You have probably been told by someone you know that turf only needs 3 macro nutrients to thrive; N-P-K. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium. Well, I’m here to tell you I disagree with this statement and I will explain why.
Many fertilizer plants will generally stray from adding a 1-1 value of Nitrogen & Potassium. Instead, a heavier Nitrogen source will be added and due to cost, Potassium is usually cut back and pulled back on the mix. I believe we are over-applying Nitrogen severely to our lawns currently, and I would like to challenge this mentality.
Potassium aids in more efficient water and nutrient uptake while helping synthesize proteins and starches. Potassium also helps turf build thicker cell walls, vigor and strengthen the plant so it can withstand various ecological stressors such as drought, winter, and mitigate disease pressure.
A lack of Potassium can show signs such as chlorosis. You will notice this when turf starts to yellow, which may lead to a vulnerability to disease and lack of stem development. I personally encourage others to run a balanced mix of a 1-1 Nitrogen to Potassium source, IE 10-0-10 blend. Spring, Summer, and Fall are all great times to push more Potassium to encourage a healthy immune system.
It’s important to remember a soil first approach when applicating, and this will help the soil to correct deficiencies and utilize nutrients available in the soil. Healthier soil= healthier turf.