A Brief Guide On How To Fertilize Lawn in different seasons
Like many of your garden plants, your lawn behaves and grows differently throughout the year. You can help your lawn look its best all year long by learning a little bit about its habits and the straightforward tips on how to fertilize lawn that will help it flourish. Lawn fertilizer is like food for your grass, giving it the nutrients it needs to grow and keep its healthy, green appearance. Each fertilizer employs a distinct combination of nutrients, but most contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These ingredients produce a vibrant, green lawn resistant to weeds such as crabgrass and provide an excellent growing environment.
While it is necessary to fertilize your lawn, only begin applying these nutrients at any time of year. Before deciding when to fertilize, consider your grass type and your environment. This guide explains why climate impacts lawn fertilization, when and how often to fertilize your lawn, and do’s and don’ts of how to fertilize lawn.
Why Does Climate Matter in Lawn Fertilization?
Your first thought may be to grab a few bags of quick-acting fertilizer and boost your lawn if it is starting to look a bit brown or patchy.
- Fertilizer functions more like a multivitamin than a bandage. Giving your lawn the nutrients it needs at the right time will help it grow and stay healthy.
- It’s always a good idea to check your soil’s pH and nutrient levels to determine precisely what your lawn needs.
- To establish solid roots and blades, you should usually begin fertilizing your lawn at the start of the growing season.
- Depending on where you live and the type of grass you have, your fertilizing window varies because warm and cool seasons grasses grow at different times.
Type Of Grasses According To Climate
Warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses are the two main types of grasses in lawn gardening. There is also a group of transitional grasses, which means they can be grown successfully in areas of the country that are too hot for cool-season grasses and too cold for warm-season grasses. The type of grass you have highly impacts how to fertilize lawn.
(i) Cool-season grasses
Cool-season grasses prefer cooler temperatures and have two growing seasons: one in early spring, just after winter dormancy, and one in early fall. Common cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, tall and fine fescues, and ryegrass.
(ii) Warm season grasses
Warm temperatures benefit these grasses, so midsummer is their best growing season. These grasses are tough and form a dense lawn cover that grows thicker over time. Centipede grass, Kikuyu grass, Bermuda grass, and zoysia grass are popular warm-season grasses.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Different Seasons-Simplest Approach To A Tricky Lawn Fertilization
How To Fertilize Lawn In Summer ?
- Warm-season grasses, as previously mentioned, can be fertilized in early summer before the onset of high temperatures.
- Furthermore, you should apply the second round of fertilizer in late summer as the heat dissipates, preparing the plant for the cooler months ahead.
- Slow-release granular fertilizers can keep your warm-season grass healthy throughout the season without needing reapplication.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Fall ?
- While spring applications are critical for cool-season grasses, a heavy fall application is also necessary to promote healthy lawn growth during peak months.
- A fall fertilizer also aids other grass types in recovering from the dehydrating summer heat, repairing any brown spots in your lawn.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Spring ?
- Early spring is an excellent time to boost your cool-season grasses before the warmer months arrive.
- You should apply this treatment with a spreader before the temperatures rise and the grass goes dormant.
- Perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and other turfgrasses require a small amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to get through the summer.
- Warm-season grasses, such as centipede grass, St. Augustine grass, and zoysiagrass, should be fertilized in late spring or early summer, just before the season’s high temperatures arrive. During the peak growing season, this helps the grass fill out and gain strength.
Spring is a crucial period for caring for your lawn. Read a detailed guide for maintaining your lawn during spring.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Winter ?
- During the winter, most grasses go dormant, rendering fertilizer ineffective. However, mild winters in some parts of the country allow warm-season grasses to break dormancy in late winter.
- You can fertilize your lawn to help it recover from its winter dormancy. If daily temperatures remain in the 70s, you’ll know it’s time.
Additional Tips On How To Fertilize Lawn in Different Seasons
(1) Avoid applying nitrogen-rich fertilizer When your lawn is dormant.
Nitrogen, a key fertilizer component, contains a growth stimulant that, if applied during dormancy, may promote unwanted weed growth. If you’ve had a long winter and the grass is still growing, feel free to postpone your fertilizer application.
(2) Examine the product label.
Examine product labels before purchasing lawn fertilizer to determine how long each product is designed to last. Some time-release fertilizers will gradually distribute nutrients over a 2- to 8-month period, so allow enough time between applications to avoid overfertilization, which could harm your lawn.
(3) Avoid fertilizing during a drought.
