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The Impact Of Lawn Fertilization On Outdoor Activities

Lawns are the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities with your family and friends. However, having a healthy lawn requires regular fertilization in order to maintain its lush green color and prevent weeds from taking over. But, while fertilizers are necessary for the health of your lawn, there are also risks that need to be considered before throwing that backyard barbecue. In this article, we will discuss the benefits lawn fertilization brings to outdoor activities, as well as the potential risks associated with its use. Keep reading for tips and advice on how to keep your lawn safe and fun all year long!

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What's In Lawn Fertilizers?

chemicals and nutrients for the soil

Store-bought fertilizers contain a variety of chemicals and nutrients that are designed to work in conjunction with one another to preserve and improve the health of your grass. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the main ingredients found in most chemical fertilizers. The amount of each element found in a particular fertilizer (known as the NPK ratio) can vary depending on the type of fertilizer, with some containing a mixture of all 3 and others omitting certain nutrients. The function of each of these 3 nutrients is as follows:

  • Nitrogen – Promotes quick, green growth for a lush lawn. Most important ingredient for grass, but must be monitored to avoid fertilizer burn.
  • Phosphorus – Promotes healthy root development, especially in early spring. Essential for nutrient intake and strong grass blades.
  • Potassium – Promotes resistance against drought, disease, cold, and more. Great for combating harmful fungi and preparing for winter.
 

In addition to these elements, fertilizers often contain a variety of micronutrients and other ingredients to make your lawn look and feel as lush as possible, which comes in handy when you want to have a backyard picnic or set up a play area for your little ones. However, some of the additional ingredients found in fertilizers can be harmful if they are not applied properly or given enough time to be absorbed into the soil.

Are Lawn Fertilizers Safe For Pets & Kids?

kids and pets on a lawn

Generally speaking, lawn fertilization is not dangerous, and it is even a necessary lawn care task if you want to keep your grass healthy throughout the year. The problems start to arise when fertilizers contain herbicides and insecticides, or if too much fertilizer is applied. Like almost anything else you or your lawn can consume, too much of a product will result in the opposite effect of what was intended. Much in the same way that shampoo and hand soap are widely considered to be “safe” products, using them incorrectly or too often will damage your hair or skin, and you certainly never want to ingest them.

Once fertilizers are properly absorbed into the soil, your lawn is perfectly safe for outdoor activities. It is important to allow up to 72 hours before letting pets and kids run around on a newly fertilized lawn. Dogs will eat grass for many reasons, the most common of which is to help soothe an upset stomach. If fertilizers are still present on the grass, your furry friend will quickly have a much more upset stomach that may require a trip to the vet. Likewise, toddlers and children rolling around in the grass before it is ready can easily result in chemicals getting into mouths and eyes. Though these will not likely result in serious injuries, it is always best to read warning labels thoroughly before applying fertilizers to ensure that none of your loved ones are put into harm’s way.

Benefits Of Lawn Fertilization On Outdoor Activities

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Fertilization is one of the most important steps in lawn care, as it replenishes essential nutrients that help your grass stay healthy and vibrant all year long. Not only does fertilizer keep your lawn green and lush for outdoor activities such as picnics or play dates, but it also helps improve soil structure and drainage, which can make a huge difference when it comes to standing water on a rainy day. The last thing you want to deal with after planning a big outdoor gathering is puddles and mud, and proper lawn fertilization is a great way to improve drainage and keep your lawn looking and feeling its best!

Do you like croquet? Are you hoping to get some badminton or volleyball games going this summer? Weeds and pests are unsightly, but they can also pose safety and health concerns for your guests. Games of touch football become much more dangerous if you have to worry about tripping over thick weeds or getting swarmed with mosquitoes. Fertilizing your lawn helps guarantee that your plans will go off without a hitch and that everyone will be safe. Lush, thick grass deters weeds and pests and makes for a much better playing surface for any type of game or activity you have planned.

Main Benefits:

  • Greener grass
  • More cushioning
  • Fewer weeds
  • Less lawn disease
  • Less mud/puddling
  • Softer soil
  • Fewer pests
  • Much more!

Risks Of Lawn Fertilizers

As previously stated, the main risks of lawn fertilization come from improper application. Greatest risks of fertilizers exist within the first 24-72 hours after application. This is due to the fertilizers not having enough time to be fully absorbed into the soil. Depending on the type of fertilizer, you may need to wait even longer before you can be sure that the lawn is completely safe.

Granular fertilizers are a great option for fall application, but they feature a slow-release delivery system that requires a longer amount of time before they can be fully absorbed. These types of fertilizers also MUST be watered into your lawn immediately after application, or the granules will just sit on top of your lawn where they can easily come into contact with people and pets. Liquid varieties also come with their own risks, as they leave your lawn damp with the chemical mixture that can rub off on shoes or body parts before they are dried and absorbed.

In addition to the risks fertilizers can pose to you and your loved ones, your grass can become severely damaged due to improper applications. Many homeowners think the best way to get a green lawn quickly is by introducing a lot of nitrogen to their lawns early in the season. This is the most common mistake made by DIY lawn care enthusiasts, and it leads to turf burn and other issues that will leave your lawn unsightly and unwelcoming. Of course, not enough fertilizer will also be ineffective at giving you the lush results you are hoping for, so it is always best to consult with a professional lawn care service before trying to apply fertilizers by yourself.

How To Keep Your Lawn Safe With Fertilization

RDS Lawn Care Services

When used correctly, lawn fertilizer can greatly improve the quality of your lawn and provide a safe environment for outdoor activities. If you want to stay away from chemical fertilizers, there are a number of options for natural fertilization, such as compost, manure, kelp, and more. However, these materials are often not as effective as chemical fertilizers, as they lack the full spectrum of nutrients needed to sustain healthy growth.

To avoid the hazards and dangers associated with lawn fertilization, it is always recommended that you contact a professional lawn care company to apply fertilizers for you. Professionals, like us here at RDS Lawn Care, carefully monitor how much product is applied, and they will provide you with all the information you need to make sure that any activities on your lawn can be both fun and safe. Call RDS today at (704) 822-1625 for more information on the best and safest lawn fertilization services in North Carolina!

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