What Is a Lawn Biostimulant and Why Are They Important?
We all wish we could control the weather, especially when challenging conditions make it hard for your grass to grow. If you live in a drought-stricken area or your state is prone to dry conditions, lawn biostimulants could be your golden ticket to achieving a golf course lawn.
Biostimulants for lawns help your grass soak up the nutrients it needs to survive and reach its full, flourishing potential. Biostimulants have been proven to improve nutrient uptake, use, and utilization efficiency and can be a more environmentally friendly option than harsh, synthetic fertilizers.
But that’s not all.
Lawn biostimulants offer a range of benefits for your grass which we’ll take a closer look at here, so read on to find out how this exceptional lawn-care product can save you time and money.
What Are Lawn Biostimulants?
A biostimulant is a substance and/or microorganism that can be applied to plants (not just grass) to boost nutrition efficiency and increase plant tolerance to environmental stress. Biostimulants optimize plant health as a supplement, reducing requirements for lawn fertilizers and pesticides.
Why Are Biostimulants Important for My Lawn?
Understandably, there’s increasing concern about the relationship between the environment and lawn maintenance. This might surprise you, but for every ton of nitrogen used to make nitrogen-based fertilizers, 4-5 tons of carbon is released into the atmosphere. Soil microbes will also produce excessive amounts of nitrous oxide when fed more nitrogen than they can handle.
Although lawn biostimulants don’t solve this problem, they can lessen gardeners’ and farmers’ reliance on synthetic fertilizers. Using less fertilizer also reduces the risk of spreading runoff into aquatic ecosystems.
Lawn biostimulants are an excellent way to keep lawn care costs down, but how do they differ from fertilizers? Surely both do the same thing? Actually, they’re a little different.
What’s the Difference between Fertilizers and Biostimulants?
An easy way to think about lawn biostimulants is to see them as grass “vitamins”. Like how we take vitamins to boost specific processes in our bodies, biostimulants do a similar job. They’re a supplement, not a replacement for fertilizer.
We couldn’t live off only vitamins for the rest of our lives, and neither can your grass!
Biostimulants for lawns can’t help your lawn utilize nutrients if they’re not already present in the soil. Think of fertilizers as plant food which adds minerals and nutrients to the soil. Over time, this plant food is “eaten” and used up by photosynthesis, so fertilizers replace the nutrients lost over time.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Lawn Fertilization
How Do I Know What Kind of Lawn Biostimulant I Need?
For your lawn to thrive, your grass needs certain nutrients and neutral pH soil. Lawn-care products such as pH adjustments can help increase or lower the pH levels in your soil, depending on what it needs.
The macronutrients your grass requires in large quantities are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen gives your grass a vibrant green color as a component of chlorophyll. Phosphorus strengthens the grassroots and potassium promotes healthy grass blade growth. On most bags of fertilizer, these nutrients are abbreviated to ''NPK, '' with the number above each letter indicating how much of each nutrient is included in your fertilizer.
A soil test kit can help you determine which nutrients your soil is lacking — even the micronutrients your lawn needs in lesser amounts. With this information, you can work out which lawn biostimulants and fertilizer your lawn is crying out for and save money with specific, targeted applications.
For more on the importance of soil testing, read our blog on How Soil Tests for Your Lawn Can Save You Money.
When Is the Best Time to Use Lawn Biostimulants?
Most fertilizers have a strict yearly application schedule, whereas biostimulants don’t. But planning never hurt anyone. Depending on where you’re based, you might be gearing up for a hot and dry summer. Unfortunately, dry conditions cause brown patches and fertility problems in your lawn. Based on this, spring is an excellent time to use lawn biostimulants to prepare for the summer. Biostimulants high in amino acids are best applied in early spring when turf needs a much-needed boost after winter dormancy.
Are There Different Forms of Biostimulants for Lawns?
Biostimulants for lawns are regularly found in two different forms: liquid and granules. For lawn-care beginners, we recommend spreadable granular biostimulants, which are much easier to distribute using a broadcast spreader for a higher rate of nutrients.
Sprayable liquid lawn biostimulants are very effective and fast-acting. However, precaution and precision are needed during application. This might be the one for you if you’re a more experienced lawn-care enthusiast. Always keep your eyes, arms, and legs protected during any lawn-care product application, as some formulas can cause skin irritation.
We recommend using a backpack sprayer alongside a turf dye indicator for liquid applications to see where you’ve already sprayed your lawn biostimulant.
What about Types of Lawn Biostimulants?
The lawn industry has a vast range of biostimulants for lawns and plants. Different ingredients provide different advantages — all of which comes down to what your yard lacks nutrients-wise.
In hot, dry conditions, seaweed-based biostimulants like Nutri-Kelp will build your turf’s tolerance against environmental stress. Some biostimulants contain high amounts of amino acids to stimulate chlorophyll concentration. Other biostimulant products are more complex, targeting root development to nurturing seed germination. It all depends on what your lawn needs.
What’s the Best Biostimulant for My Lawn?
No magic formula will work wonders on all grass types and soil. That being said, we do have a favorite:
Essential-G™ - Granular Soil Compost and Biochar
Plant health company Mirmichi Green pioneers effective, sustainable, bio-based products — so you know this lawn biostimulant is planet friendly. Essential-G™ is made from a combination of reclaimed coffee grounds, premium organics, humate, biochar, and silicon. All these are reclaimed natural waste that improves soil texture and water and nutrient retention.
Essential-G™ can reduce soil compaction, which may be causing your muddy lawn problems. It will also encourage deeper root growth for stronger grass blades and provide a quick green-up recovery for a stressed lawn.
You can apply Essential-G™ lawn biostimulant at any time during your grass-growing season (except when the ground is frozen). Fall and spring are when your lawn could benefit from Essential-G™ the most to improve microbial soil activity.
Are Lawn Biostimulants the Future?
By now, we’ve established that lawn biostimulants can save you money on watering requirements, fertilizer, pesticides, and more. It’s worth investing in a soil test kit to see which lawn biostimulant would suit your lawn best so you can reap the benefits of a pristine lawn.
We still need fertilizers to feed our lawn — that hasn’t changed, but it’s an achievement to use them less and less. In the future, artificial intelligence will be able to help us identify new microbial strains and raw materials we can use to enhance our grass. Widespread implementation of biostimulants in commercial farming and the professional lawn-care industry is yet to be seen. Still, for now, you can get yours from the golf course lawn store.
Check out more organic lawn-care products on our website, including environmentally friendly fertilizers and weed killers.