TORONTO, April 3, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Unseasonal temperatures have kept garden enthusiasts guessing, but for most of Canada it is now apparent, lawn and garden season has begun. With buds emerging and trees and shrubs beginning to green, priority number one should be feeding your lawn, which will be hungry for nutrients after its winter sleep.
"Healthy turf has a dramatic cooling effect compared to hard surfaces, acts as a water filtration system, reduces water run-off and provides a soft, safe outdoor space for people and pets to rest and play," says Clyde Graham of the Urban Fertilizer Council. "Just one acre of grass will absorb hundreds of kilograms of sulfur dioxide every year. Grass that is lacking nutrients provides measurably less of these environmental benefits."
Watering, timely cutting and proper feeding are the most important factors for a healthy lawn. Fertilizer ensures your lawn has all the nutrients, in the proper amounts, it needs to grow. As lawns and gardens grow, nutrients are naturally depleted from the soil. The role of fertilizer or plant food is to replenish these nutrients so that grass, trees, and garden plants can flourish. Lawns that are fed the proper nutrients are better able to withstand drought, crowd out weed seeds and bounce back from the pounding delivered by children, pets, and recreation.
To fertilize properly to achieve the benefits of a thick healthy lawn, the Urban Fertilizer Council recommends that homeowners and turf management professionals follow the 4Rs of fertilizer application:
...Right source: Buy the right fertilizer for your lawn. Review your options at the store by reading the bag or test your soil (this can be done by a professional or with an at home kit).
...Right rate: Know the size of your lawn, buy only what you need, follow the instructions on the bag, and remember that more is not always better. Use a good quality lawn fertilizer spreader or a handheld model to distribute fertilizer evenly across your yard.
...Right time: Green means go. As the rain returns and the ground warms, watch for your lawn to begin to green. Feed your lawn promptly to encourage deeper root growth and provide a healthy foundation for the growing season ahead. Avoid applying fertilizer before a heavy rain is expected.
...Right place: Avoid using fertilizer near waterways. Fertilizer should not run off into sewers, rivers, lakes or ponds, because it can promote the growth of algae. After fertilizing, sweep any stray fertilizer on driveways, patios and sidewalks back on to your lawn where it can do its job.
For more information on fertilizer usage and the benefits of good lawn care, please visit www.greenerworld.ca.
About the Urban Fertilizer Council
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute and the companies that develop plant nutrient products for the home created the Urban Fertilizer Council to help homeowners and turf management professionals understand how to look after their properties safely and properly.
The Greener World campaign encourages homeowners and turf managers to adopt best practices to ensure fertilizer techniques don't damage the environment. For more information about the Greener World campaign, please visit www.greenerworld.ca.
About the Canadian Fertilizer Institute
The Canadian Fertilizer Institute is an industry association representing manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers. Our mission is to be the unified voice of the Canadian fertilizer industry by promoting the responsible, sustainable and safe production, distribution and use of fertilizers. Our industry employs 12,000 Canadians and contributes $12 billion annually to Canada's economy. Our products contribute to the supply of safe, nutritious food in Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.cfi.ca.