Servicing the Mpls/St. Paul metro through 5 area offices:    Eden Prairie (952) 941-2900 | Burnsville (952) 890-6655
Woodbury (651) 735-4422 | Plymouth (763) 383-7655
New Brighton (651) 633-9892



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Joan from New Brighton says:

05/02/11 06:10 PM

I have used Guaranteed since the early 90's and I have enjoyed watching there company grow without compromising the service they have provided to us! we love supporting our local companies


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Refer a Neighbor... or a Friend

Receive one free Fertilizer and Weed control application on your next service when you refer a neighbor or a friend to Guaranteed Turf Care and they sign up for our Nature Green or Weekender Mowing program.

In the next several paragraphs I will be discussing basic knowledge of the three major elements in fertilizers today.

Nitrogen is the most important element in turfgrass. It is the most important element because it is present in larger percentages than other minerals in turf tissues. This large quantity of nitrogen is used by turf for the formation of chlorophyll, a substance necessary for photosynthesis. Nitrogen also comprises portions of plant proteins, amino acids, enzymes, and vitamins. Nitrogen is very important for turf development and health. Nitrogen is also important for turfgrasses because it stimulates the strongest growth response. Nitrogen is often used to enhance green color and increase or maintain high density, both of which improve turf appearance. Response to nitrogen can be quick; under good growing conditions it can be translocated into leaf tissue within 15 to 24 hours following application. A turf that receives proper nitrogen fertilization generally has good color and density. 
Very often nitrogen applications are made in excessive amounts or at times when they are not beneficial to the plant. Obvious results of excessive or improper timing of nitrogen applications are turf that is prone to patch diseases, leaf spot diseases, thatch production, increased water usage, and the need for increased mowing. In addition, over fertilization especially with water-soluble forms of nitrogen can burn turfgrasses. Problems that are not so obvious with over fertilization include reduced root, rhizome, tiller, and stolon growth. 
Turf that is deficient in nitrogen also exhibits distinctive symptoms. Older leaves at first become light green as nitrogen in these leaves moves into younger foliage. If nitrogen deficiency is allowed to continue, older leaves will turn yellow, becoming darker yellow-brown until they die. Pale green turf is not the only symptom of a lack of nitrogen. Nitrogen-deficient turf usually becomes less dense, encouraging weed development. Also several diseases such as dollar spot or red thread commonly occur in turf that is nitrogen deficient. Finally nitrogen-deficient turf grows slowly, producing fewer leaves and tillers, pale color and thinner. 


Phosphorous is not used in most fertilizers today and Guaranteed Turf Care does not use any phosphorous. Phosphorous is not used because it promotes algae growth in our streams and lakes. Phosphorous is also sufficient in most of our area soils. Phosphorus deficiencies are rarely observed in established turf, unless the phosphorus level in the soil is extremely low or an unfavorable soil pH exists. 

A brief summary of the MN law is as follows:
Because of the concern for excessive phosphorus in lakes and rivers from fertilizer, the Minnesota legislature passed a statewide law that restricts the application of phosphorus fertilizer to established turf. Lawn fertilizer use is restricted to 0% phosphate (P2O5) content. Exceptions include if a new lawn is being seeded or sodded and only during the first year of establishment or if a soil or tissue test shows a need for P. In those cases, lawn fertilizers with P can be used. More detail pertaining to the law can be found in Chapter 18C.60 of Minnesota Statues (


Potassium plays a vital role in healthy turfgrass growth and development and is second to nitrogen in the amounts required for turf growth. Potassium is derived from potassium mines as the salt potassium chloride (KCl), also called muriate of potash or just potash.   Potassium is involved in cellular metabolism, root development, environmental stress resistance, internal water management, and wear tolerance.  Proper potassium fertilization of turfgrass has been shown to be associated with several key benefits. These include: 
  • Increased disease resistance. The incidence of diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot may be reduced by potassium fertilization. The increased disease susceptibility with low potassium levels is associated with thin, easily damaged cell walls and an accumulation of nitrogen and carbohydrates in the plant. This provides a favorable medium for pathogen activity. 
  • Increased cold and heat tolerance. The heat/cold tolerance of cool season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass is associated with adequate levels of potassium. 
  • Improved overall ability to endure stressful conditions. Acceptable levels of potassium cause an increase in leaf turgor pressure, thicker cell walls, and increased vigor. These attributes yield turfgrass that is more likely to endure and recover from stressful conditions such as drought and excessive traffic.
  • Increased root development. Higher amounts of potassium is recommended in the fall because of the benefits of developing a deeper, healthier root system.
Soil potassium can be quickly depleted under turfgrass. Therefore, regular applications of potassium fertilizer are usually necessary to achieve optimum performance. High-potash fertilizers are available and are often called winterizers. Grass plants in the fall are putting all their energy into root growth rather than shoot growth and potash is key for root development. My recommendation is to maintain continuously adequate potash levels but it is important to use less in the spring and more in the fall.

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