Every spring and fall gardeners fertilize their lawn areas, hoping to keep their tranquil sea of green from withering into a scraggly patch of dead grass. In recent years, you may have noticed a few new options popping up on garden center shelves. Organics are in, chemicals are out. This once peculiar war-cry of environmentalists has gone mainstream. Gardeners are standing by organic products, but what’s in those green bags with gentle, nurturing names. Is it a trendy snake oil, or do organic lawn fertilizers have what your lawn needs? The following is a little information on some of the primary ingredients found on organic lawn fertilizer labels, particlarly: Concern, Dr. Earth, and Ringer.
Corn Gluten Meal (CGM)
This is a byproduct of the corn milling process, and contains some of the nitrogen your lawn needs. CGM is also a growth inhibitor for broadleaf weed seeds, and is used to reduce the spread of broadleaf weeds (like dandelions) in lawns. The organic fertilizer product Concern is 82% CGM.
Poultry Feather Meal
Feathers are high in protein, and once processed into meal they are a good source of Nitrogen for your lawn. This is a primary ingredient in Ringer.
This is another source of Nitrogen for your lawn, with slow release properties. Fish Meal also has a fairly balanced ratio of Phosphorus and Potassium for your lawn.
Bone meal is found in most organic fertilizers, as it is a readily available source of phosphate. Gardeners were purchasing boxes of bone meal long before the recent organic trend in lawn fertilizers.
This fertilizer element is a good source of nitrogen and potassium, and also contains small amounts of phophorus.
In addition to these ingredients, you may find alfalfa meal, wheat middling, seaweed extract, blood meal, cottonseed meal, kelp meal, or worm castings on the labels of Organic Lawn Fertilizers. All of these ingredients contain some of the nutrients your lawn needs. Most organic fertilizers, including these ingredients, have been used for years. Only recently have blended and pre-packaged organic lawn fertilizers hit the shelves, and most of them are a combination of these tried and true ingredients.