When to Apply Lawn Fertilizer? [A Beginner’s Guide]

Different types of grasses should be fertilized at different times of year for optimum health and growth. Warm-season grasses, like zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, and Augustine grass, should be fertilized in spring.

Cool-season grasses, like ryegrass, fescues, and Kentucky bluegrass, should be fertilized between late summer and fall.

The real planning of lawn fertilizer application depends upon your area and the kind of grasses you have. 

Guide for Fertilizing the Lawn as per Season:

Before fertilizing the lawn, you should understand your grass type, your growing zone, and, therefore, the best lawn fertilizer for the work.

Find Your Grass Type:

There are two kinds of grasses: warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses. As well, an outsized cross-breed of grasses is considered transitional.

This suggests that they will be grown successfully in the areas where the weather is typically too warm for cool-season grasses and too cool for warm-season grasses.

Your lawn fertilizer schedule will depend upon the type of grass you’ve got, but remember that it takes constant commitment to your routine to ensure year-after-year success.

Also Read: Best Mulch for Gardens

Spring Application:

On the off chance that you prepared your lawn the previous fall, particularly late in the season, at that point, the slow-release fertilizer will help grass development in the spring.

Fertilizer makers or lawn care organizations may advise you to treat your lawn in late winter; however, all things being considered, think about the advice from trained professionals and soil specialists who say to hold off.

When cool-season grasses rouse in the spring, they enter into a development cycle when the root system starts developing and starts holding soil.

Stand by until the pre-summer (late May or early June), not long before the warmth of summer starts and after the grass is flourishing.

Taking care of your lawn now will prepare the grass for summer. During the scorching summer months, the grass will start to stop growing and start to lose energy.

Using 3/4 to 1 pound of normal nitrogen-based fertilizer will permit the grass to regain its energy and avoid the damage of summer.

Summer and Fall Application

Warm-season grasses flourish in the warmth of the summer and can be treated all through the developing season. Be that as it may, cool-season grasses are in a defensive mode during the warmth of the summer.

Forgo applying fertilizer to a lawn in mid-or pre-fall if you live in an environment where cool-season grasses are in your lawn. A cool-season lawn should require nothing other than water until September. 

Most lawn specialists suggest a small portion of fertilizer in the right on time to mid-fall. This application will help construct a healthy root system going into winter and restart the developing cycle in the spring.

You are not hoping to return your lawn to the green of summer. Heading into winter, you can anticipate a pause in your lawn’s growth and the deficiency of its green color.

Transitional Zone Application

If you reside during a transitional zone, you have a mixture of warm- and cool-season grasses, which will require extra care at different times.

A clue to deciding your grass type is to look out for the way your lawn behaves. Warm-season grasses will turn brown after the primary frost, while cool-season grasses will generally stay green all year long in the cool and transitional zones.

They’re going to not, however, survive the summer months if the temperatures become extremely high.

When to Feed Your Grass?

Once you identify your lawn type, you need to find out when to feed your grass. Each kind of grass has its season and requires a special lawn fertilizer schedule.

Primary Growing Period

The primary growing period for cool-season grasses is during the spring and fall, when temperatures are between 65- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. To make sure optimal health, fertilize the lawn heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.

You can choose either slow- or quick-release fertilizer types, but make certain to use the treatment before the temperatures peak in summer when these grasses will presumably go dormant. Cool-season grasses need just one to 2 pounds of nitrogen-rich fertilizer per 1,000 square feet annually.

As you’re planning out your lawn-care routine, note that there are special cool fertilizers available at your local gardening center that are formulated to protect your grass during the cold months.

Optimal Growing Period

The optimal growing period for warm-season grasses is late spring and summer when average temperatures are 87 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As growth may begin below or above this temperature range, keep an eye on your lawn and apply the fertilizer even as the grass starts turning green in the spring.

Warm-season grasses should be fed three to four pounds of nitrogen-rich fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn annually. You can choose from slow- or quick-release fertilizer types, but make sure the appliance is fully absorbed before the start of high temperatures.

After applying the fertilizer, water the grass carefully, washing the grains off the blades of grass and into the soil. To make sure that the soil fully absorbs the fertilizer. Apply a second round of fertilizer once the height of summer heat has passed.

Lawn Fertilizer Tips

  • Water the lawn a couple of days before you fertilize to make sure it isn’t affected by drought stress
  • Make sure the grass blades are completely dry once you fertilize the lawn to avoid burns
  • Fill the spreader on the driveway or cement so that you can sweep up spills easily

Last Words:

Before fertilizing the lawn, you should have proper knowledge about the types of fertilizers and grass. You should know the proper time to use fertilizer on your grass and also know the temperature. If you follow these simple tips, you can make your lawn always stay green.

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