility? Well interesting enough, energy drinks can be great, but it’s a non-sustainable source of energy. You need more to keep going essentially. Think of this as the high Nitrogen programs many companies do. Good color, at the cost of healthy soil and turf plants.
You’re getting healthier, dropping the energy drinks, and eating a more balanced diet. You feel better.
That’s what Lawn and Soil Fertility is!!! Your still getting your energy, but your getting it in a way that is sustainable and allows your body to work the way it is supposed to.
Lawn and Soil Fertility
If you look at a 100% Organic Program, the cornerstone of that is NOT using less “Chemicals”. That needs to be addressed very clearly in BIG BOLD WRITING. The reason an “organic” approach works has nothing to do with the chemicals. Chemicals are good, nearly everything we do in life revolves around chemicals and chemical compounds. Look under your sink, them chemicals can be extremely toxic if used incorrectly. Lawn stuff is no different. They are generally much less toxic than most under sink chemicals. Did you know pound for pound, vinegar is far more lethal than Round up (Glyphosate)? If you don’t believe me, look it up.
I love Organics!! But they take time to work. They are not as fast acting as regular fertilizers. Even though many “Organic Lawn Care Companies” are marketed as less chemicals, it’s simply because it sells. The true reason organics are awesome and why they fit into lawn care is something you probably didn’t think of.
They FEED the soil. NOT the plant. TRUE FERTILITY!!!! Organics feed all the little tiny microbes in your soil, these microbes create a healthy soil which in turn feeds your healthy lawn. The whole reason Organic Lawn Care programs are important is that they get to the root cause of poor lawns. They feed the soil, and increase the life that exists in there. THEN your turf can utilize this beautiful soil to its full potential, with far less “energy drink” inputs.
My Prairie Example
If I have talked your ear off on the phone regarding Organics, I most likely have given you my Prairie Example.
Look at the soil in a mature Prairie, it is going to be packed with life and extremely Fertile. Why?
When an Organic substance (plant material, sticks, dead animals) sits on the soil, it starts to decompose and feed those little tiny miracle workers called microbes. Prairies naturally produce TONS of these organic goodies. They consistently feed the soil with their dead plant material each season, in turn creating a thriving soil structure. This is why these Prairies are so fertile! THIS is why organics in lawn care are so important, and THIS is the difference between Lawn Fertility and Lawn Fertilizing.
None of these prairies have been fertilized, yet they preform extremely well, especially during times of drought and stress. Your lawn is the same way.
Lawn Fertility in your Turf
Coming full circle, how do we get this prairie like soil in our lawns? Nowadays, most lawns soil cannot compare to a prairie, there’s no way that they can. EVERYTHING in a prairie naturally decomposes and feeds the soil.
Lawns are completely different. The ONLY thing that most soils get fed are grass clippings, and even then many people still bag there lawns! WHY?! (PS- DON’T BAG YOUR LAWN!!) Leaves, sticks and dead animals (that’s probably a good one to get off the lawn) all feed the soil and help create a healthy soil environment. But we get rid of it. Not feeding a darn thing, and NOT worrying about true Fertility.
That’s where a Fertility program differs from a Fertilizing program. Our programs do both. We are adding organics in many different forms to your soil, but also feeding the lawn with an sustainable, healthy amount of nutrients. NOT overdoing those nutrients to create problems down the road.
Throughout the year, we add different types of Organics to your lawn, which leads to improved soil, happier microbes, and a better performing, happier lawn.
Why aren’t more companies doing these things?
Very simple, they are giving customers what they want, or think they want. Deep green lawns with no weeds. There is no problem with this, as that’s what we want to see from our lawns. The problems lies with HOW your getting those results.
We want those results in a more sustainable way. Less synthetic inputs for initial turf growth, and more organic inputs for SOIL growth, which then LEADS to turf growth.
Let’s go back to my energy drink example. When a customer signs up for service, they want a deep green lawn. The EASIEST way to appease this is shoving energy drinks (High Nitrogen in the Spring) down your lawns’ throat. Lawns get green, customers happy. If you’ve stuck with me, you know this is NOT a good way though.
You can get those same results, but it takes a little longer, and the results will be much better, sustainable, and longer lasting. You gotta think long term and think about Fertility, not just short term Fertilizing.