The worldwide population is constantly growing; as such, farmers must produce enough crops annually to cater to the needs of people worldwide. These needs do not just center around feeding, but clothing and several other utilities provided by agricultural products.
Crops and turf grasses derive nutrients from the soil they are planted in, and various plants deplete the soil nutrients in different ways and at different rates. Some can deplete soil nutrients after just a few planting seasons.
For plants to flourish optimally, they must have sunlight, moisture, and nutrients for plants to flourish optimally. The sun provides the light, rainfall or irrigation provides the moisture, and the soil provides the nutrients. However, after several planting seasons, the nutrient levels in the soil diminish, giving rise to the need for an alternative source of nutrients for plants.
This is where fertilizers come in. Fertilizers enhance the soil’s productivity by supplying the nutrients your plants need to grow strong and healthy. Irrespective of the conditions your plants are exposed to, be it drought, winter winds, or scorching heat, fertilizers help improve your lawn’s health.
This, in turn, has a positive impact on your plant’s immunity, because the healthier your lawn, the better it wards off pests, infections, and weeds. It is important to note that fertilizers will mostly help if deficiency of nutrients is the problem your plants face.
Plants grown in unfavorable conditions such as poorly drained soils, under excessive shade, or in competition with tree roots will not respond to fertilizers.
Origin Fertilizer Spreader Settings
Origin fertilizers are a national manufacturer and distributor of fertilizers with a strong local presence across the UK. They have a wide range of fertilizer products and other related services on the market. The Origin team comprises skilled and dedicated professionals present in 12 different production sites, offering national coverage through local service.
The chart below contains spreader settings or different lawn spreaders to help you properly calibrate before starting your spreading operations. The figures below are not strict regulations but should only serve as a guide.
|Spreader Model||Spread Width (m)||Disc Type||Spreader Height (m)||Tilt (°)||PTO Speed (rpm)||Drop-on Point||Application Rate (kg/Ha)||Forward Speed (km/hr)|
|Amazone ZAM||24||OM 24-36||80||NA||540||12/38||250||10|
|Amazone ZAM||28||OM 24-36||95||3°||540||12/55||250||10|
|Kuhn Axis 30.1||24||S4||60||NA||540||5||250||10|
|Kuhn Axis 30.1||36||S8||60||NA||600||7||250||10|
|Kverneland HL||36||Lift vanes||75||NA||950||M||250||10|
|KRM M2 Base||24||E6T||75||4°||540||POS 1&2||250||10|
|KRM M2 Base||28||E8T||95||6°||650||POS 1&2||250||10|
Types of Fertilizers
The two common types of inorganic fertilizers are granular and liquid fertilizers. Each of these different types can meet your lawn’s needs differently. Let’s compare them below, and consider their pros and cons as well.
1. Granular Fertilizers
Granular fertilizers are dry fertilizers that mostly come shaped like pellets. Most granular fertilizers are slow-release, which means they release nutrients slowly to grass over a long period. You can apply granular fertilizers with any spreader of your choice, be it broadcast, drop or hand-held.
- The slow-release mechanism of these dry fertilizers causes them to last several weeks or even months on the lawn, which reduces how often you will need to apply them.
- Slow-release fertilizers encourage long-term grass health.
- Granular fertilizers are generally less expensive compared to liquid fertilizers.
- Granular fertilizers have a longer shelf life.
- Due to their slow release, granular fertilizers are not ideal for a dying lawn that requires an immediate nutrient boost.
- Spreading granular fertilizers uniformly can sometimes be difficult due to the presence of dust particles and unequal-sized pellets.
- Spreading granular fertilizers are more physically straining than liquid fertilizers because you will have to push/pull a spreader around your lawn or consistently turn a hand crank (in the case of a hand-held spreader).
2. Liquid Fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers are mostly available in 2 forms. They either come as a concentrated liquid or dry, water-soluble substance. Both forms must be diluted with water by the user before application. Unlike their granular counterparts, most liquid fertilizers are quick-release. That is, they release nutrients to the grass immediately after application.
- It gives your lawn an immediate boost of nutrients, making it ideal for struggling lawns that need immediate attention.
- Liquid fertilizers create an even distribution of plant food across the lawn, as every drop of liquid contains an identical ratio of nutrients.
- Liquid fertilizers, thanks to their quick release, offers speedy results. If you are hosting an occasion and quickly need a different lawn, liquid fertilizers are always preferable.
- Liquid fertilizers are great for starting new lawns, as it provides the young seedlings with nutrients right away.
- Liquid fertilizers need to be reapplied more frequently than granular fertilizers.
- They are more expensive than granular fertilizers.
- Liquid fertilizers have a shorter shelf-life.
- They can sometimes trigger a growth surge, where shoot growth is rapidly stimulated and root growth hindered. This is not good for an established lawn, as the plants will become vulnerable to environmental stress, pests, and diseases.
Methods for Applying Fertilizers
There are four major ways through which you can apply fertilizers to your lawn.
- Deep Soil Application
Fertilizers (particularly organic), can be placed on the surface of the soil and tilled in with a plow before planting. They can also be broadcast on the surface of plowed soil and worked in with a spade or harrow before planting.
Fertilizer can also be applied using a lawn spreader to scatter the granules on the soil. This method is best suited for flower beds, vegetable gardens, lawns, and trees. After application, the granules should be watered in.
When fertilizing a row of flowers or vegetables, you can place the fertilizer 2” to the side and 2” deeper than the seed furrow. This is called banding. When you irrigate with furrows, place the band of fertilizer between the irrigation furrow and seed furrow. When you irrigate with a drip hose, place the fertilizer under the emitter.
- Liquid Application
You can apply water-soluble fertilizers with sprinklers, spray cans, or furrow irrigation. Liquid fertilizers are usually sprayed on the leaves of plants, when they show signs of nutrient deficiency and in drought seasons when the soil is too dry to absorb nutrients.