Potassium is a major nutrient component in all lawn fertilizers, and is essential to the health of all lawns and plants. While Potassium is naturally present in soils, we artificially boost these and other nutrient levels to achieve and maintain a lush green lawn in excellent health. This is most usually always done with the application of fertilizers.
Reasons Why Soils Become Deficient in Potassium
Natural levels of Potassium are often lower in soils than that which lawns will need to thrive in order to create the lush green carpet of green we all desire for our yards. This can occur in many soil types but is most often seen with sandy soils, not only is a sandy soil naturally low in Potassium, but the Potassium we add in the form of lawn fertilizers is also easily washed away.
So if the soil supporting your lawn is low in Potassium then a more specialized fertilizing regimen may be necessary.
Recognizing Signs Of Potassium Deficiency In Lawns
Potassium deficiency is most often easily recognized by the lawn leaves turning yellow or sometimes purple and often curling up. Lack of Potassium more easily occurs in times of drought, and leaves can also show signs of burning.
Potassium is a necessary major nutrient component for all plants, including lawns. It aids in the movement of water through the plant, aids in photosynthesis, starch, protein and enzyme production. For fruiting plants, Potassium is essential to allow the production of fruit and flowers. It is so important, it is considered a major element.
When we buy fertilizers and see an N.P.K. rating on the product label, it's the "K" which signifies the level or ratio of Potassium in the product.
Correcting Potassium Deficiency
If the lawn is suffering a temporary lack of Potassium then a short fertilizing regimen to increase Potassium levels will quickly correct the problem. This can be done by applying a special fertilizer which is higher in Potassium than what is the norm. A couple of applications of this fertilizer over a 2 month period should correct these Potassium deficiencies.
For soils which are naturally low in Potassium, such as sandy soils, then some more long term soil correction will provide the greatest long term results. This can be done by adding some rich organic matter as a top dressing to the lawn. A thin layer is usually all which is needed at each application, and one application a year should be sufficient.
For lawns which are constantly suffering, or are needing re-sodding or re-seeding, then consideration should be given to replacing the top soil where the lawn will be growing. Removing several inches of the existing soil and replacing with a richer soil type can have substantial ongoing effects for the life of the lawn. If replacing the top soil, the replacement soil does not need to be exceesivle organic or rich in nature, as this can cause other problems such as excessive lawn grubs, worms and compaction. A quality soil supplier will best advize the correct top soil type for your region.
Ongoing Fertilizer Applications
Regular ferilizing must be included in a regular maintenance routine for all lawn types. It is the food our lawns need, and includes all the major nutrients including Potassium, the better fertilizers will also include all the essential Minor nutrients too. Develop a good, ongoing fertilizing regimen and lawns will always be given the optimum chance at to achieve it's greatest health.