Lawn Management: Macronutrients

Macronutrients are the three elements plants use first—and most—for growth, development and survival. Given their impact, these elements are considered primary plant nutrients and are often withdrawn from the soil first.

Benefits of Macronutrients for Turf Grass

Replenishing macronutrients so your turf grass has a constant reservoir to pull from is a core component of any good lawn management plan. Monitor the levels of the following elements in your soil so you can continue to enjoy a healthy, dense lawn:

Phosphorus (P)

This macronutrient is used less by turf grass than nitrogen and potassium even though it’s a part of every living cell in the plant. An essential part of photosynthesis, the amount of phosphorus available to your lawn depends on the parent soil, organic matter content and soil reaction. Phosphorus is also:

  • An essential part of photosynthesis
  • Vital to the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy
  • Important in seed germination, growth and establishment
  • A catalyst for reproduction, flowering and root growth
  • Low-leaching and tightly bound to soil particles
  • Moved by erosion into waterways

Potassium (K)

Potassium is the second-largest nutrient required by turf grass, behind nitrogen. Generally speaking, there is one part potassium to three parts nitrogen in younger plant tissues (where higher levels of potassium are present than in older plant tissues). This macronutrient also:

  • Aids in turf grass hardiness, wear tolerance, disease resistance and rooting
  • Can be lost by leaching, especially in sandy soils
  • Is a major component of warm-season turf grass management and nutrition

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