While lawn fertilisers are absolutely necessary for all lawns to maintain their health, colour and vitality, if applied incorrectly they can cause significant damage to lawns including burning the leaf and turning the lawn brown as a result.
The Nitrogen in fertiliser is one of the most important nutrients to all plants, including lawns, that they need for their very survival. It's when too much Nitrogen is applied to the lawn, or the Fertiliser is not watered into the lawn properly that the Nitrogen component will burn the leaf of the lawn.
To avoid damage to lawns from fertiliser burn, as well as to get the greatest benefit possible from their use, it's important to have a proper lawn fertilising program, and fertilise lawns correctly.
A good fertilising program starts with regular fertilising, this should be done every 6-8 weeks, and only ever at or below manufacturers recommended application rates.
Never apply more fertiliser than instructed on the packaging, and never apply more often than advised. This will do nothing to help the lawn, with much of it washing away into the environment, damaging the cell structure of the grass, or even burning the lawn from excess Nitrogen use.
Lawn burning from fertilisers is most common in hot weather, when the heat of the day reacts with Nitrogen to cause damage to the turf.
Fertilising on hot Summer days should be avoided if at all possible. If fertilising does need to be done during hot weather, ensure the fertiliser can be watered into the lawn immediately after application. Even a single afternoon of fertiliser sitting on a lawn during a hot day can severely damage the turf.
Watering lawn fertilisers after their application is the most important step in appealing lawn fertilisers.
Fertilisers should be applied only on days when watering can done to fully water them into the lawn. A good deep watering is required so that all fertiliser granules are dissolved and watered off the green lawn leaf and into the soil during the first watering, ensuring no fertiliser residue is left on the leaf of the turf.