Fertilize in the spring to promote a healthy green lawn.
Knowing when I should fertilize my lawn will help improve the root system to promote strong roots for lush green grass. When winter turns into spring, the soil temperature is at 55°F for 4-5 days. The grass comes out of winter dormancy and begins a spring activity surge.
Depending on the climate and the type of grass you have, you’ll want to fertilize your grass during its peak growing season, which is during the fall for cool-season grasses and spring for warm-season grasses.
Identify your grass
There are two major grass types: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Several types of grasses can be grown as Transitional, which can be successful at places that are usually far too warm to cool and too cold to heat. Following a lawn fertilizer schedule is best after you identify your grass.
Warm Season Grasses
- The best time to fertilize warm-season grasses is in the spring.
- Use Nitrogen rich fertilizer during the growing season for full feeding to keep warm-season grasses healthy and green.
- Using the right slow-release fertilizers provides essential nutrients to the root system and increases grass growth, making a strong start for the year and keeping it healthy throughout the summer.
- Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia, centipede, and buffalo warm-season grasses should be fertilized in spring.
- Apply a second round of fertilizer once the peak summer heat has passed.
- Depending on the amount of water your grass gets, aim to reapply your fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.
- Slow-release lawn fertilizers break down their nutrients over a longer period of time, so you can wait longer between applications.
Cool Season Grasses
- Late spring and early summer are the best times to fertilize cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass.
- The cold months of summer and early fall are also good times to fertilize cool-season grasses. Applying fertilizer during these seasons helps the grass better tolerate the stress of hot weather, cold weather, and drought.
- Spring and early summer are also ideal times for lawn fertilization because the grass is actively growing.
- The cool months of late summer and early fall are also good times to fertilize because the grass continues to grow during these months, albeit at a slower rate. Cool-season grasses can be fertilized in late spring, but only if necessary.
- When you apply lawn fertilizer during these periods, it helps lawn grasses better tolerate the stress of hot weather, cold weather, and drought. Late spring and early summer are the best times to fertilize cool-season grasses because the grass is actively growing.
How many times a year should you fertilize your lawn?
You should fertilize your lawn at least once per year and more often if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall when deciding when I should fertilize my lawn. Early spring is the best time to fertilize, as this is when the grass is just beginning to grow. However, you can also fertilize in early spring or early summer.
The key is to apply fertilizer before the lawn starts to turn brown from the summer heat. If you fertilize too late in the season, the fertilizer will not have a chance to be absorbed by the roots before the grass goes dormant for winter.
Fertilizing will help to ensure a healthy lawn that withstands wear and tear and looks green and lush throughout the growing season.
Should I fertilize before or after mowing?
Ideally, if you want to mow before you fertilize, make sure to eliminate grass clippings, so the fertilizers can reach your soil easier. Aerate the ground in the spring or autumn to help promote healthy soil and remove thatch.
Fall Lawn Fertilizer Application
When the right time to apply fall lawn fertilizer depends on ground temperature, you can test with a soil thermometer if you are unsure. The soil temperature should be 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Granules are perfectly suitable for fall lawn fertilizer applications.
With so many products on the market, it can be daunting to select the right one. However, taking the time to choose the right fertilizer will help ensure a healthy lawn for years to come.
Read the fertilizer label before making fertilizer applications
Ensure that the manufacturer has checked all fertilizer labels for the best results before fertilizer application. Some of the time-release products can slowly deliver nutrients over the course of 2 to 8 months, so give enough time between applications so there is less chance of excessive fertilizing that may damage the grass.
Keep track of your lawn applications.
Following a lawn fertilizer schedule to keep track of your lawn application timing. In spring and summer, many people avoid needing weed killers or fertilizing with grass clippings to feed grasses.
Homeowners using the traditional fertilizer may want two or three light applications per year, one in spring, one in mid-summer when the conditions are needed, and one “turf-building” application in late fall. It will vary depending on your region and turf type.
While all grass doesn’t require as much nitrogen to grow, the amount of nitrogen in lawn fertilizer products can vary greatly. A starter fertilizer is often needed for starting a new lawn.
For damaged turf that needs more fertilizer, using methylene urea fertilizer will promote faster growth. However, too much nitrogen can cause problems such as thatch build-up or make the grass more susceptible to disease.
For established lawns, slow-release nitrogen with a lower nitrogen content is often best. When choosing a fertilizer product, it is important to read the label carefully in order to select one that is appropriate for the type of grass type you have. Use a fall fertilizer that’s slightly higher in phosphorous and potassium, which will promote better root growth.
When should you not fertilize your lawn?
Do not apply fertilizer on an abnormally hot day, not even in the morning. Wait until the weather cools back down to a normal temperature. You can mow anytime after fertilizing with a granular treatment. With a liquid treatment, wait a day or two. Shutterstock How Often to Fertilize Lawn Over-fertilizing is a thing.
