Many lawn fertilizers on the market today can sometimes contain only a few basic nutrients, which will usually be 3 of the major nutrients, and perhaps two or three minor nutrients which are also called Trace Elements. Even the better quality fertilizers can sometimes contain these few nutrients in their blends, albeit that the products they use in their blends are of very good quality.
The problem is that our St Augustine lawns, and other lawns and plants require many different Trace Elements (minor nutrients) in their feeding, and when these nutrients are left out of the fertilizers we use, the lawn is left to take these missing nutrients from the soil. The concern then is that because we are managing these grasses as lawns, their nutritional requirements are greater, and they often cannot pick up all the nutrients they need from soils alone, especially so in poor soil environments.
Fertilization Of Saint Augustine Lawns
Our Saint Augustine lawns will of course require a good year round fertilization program to stay healthy. We do this by using a high quality lawn fertilizer which contains Trace Elements aka minor nutrients, and to be sure we choose a fertilizer product which contains Phosphate as well. Phosphate is a major element which is necessary for root growth and health, but is sometimes lacking in some lawn fertilizers these days.
However, despite this fertilization of our Saint Augustine lawns and us working to have a healthy lawn, our turf still won't be getting all the nutrients it requires, which is especially true for Trace Elements.
To give our St Augustine lawns the best chance of health via our lawn care practices we have the option of applying added nutrients to our turf in the form of Trace Elements including and/or Iron.
Trace Elements Supplements
The lawn fertilizer aisle of our favourite garden store will sell trace (minor) elements in a small packet which will cost only a few dollars. These blends contain many of the minor nutrients which are lacking in some lawn fertilizers, but which are so vital to our lawns.
Because they are minor nutrients - the package will only be small, and only small amounts are mixed up to be applied to the St Augustine lawn.
Mix with water in a watering can as per manufacturers recommendations and be sure to measure the lawn area first to be sure we're only applying the correct amounts of nutrients and no more. Excess fertilizer use can cause damage to our lawns.
The lawn is then lightly watered using the watering can with the trace elements.
Trace elements can usually be applied to the lawn once a year, and Spring is often the best time of year to do this.
Iron Supplements For St Augustine Grass
St Augustine grass likes a little extra Iron, which is another of the Trace Elements, and a nutrient sometimes lacking in many lawn fertilizers, except winter fertilizers which can contain small amounts of Iron.
Just as we applied a Trace Elements mix to our St Augustine lawn, we can alternatively do the same with an Iron supplement. Though there is no need to add both a trace element and iron supplement to a lawn: usually we would choose one option or the other and not both.
Being sure we've measured the lawn area and mixed the correct amount of Chelated Iron in the watering can, we apply the Iron mix as we also do the same as with the trace elements.
The Chelated Iron will be available for sale right alongside the trace elements in the same size package, for about the same price.
All lawns love a little extra Iron through Winter, so the best time to apply Iron to a Saint Augustine lawn will be in late Fall, about a month before winter sets in. This allows the turf to soak up the Iron while the lawn is still actively growing before the onset of winter.
Are Nutritional Supplements Necessary
In essence we can easily say that no supplemental nutrients are necessary for any lawn, however in missing out on fertilization of our lawns, the lawn can possibly deteriorate in quality, and may become prone to turf problems, especially if we are growing lawns in low quality soils.
We apply all nutrients to lawns to keep them as green and as healthy and as trouble free as possible throughout their life. And the application of minor nutrients, including Iron will greatly aid our Saint Augustine lawns in achieving the best health possible.
If the St Augustine lawn owner is maintaining their turf to high quality without these supplements then there's probably no need for them.
However if the St Augustine lawn is lacklustre throughout the year then Trace Elements may be just the key to good lawn health, or if we're finding it difficult to keep a good quality green color in our lawns throughout winter, then the Iron supplement prior to winter can also help greatly.