What’s Underneath: Fertilizer and Root Development

It’s All About The Nutrients

Even if you’re blessed with great soil on your property, your lawn still won’t get all of the nutrients it needs to be green, thick, and thriving. Think of your soil as a refrigerator: the lawn takes what it needs, but eventually you need to restock. Over time, as your lawn grows and the soil becomes less fertile, you need to refill it with fertilizer.

As a leading local lawn treatment company, we know that the biggest advantage to using fertilizer is that it’s packed with the nutrients your lawn requires. There are six primary nutrients, three of which (oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon) the grass absorbs naturally from air and water. The other three – potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous – are key ingredients of any good fertilizer. Let’s look closer at the benefits they bring.


This nutrient boosts disease resistance, regulates metabolic processes, and helps the lawn form carbohydrates. Overall, potassium is essential for enhancing your lawn’s overall strength and vigor.


Nitrogen isn’t one of the most common elements in nature, which means that if it’s available, your grass will gobble it up. Why does your lawn crave nitrogen? Because it facilitates protein development, which in turn helps the grass generate new tissue.


This is a real “wonder nutrient”. Phosphorous is key to good lawn care because it improves vitality, increases size, and most importantly, stimulates root growth.

Three more important nutrients are included in fertilizer, though not to the same extent as the three mentioned above. One of these nutrients, sulfur, is found in many of the proteins your lawn needs for good root development. Another nutrient is magnesium, which helps the grass process sunlight. Last but not least is calcium, which plants use in their cell membranes to stimulate growth and minimize toxicity. Calcium also improves soil structure.

Organic Fertilizer or Synthetic?

Having provided lawn care services to the Sioux City area for more than 30 years, we’ve seen a lot of different fertilizers. Today, you can separate fertilizers into two categories: organic and synthetic. Each has its advantages.

Organic Fertilizer

Composed of organic material (i.e. plant meal and composted manure) and mineral deposits, the most important characteristic of organic fertilizer is that it’s not water-soluble, and therefore its nutrients are delivered to your lawn at a slow rate. Thus, organic fertilizers are best laid in the fall so the grass can reap the benefits come spring.

Synthetic Fertilizer

Synthetic fertilizer is made via the chemical processing of raw materials. Unlike organic fertilizer, synthetic varieties are water-soluble and thus can be accessed by your lawn almost immediately. This makes synthetic fertilizer a good choice in early spring, when the soil is still cold and its microbes are not yet active.

Schedule Lawn Care Service

Fertilization, weed control, tree trimming, and overseeding: Jay-Lan Lawn Care does it all and more. Contact us today for a quote and we’ll keep your landscaping in top shape all year long.