Fertilizing provides nutrients to maintain plant health and also encourages new growth. Excessive use of fertilizers can cause overgrowth that is more susceptible to pests and disease. Applying fertilizer sparingly and in the fall will encourage root development and lower watering needs.
The three main nutrients in fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Most fertilizers available at garden centers contain a combination of the three. The amount of nutrients required by a home lawn is most accurately determined by soil testing. A soil test will determine levels of phosphorus, potassium, pH and mineral requirements. Your local nursery professional can assist you in identifying your soil type and the best fertilizer option for your lawn needs.