Essential Lawn Nutrients for Autumn
In this article we take a closer look at lawn nutrient requirements during the autumn period and how to address these needs before the cold sets in.
A lawn needs oxygen, nutrient and water, along with sunlight in order to photosynthesise. With all of these elements considered and readily available to your grass you should have a healthy thriving lawn. If you have a warm season turf variety like buffalo, kikuyu, zoysia or couch, as soil temperatures drop below 14 degrees over the coming months, so too will the speed at which your grass will grow as it slows in cellular activity.
This means that if your lawn is unhealthy and nutrient poor, it will go into winter unprepared for the colder conditions. This will leave it susceptible to winter weeds, compaction, shade related issues and frost.
Now is an important time to address these deficiencies and prepare your lawn with the nutrients it needs during the cooler months.
One nutrient in particular is especially important and should be available for your grass to help prepare it for winter.
Potassium for Plant Health
This nutrient is potassium. Most people know about nitrogen and its ability to provide quick green up and leaf growth. But now is the time to boost the health of the entire plant. This is where potassium comes in.
Potassium functions within the cell of the grass and provides strength to the entire plant. It helps the internal processes including photosynthesis, respiration and protein production. This creates thicker cell walls to help it withstand drought and disease.
Without potassium your lawn would struggle to grow, be lacking in strength and suffer yellowing of the leaf. Potassium comes in the form of sulphate as soluble potash and is a common ingredient in all lawn fertilisers, but can also be applied on its own.
Iron for Strength
Another key ingredient you will find in increased amounts in most winter fertilisers is Iron. Iron helps to strengthen your grass and improve leaf colour. Provided you have fertilised in autumn and have your lawn prepared for winter, an additional treatment around July is ideal.
You can apply Iron Chelate which will help to get better iron uptake for better results without the Nitrogen promoting unnecessary growth. Just make sure you don’t get it on any hard surfaces as it can stain very easily.
We recommend applying a balanced fertiliser with micro-nutrients and trace elements. These will replace some of the important elements that may have been lost over summer. Along with the potassium and iron that your lawn needs for the coming cooler months.
Exceed Liquid Fertiliser is a great professional-grade foliar fertiliser with a carefully balanced NPK ratio including potassium and added iron. Exceed will provide health and colour to your lawn and can be used year-round.
Another option is a slow-release granular fertiliser like Knight’s Special Mix which will provide your lawn nutrients for autumn for up to 12 weeks as it gradually breaks down.
Just remember, a lawn in dormancy can lose some colour as it is conserving energy. This is not anything to worry about and is a completely normal part of the cycle for warm season grasses.
If you prefer using a liquid fertiliser during the cooler months or want to see a significant improvement in colour straight away, we recommend taking a look at ColourGuard Plus, an organic pigment with added fertiliser that can provide an instant boost of colour.