Growing Grass
crop nutrition advice

Everything you need to know about grass or grass-clover mixture fertilization, best practice, suitable products, field trials and more.

Crop nutrition advice for growing grass (Poaceae)

  • Grass performs best in soils with a pH at minimum level of 4.8-5.0.

  • Grass-clover performs best in soils with a pH at minimum level of 5.2- 5.5.

  • Every single cut needs to be fertilized with organic and/or mineral fertilizer.

  • The first cut always needs a mineral sulphur application.

  • Fertilization with sodium, copper, cobalt and selenium is needed for the health of the animals when soil levels are low.

Nutrient requirements

Nutrient requirements in kg/ha for dry matter yield of 12 ton/ha


Recommendation of the different nutrients depends on soil fertility.

Dynamic of nutrient uptake over  a mowing season or meadow-cuts on grass

The nutrients are distributed over 4 to 5 mowing- or meadow cuts.

Nitrogen: The first cut gets the highest application and after that each cut gets a lower application, e.g. 120-80-50-40.

Phosphate, potassium, magnesium and sodium: divide the required nutrients equally over the different cuts.

Sulphur: 100 kg/ha of mineral SO3 to be given before the first cut on sandy soil 75 kg/ha on clay soils and 50 kg/ha on peat soils in addition to any organic fertilizer application.

Role of nutrients

Key parameterNP2O5K2OMgOSO3Na2
Dry matter yield+++++
Protein content +++++
Palatability of grass +++
Digestibility of grass +++++
Grass field with Polysulphate applied
Grass field after cutting


Here are some frequently asked questions we received from farmers regarding grass.

  • Grass cannot uptake sulphur in organic form. Organic sulphur from organic matter or slurry first has to mineralize in the soil. This proces starts with higher soil- temperature (>7°C). So for the first cut a mineral sulphur application is needed for all soil types.

  • This depends on the amount of slurry. In many countries the amount of slurry is too low to reach the yearly potassium uptake of grass (36 kg/ha/ton dry matter).

  • In many countries it advised to use mineral sulphur-fertilizers with an organic certificate like Polysulphate, Gypsum and Kieserite.

  • Our usual recommendation is 150 kg/ha SO3 on clay soil; 100 kg/ha on peat soil and 200 kg/ha on a sandy soil. To be given only for the first cut.

  • Grass does not need any micro-nutrients for yield. Micro-nutrients like copper, selenium and cobalt, and also the macro-nutrient sodium, are needed for the health of the animals.

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Explore crop nutrition for other related crops