large green grass yard

What Chemical Makes Grass Green?

In Lawn & Garden by Jamie

There are three elements in grass fertilizers that help keep your grass alive: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of them has its own function in healthy grass growth.

Let’s dig into these 3 elements.

Nitrogen is responsible for the lush and dense growth of your grass, which helps make it look attractive and healthy. It is also a structural element of chlorophyll within plants, according to ScienceDaily, Chlorophyll is a green photosynthetic pigment found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

Another essential element in fertilizers is phosphorus. This chemical helps stimulate root growth. When the roots are healthy, it increases its ability to absorb nutrients from the soil, making the plant grow strong and healthy. It also helps the grass grow faster and stronger.

Potassium, on the other hand, aids the internal processes of the plant’s cells, such as respiration, absorption of water and minerals, photosynthesis, and production of protein. The overall function of potassium health is it strengthens the plant to withstand extreme conditions such as winter, drought, and other diseases.

But, what chemical makes grass green, and why?

Among the three essential elements found in fertilizers, the chemical that makes grass green is nitrogen. Nitrogen is a structural element of chlorophyll which creates a green pigment in the grass and also in other plants.

Even if nitrogen is present in the atmosphere, your grass may still need nitrogen from your fertilizer since it cannot absorb it in the air, unlike oxygen.

While it is nitrogen that makes the grass green, it doesn’t mean that it should be the only content of your fertilizer. Phosphorus and potassium are just as important. A combination of these three ensures proper and healthy growth.

Without phosphorus, other chemical minerals will not be absorbed by the plant – including nitrogen and potassium. If your plant lacks nitrogen, it will not grow as lush and green. And if it lacks potassium, the plant’s internal processes may be hampered, resulting in a weaker grass that is susceptible to disease.

What can too much nitrogen do to lawn?

Everything in excess always has an adverse effect – just like fertilizers on your lawn.

It’s common among gardeners to choose fertilizers with more nitrogen and apply them excessively since it is the chemical responsible for green and lush lawns. It is tempting to use more when you want to hasten the growth of the grass, and when you want it to grow greener. However, this will be your biggest mistake.

The amount of nitrogen applied to your lawn must not be more than one pound of nitrogen content per 1,000 square meters in a single application. It is much safer to use lesser fertilizer than to apply excessive amounts.

Too much nitrogen can cause rapid grass growth and will end up with a diminished grass-root system. If you’re using quick-release fertilizer, it can bring more damage to your grass. It will burn the leaf tissues of your grass and will eventually cause it to die. Your yard would then have a large, burned out, dead patch where you applied too much fertilizer.

How much fertilizer for a new lawn?

The best way to know how much fertilizer you need to apply for your new lawn is to have your soil tested first. This is to determine how much nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are already present in your soil. Thus, you will know the exact NPK ratio to look for in a fertilizer.

However, if you already started planting grass seeds in your lawn before you could do a soil test, it is best to go for a fertilizer with a balanced or equal NPK ratio.

As for the amount or volume to apply, it depends on what kind of grass you’re planting. If the grass you’re planting is the kind that thrives in the warm season (aka warm-season grass), apply 3-4 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square meters. If you’re planting cold-season grass, use 1-2 pounds per 1,000 square meters.

What is the best fertilizer for green grass?

There is no same formula to determine which is the best fertilizer for green grass. However, there are a few notes and guidelines that you want to consider before you buy one.

As mentioned earlier, it is essential to have your soil checked before buying any fertilizer.

For new grass, it is best to choose a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus first since they are responsible for its growth and root system. Once your grass starts to grow, you can then shift to fertilizers with more potassium than phosphorus.

It is also good to note that you should apply fertilizer before laying your sod or after planting your grass seeds. This is to prevent the burning of your grass.

Another factor to consider when choosing a fertilizer is the season. While it is not too challenging to grow a new lawn during summer or spring, it is the opposite during fall and winter.

It is best to use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content to boost grass fertilization and blade growth. It also prepares your lawn for winter when the temperature goes down, and it’s difficult to produce chlorophyll.

There’s are also fertilizers specific for the winter (what they call ‘winterizers’). They’re composed more of nitrogen and phosphorus. This ensures that your grass can still absorb nutrients from the soil and the fertilizer itself.

The two types of fertilizers that you should be aware of: Quick-release and Slow-release fertilizers

Use quick release fertilizers when you know you can continuously tend to your lawn. This type of fertilizer, as the name suggests, gives immediate effect on your grass growth. This also means that you can see any adverse impact that you need to address right away.

But if you plan on being away for a while, it is best to go for slow-release fertilizers so that the nutrients won’t be spread out and absorbed all at once. This prevents the fertilizer from negatively affecting your lawn. However, since this delays the release of phosphorus, it may affect the grass’ root system making it least likely to be used and less effective on new lawns.

What is the best grass fertilizer to use?

best lawn fertilizer for green grass

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They have a wide variety of fertilizers that aids your grass growth from the time you plant the seeds up to its growth.

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It’s All About Growing Healthy Green Grass

Growing a healthy yard entails the responsibility to research before you plant any grass seeds. Knowing what chemical makes grass green can help you understand what steps you need to take. Having green grass comes in many steps, and the more you know the better.

For one, it is crucial to have your soil checked so you can buy the right fertilizer and give the proper amount of nutrition to it. An excess of any of the three key elements can result in yellowing, drying, or dying of your lawn.

It is also crucial to know what type of grass you are growing – whether it is warm or cold season grass – so you can estimate how much fertilizer you need to use and which type.

Remember that fertilizer is just something that aids its growth and not the sole reason for healthy growth. It still needs your utmost care. So, make sure to take time to tend to your garden and pay attention to it so you can see if there is something wrong with your lawn and address it right away.