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Keeping your lawn looking fresh, green, and lush is an ongoing battle, many homeowners strive and struggle to do on an ongoing basis. With pests, extreme weather and various other variables compromising the state of your lawn, it is no wonder, many amateurs and experts will turn to fertilizers to combat these problems.

So, what does fertilizer do exactly? Like water and sunshine, grass needs the correct ratio of nutrients to be able to thrive. That is why fertilizers utilize three key elements to be able to provide a lawn with what it needs to survive. Think of fertilizers like food for your grass. Like how carbs, proteins and fats do different things for your body, fertilizer elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium also serve different purposes for your lawn. In a fertilizer bag, you will typically see three numbers. These numbers indicate the N-P-K ratio which stands for the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, in each bag. However, it is important to know what each of these elements do so you are able to pick the right ratio of N-P-K for your unique lawn situation.

Nitrogen is responsible for the green color of your lawn. It is what makes up part of the chlorophyll in plants which is the green part of leaves and stems. Chlorophyll converts light energy into food for the plants in a process called “photosynthesis.”

Phosphorus is responsible for root growth and development in the lawns. It also helps with seed formation.

Potassium, the final number in the N-P-K ratio, contributes to the plant’s ability to withstand disease as well as withstand extreme temperatures. It also assists in the movement of water.

Knowing what each element does for your lawn is important in selecting the right fertilizer and helping your lawn to be green, lush and healthy!

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