Hold off on fertilizing if you have water restrictions due to a drought. Most fertilizers require a thorough watering or two to soak into the soil, and leaving the fertilizer on top of the lawn without watering it can cause the grass to burn. You should postpone the application until the wet weather arrives.
(4)Do not apply fertilizer immediately after a rainstorm.
If a recent rainstorm has soaked your lawn and saturated the soil, wait a day or two before fertilizing it. This will allow the ground to dry out slightly, preventing runoff (and wasted fertilizer) when you apply the fertilizer. Applying fertilizer to dry grass increases the likelihood of the fertilizer sliding down to the soil rather than sticking to the grass blades.
How to fertilize lawn when it’s still baby ?
A starter fertilizer helps grass get off to the best possible start, whether you’re establishing a new lawn from seed, sod, or plugs or repairing bare lawn spots.
- New grass benefits from extra phosphorus, a crucial plant nutrient that supports robust, deep roots, in contrast to established lawns. If you need clarification, check with your country extension office. In some parts of the world, phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers are only permitted on freshly planted grass.
- Phosphorus, typically “0” in typical lawn fertilizers, is the middle number in the N-P-K ratio on fertilizer products. Like Wisconsin law prohibits applying phosphorus to your lawn unless your soil test indicates a need for phosphorus or you are establishing a new lawn.
- Always adhere to recommendations for when to sow grass seed in your area and for the type of grass therein, then fertilize as necessary.
- Apply fertilizer with a typical lawn spreader before planting seeds or plugs. If you’re using sod to establish a lawn, fertilize once the sod is in place.
- Avoid applying fertilizers or crabgrass preventer fertilizers to any new lawn area four weeks or less before planting. Wait until your fresh grass takes root after seeding and at least three lawn cuts have been made.
Do’s of how to fertilize lawn.
- Learn how to accurately measure your lawn to calculate how much fertilizer to purchase.
- Learn how much fertilizer is ideal for the type of grass you have.
- Choose a fertilizer with a slow release. The effects of slow-release fertilizers last longer and are kinder to your lawn.
- Test your soil from time to time. You can carefully pick a fertilizer to give your lawn what it lacks if you have a deficiency in one of the macronutrients, like nitrogen.
- Always carefully read and adhere to the label’s instructions—this aids in avoiding any overuse or underapplication that might have unfavorable long-term effects.
Don’ts of how to fertilize lawn
- Just before a rainstorm, fertilize. Your efforts will be undone by that rain, which could also harm the environment if fertilizer ends somewhere it shouldn’t.
- During the hottest time of the day, feed your lawn. The intense heat during this time weakens your lawn so you might experience fertilizer burn.
- Fertilize excessively. It’s crucial to monitor how much fertilizer you are applying. Over-fertilization and overwatering can harm your grass in the long run.
The amount of fertilizer you’ll need depends on your grass type, location, and application method (granular vs. liquid). Do not overthink it. You now know when to fertilize your grass if you know what kind it is. Remember, a little research will save you a headache later. Once you get started, you’ll realize it’s not as difficult as you think, and maintaining a lush, healthy-looking lawn will become easier. These tips, as mentioned above, give you a brief idea of how to fertilize lawn. Share with us in the comments if we missed something.
- Before even fertilizing, watering the lawn is considered to be more complicated. Read these simple tips on watering lawns.
- In the gardening world, Weed is the worst universal enemy, weed management is the most challenging factor, and these are even trickier for lawns. It is due to the similarity between lawn weeds and lawn grass. Please read our article for common notorious purple flower weeds in the lawn here.
- Are you looking to add new grasses to your lawn? We have got the list of 8 easy-to-maintain ornamental grasses
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time of day to fertilize the lawn?
-> Never fertilize your lawn while it is blazing hot outside. This typically means that your best bet is to apply lawn fertilizer in the late afternoon or early evening. Naturally, this varies depending on the lawn.
- Why do I need to fertilize the lawn?
-> Fertilizing your lawn promotes strong grass growth and gives it that desirable, lush green hue. Additionally, it aids in the development of sturdy, resilient grassroots that can withstand high temperatures, heavy foot traffic, and disease.
- In the spring, what month should you fertilize the lawn?
-> It might be February in areas with warmer climates, while it might be April in areas with icy winters. The best time to mow the grass is when it begins to turn green again is actively growing and appears to need its first cut.
- What happens to lawn grasses when too much fertilizer is applied?
-> Too much fertilizer on your lawn can increase the soil’s levels of salt and nitrogen, which can harm your turf’s root system or kill the grass. The grass may have browned or yellow tips or appear scorched, crispy yellow.