#32- Does my lawn even need fertilizer?

Ete realizes that having grown up with a gardening mom, and having himself been in the fert business since the age of 14, fertilization has always just been part of life, not something that he's ever really questioned. After a few people recently asked him whether lawns even really need fertilization, he gave it some thought. Today Ete discusses the whys of lawn fertilization.


Hey, Hey, what is up everyone? This is Ete with another episode of Eco Law Science. Today I want to talk about a question that I actually had never thought of because I've been in the lawn care industry since I was 14 years old. I'm 36 now, so I'll let you do the math. And so it's a question I actually never considered. But this is it–and apparently a lot of people are searching for this and want an answer for this–and the question is, do I need to fertilize my lawn? Why is it important to fertilize my lawn?

I guess I'd never thought of it cause I've always been around fertilization. I've always been around plants. My mom was a gardener. She still is. She's got a property back in Jersey that she loves to weed and to grow. And it's really, it's really incredible what she's done there. It's just...people love it. So we always grew up around, you know, things that flourished. And my mom would always fertilize her plants and her beds, you know, with the Holly Tone. I remember as a kid, that stuff smelled so awful. So I never thought about it, but yeah, this question came up a few times recently and I thought, wow, I guess, I guess some people didn't grow up in that and didn't, weren't always around it, and so it wasn't part of their life.

So I think the best analogy for that, I really, I look at the body. I think...you look at the human body, you know, there are things that it needs to survive. It needs obviously a lot of water and needs, you know, minerals. It needs macro/micro nutrients. We need sunlight. We, yes, we do. We need, you know, to keep healthy and for our mental state, we need sunlight. We need exercise and we need to nourish ourselves. So those are, those are just some basics, you know, then we need, you know, there's this whole gut thing with the probiotics. So there's all those different elements and that's a very simplistic description of the most complex thing in the world. But when we look at the lawn, it's not that different. And that's why I use the human body analogy. You need...It's a living, breathing things that are alive and there's biology and it all has to work together. Just like the body. Somehow the blood is pumped from your heart to your brain through the body. You know, it's really incredible, incredible science. But lawns are complex also because it's just basically, it's a, it's an ecosystem of living organisms and things.

And so just like the body, we need macronutrients in a lawn, you know, the N-P-K. We need micro nutrients: we need zinc and copper and calcium just like our bodies do. And so for our bodies, we take, sometimes we take a vitamin pill or we get through our foods. Same thing with the lawn. It needs those nutrients. Lawns don't naturally have everything they need to flourish. You know, and I've talked about this before, if you were to go in a jungle, in a forest, you may see that happening. But there's also no mankind interrupting what's happening. There's no interruption. So in a home...in an area where you're trying to have a healthy lawn, it's just like the body, and just like the body, you need macro/micro nutrients. You need organic matter. You know, as we put in the body's needs, you know, vegetables and plants. And then it also needs, you know, like I said, a probiotic. You take those in your body. There's these millions of little bacteria, same thing with the lawn. And that's where the compost teas come in, to boost the immune system, and the carbon sources.

And so why do you need to a fertilizer lawn? Because just like a body, it needs assistance, it needs, it needs extra help. Lawns naturally fall short on nitrogen. They naturally fall short in some areas of, on iron and other minerals. Some of them, you do soil samples, they will have no, or low, organic matter. So they need, you know, some organic compost built into the soil. And so it's kind of a similar thing that if you were to pull it off, what happens to your body? You get, you usually get sick. You can kind of tell when someone has that look like, ooh, they don't look good. They look, I don't know, maybe they're pale and they don't look healthy, you know. Same thing with a lawn. You can see it when you see a lawn that's not nourished and taken care of, it is yellowish often chlorotic. It's not attractive. It's not thriving. And it's because it's sick. And so the real way to counter that is to feed it properly. And just like the body, you know, you don't want to put 20 Big Macs in a day and say, oh, I overfed myself. You know, like the lawn, you don't want to overfeed in one one nutrient, you don't want to. And the synthetic at that, you know, you want to do balanced meals and it's the same thing for your lawn if you feed it balanced, using the proper micro/macro nutrients and the proper organic soil conditioners and you know, all these other things that we do, you'll have a healthy lawn.

And so, yeah, just like anything else that's living and breathing, it needs to have food. It needs a food source. So I hope that kind of answers the question, why do I need fertilizer? Do I need to fertilize my lawn? And also hope it answers the question or makes you think, how, how do I do that? And just a little bit back to, you know, like I was saying, just, just a balanced, healthy meal is your best win. So anyway, hope that helps. Have a great day.

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