When to Fertilize Your Lawn?

May 5, 2022

fertilizing the lawn

When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, there are a lot of factors to consider. The most important one, of course, is when to do it. But don’t worry. We’ll break it down for you! In this article, we’ll discuss the different times of year that you can fertilize your lawn.

What Is Fertilization and Why Is It Important?

Fertilization is adding nutrients to the soil to promote plant growth. Plants need various nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is responsible for leaf and stem growth, phosphorus promotes root growth, and potassium helps overall plant health.

While all plants need these nutrients, lawns have an exceptionally high demand. This is because your greener lawn is constantly being used, mowed, and walked on. All of this activity takes a toll on the green grass, and fertilization helps replenish the lost nutrients.

How to Determine When to Fertilize Your Lawn? warm season grass lawn

You’ll need to take a few different things into account when deciding when to fertilize your green lawn. The first is the type of grass that you have. Different types of grasses have different fertilization requirements. There are two main types of grasses:

  • Cool-Season Grass – Cool-season grasses are a type of plant that thrives in cooler areas. These include many varieties, such as tall fescue and ryegrass found mainly near the north-central section; Kentucky bluegrass colors usually grow well around our country’s southern tip ( lends itself to being called “the wrong side” by some). The two most common periods for growth of this kind of grass are early springtime when temperatures peak, followed quickly after that. 
  • Warm-Season Grass – Warm-season grasses are tough and form a thick lawn cover. The four major types of warm-season grazing, Bermuda, centipede, St Augustine, and Kikuyu will grow best in the southern region with proper conditions for growth: high temperatures at the midsummer time. Zoysia thrives better when it’s not too hot but relatively medium temperature during the summer months.

Once you know what type of grass you have, you can determine the best time to fertilize.

  • For cool-season grasses, the best time to apply fertilizer is in the early spring and fall with starter fertilizer. This is because cool-season grasses are actively growing during these times of the year. Fertilizing during these periods will give the grass the essential nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.
  • For warm-season grasses, on the other hand, the best time to fertilize is in the late spring and early summer. This is when warm-season grasses are actively growing. Fertilizing during these times will help the grass develop a strong root system.

In addition to the type of grass, you’ll also need to consider the climate in your region. If you live in an area with a mild climate, you can fertilize your lawn year-round. However, if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you’ll need to adjust your fertilization schedule accordingly. For example, if you live in a region with hot summers, you’ll need to avoid fertilizing your lawn during the summer months.

Frequency of Fertilization

5 to 6 times per year is optimal for most lawns in the U.S. This includes one feeding in late spring, summer, and early fall, and double feeding in late fall (sometimes referred to as winterizing). The type of fertilizer you use and the grass species you have will also affect how often you need to fertilize.

Pro-Tip: Excess fertilizer application can cause sudden plant growth with an insufficient root system.

Final Thoughts

Applying fertilizer to your lawn is an important part of healthy lawn care. By fertilizing your lawn, you’ll be able to keep it healthy and strong. The best time to fertilize your lawn depends on the type of grass you have and the climate in your region. In general, it’s best to fertilize your lawn in the early spring and fall for cool-season grasses and in the late spring and early summer for warm-season grasses to get an actively growing lawn.

Related: How to Keep Your Lawn Looking Great in the Spring

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