The #1 Limiting Factor in Your Lawn’s Health

Water on Grass PicGrowing a beautiful, healthy, green lawn is not that easy. If it was, everybody’s lawn would look great. The team at Heritage Lawns & Irrigation has taken a look at just what a healthy lawn needs and what some of the limiting factors can be. We break it down for you here.

Grass needs several key things to grow. The grass blades are individual plants that manufacture their own food through photosynthesis as long as they have what they need. Grass needs the following:

  1. Water
  2. Favorable Temperature
  3. Air (Carbon dioxide and oxygen)
  4. Light
  5. Fertilizer elements
  6. Nitrogen
  7. Phosphorus
  8. Potash
  9. Calcium
  10. Magnesium
  11. Sulfur
  12. Minor elements or trace elements

What You Can Control

Here in the Kansas City area, during the spring, summer and fall months, we generally get plenty of sunshine (light) and temperatures are favorable for grass growth throughout the seasons. It is only when the temperature turns too cold that grass goes dormant and stops growing. If you are a lawn aficionado, no doubt you fertilize your lawn to provide the food it needs to thrive. Annual aerating ensures that the plants get enough air. The last element, water, is the most difficult to control. It usually becomes the limiting factor in your lawn’s health.

The Law of the Minimum

Over 100 years ago, a German scientist named Justin Von Liebig made this observation: The amount of plant growth is regulated by the factor present in the minimum amount and rises or falls accordingly as this is increased or decreased in amount. This statement became known as the Law of the Minimum. The Law of the Minimum says to get more growth, water must be added, and the amount of growth will be proportional to the amount of water added until something else becomes the limiting factor.

As long as water is the limiting factor, increasing the fertilizer, light, or air, will increase the growth of the grass very little. If you are providing everything else your lawn needs, watering will be the most difficult task to continue to provide because it is the most time and effort intensive. It is an ongoing and ever changing element in lawn care.

Related Read: Sprinkler System Dos and Don’ts for a Greener Lawn

Sprinkler Systems Take the Limit out of the Limiting Factor

Sprinkler systems allow home and business owners to control the water factor on a regular basis. By being able to control when, and how much water a lawn receives, the lawn should thrive assuming all other limiting factors are also provided in proper amounts. Adjusting your sprinkler to the proper settings for each area of your lawn is the next challenge. Shady areas need less water than full-sun areas, high areas need more than low areas, and certain types of grasses require more or less water than others.

If you need help programming and setting your sprinkler system to the right amounts and times for your lawn, give the irrigation experts at Heritage Lawns & Irrigation a call at (913) 451-4664. Or if you need a sprinkler system installed in your home or business, we’ll be happy to come out and give you a quote.


Check out the latest and greatest technology in sprinkler systems – introducing the Smart Sprinkler Management System! This sprinkler can be controlled from anywhere with aWi-Fi connection. Soil moisture sensors prevent water waste when it rains. Save water and money and have a great looking lawn all summer. Click on the image below to schedule a free, in-home demo to see all the bells and whistles. Finally, a remote sprinkler system!