Avoid fertilizing during high temperatures in summer, as this can damage your lawn. The reason for this is that nitrogen fertilizer encourages growth, and high temperatures cause the grass to stop growing. As a result, the nitrogen will be unused and can actually harm your lawn.
Avoid applying nitrogen-rich fertilizer when your lawn is dormant
Nitrogen, the major ingredient in fertilizers, contains growth stimulants that increase undesirable weed growth in dormancy. If your grass didn’t grow during the winter, don’t be concerned about waiting till the spring to make your fertilizer application.
The best way to apply fertilizer
- Apply fertilizer around the perimeter of the turf first
- Fill in the middle, working in one direction
- Spread it again, moving in a perpendicular direction. This crisscrossing pattern ensures much better coverage and helps prevent over-applying the fertilizer.
How to choose the best fertilizer?
When choosing the best fertilizer, it’s necessary to take into consideration its needs for its proper growth. These needs are most often nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The best fertilizing product for lawns must contain three of those nutrients that are indicated in soil tests.
The fertilization package has three numbers on the label 16-4-8. The numbers known in the fertilizer analysis represent the percentage per gram based on phosphatidic acid in the fertilizer. Many soils already contain phosphorus and potassium.
How much fertilizer to apply?
Once we know what the soil lacks, then we must decide which types of fertilizers we should use for our grass type. Most people have no idea about the size of their yard when they purchase fertilizers. Generally, this causes errors in the application and inconsistent results.
When items should typically be used within 1000 feet of grass area. How do we know how big our yard is? In rectangular sections, multiply the length and width by square feet.
Do I need to fertilize?
If you’re simply looking to fertilize your yard and make it green, a general all-purpose fertilizer will do the trick. However, if you’re also trying to kill weeds or prevent them from growing in the first place, you’ll need to use a fertilizer that contains a pre-emergent and selective herbicide.
This will help to keep your lawn weed-free all season long. As always, be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer label carefully to avoid damaging your lawn.
How do we know what nutrients the lawn needs?
Soil tests assess what nutrients can be obtained in the soil for plants. The soil tests also measure soil pH and alkalinity, the main factors in soil nutrient availability.
It is possible for soils that lack nutrients to be found in optimum amounts. These test results contain recommendations on how much nutrients your lawn should have. The soil tests do not give any recommendations annually regarding nitrogen application.
What happens if you don’t fertilize?
Without proper nutrients, your grass is prone to problems such as disease or insects that require pesticides. The grass will likely thin slowly, creating more of a likelihood that weeds will be invading your lawn.
A healthy grass should provide adequate nutritional needs. Lawns can obtain nutrients from mineral and organic material in the soil, from grass clippings back, and from organic fertilizers.
How often should I fertilize?
It’s important to fertilize grass when there’s grass growing on a lawn that is actively growing. Many plants can tolerate very low nitrogen applications. Many grass types, including hybrid Bermudagrass, require medium to high levels for satisfactory quality. Turf generally needs low nitrogen rates applied in spring and fall at least 6 weeks before the anticipated initial frost.
What month should I fertilize the lawn?
Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass and fescue, should be fertilized in late August or September. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda Zoysia, Centipede, and St. Augustine, should be fertilized in March or April.
How Weather Impacts Fertilizer Application
It is crucial to keep fertilizers from being used during periods of droughts and heavy rainfall. Many fertilizers require several watering to soak into the soil; therefore, if applied in drought, it could cause your lawn to burn or slow its growth.
In addition, there are water restrictions during the seasonal dry seasons; therefore, you can not use water manually. Frequent flooding can dry your lawn and damage the vegetation. Applying fertilizers will not help during this time, as water runoff may carry fertilizer away, preventing proper nutrient intake.
Debating the Use of Fertilizer
How much fertilizer you need to plant in your lawn varies depending upon your organic fertilizer and low-toxic lawn fertilizer practices. Organic lawn care avoids using chemical fertilizers for lawns or trees. It’s important to consider after fertilizer application; the water runoff can enter the local drinking supply. It is well documented the use of phosphorous and nitrogen as fertilizers can contaminate water sources in rivers and streams.
Picking the right fertilizer depends on your lawn type. Fertilizing your grass will help maintain the health of your lawn, stimulating healthy root growth and helping maintain healthy turf. Nevertheless, fertilizers are essential if they can be used for a regular lawn care routine and applied properly.
Leaving a thin layer of grass clippings in the warm season can supply essential nutrients to your lawn. When fertilizing warm-season grasses, use as directed by the label. It is important for lawn care companies to provide quality services to their customers so they can understand the needs of their property and understand their needs.
You should fertilize grass at its best growth stage, which occurs during fall and spring for warm-season grass. If you need additional details on when I should fertilize my lawn, please see the instructions for the fertilizer you are using on the product label. The fertilization industry advises the application of fertilizer once every 8 weeks, whereas others suggest only once every year or two. Whatever your application preference, you should avoid excessive fertilization, which may harm your grassroots and cause poor drainage.
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