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Lawn Care 101: Lawn Fertilizer from Eco Turf Farms in Kelowna

IMPORTANT do not apply fertilizer when the lawn is wet.

Fertilizer can be applied before or after installation:

  • If applied before installation, apply onto the bare soil, sprinkle with water, and than proceed to lay your sod.
  • Fertilizer can only be applied after installation if the sod is DRY! Applying fertilizer on wet sod will result in burning your new lawn! If sod is dry apply fertilizer onto the installed sod and then water to dissolve.

Understanding how fertilizers work and what the variance in percentages mean will help you achieve a life long, healthy and problem free lawn.

Planning a fertilizing schedule for your lawn should be 8 weeks apart and suggested percentages are as follows:

N - P - K

Starter fertilizer
16-32-6
Promotes root development
Summer fertilizer
21-3-21
Promotes foliage growth and color
Fall fertilizer
15-5-30
Promotes a guard against disease, winterize

Nitrogen - N


Promotes foliage growth and colour. Nitrogen is so important in structural growth; a deficiency often shows up as stunted growth and reduced vigour. The major visible symptom of nitrogen deficiency, is a colour change from healthy green to pale green or, in extreme cases, yellow. An excess of nitrogen can also cause problems. One of the most common issues is accelerated growth. This can make the plant weak and vulnerable to diseases

Phosphorus - P

Promotes root development, it also speeds plant maturity and helps the plant resist stresses. Phosphorus Fertilizer is a vital nutrient that aids in the photosynthesis of plants. It is very rare that plants have too much phosphorus, partly because levels in soil solution are naturally low. Phosphorus deficiencies in turf are initially reduced growth and a darkening of green color. Severe deficiency will show when the lower leaves develop a reddish-purple color toward the tips. This color change will progress down the leaf and up the stem.

Potassium - K

Promotes a guard against disease, aids in drought & cold tolerance. In conjunction with phosphorus it simulates and maintains root growth.Plants can happily take up more potassium than they require, and this is not toxic to the plant. However, if too much potassium is applied to plants it can result in magnesium or calcium deficiencies in plants, because of competition amongst these nutrients.The initial symptoms of potassium deficiency are very similar to those of phosphorus deficiency – foliage becomes dark green, and then later takes on a purplish tinge. Symptoms of deficiency are seen first in older leaves, as the deficiency worsens, leaves start to turn yellow along the edges, and begin to show signs of necrosis (death).