When To Feed The Lawn
During the spring through fall growing season, your lawn will perform best when fed three to four times in spring, summer and fall and this is true for both established lawns and newly seeded lawns..
If you struggle with crabgrass in your lawn year after year, create a better growing environment that enables desirable grass to grow in place of crabgrass. For good results, apply Jonathan Green Green-Up with Crabgrass Preventer in spring. It controls crabgrass before and after it germinates and contains Dimension® Crabgrass Control Herbicide, the newest technology. available. Dimension is clear, odorless, and colorless, and wont stain your hands, walkways, driveways, or the floor of your garage.
If there are always dandelions and broadleaf weeds in your lawn, use Green-Up Weed & Feed in late spring or fall when these weeds are actively growing. It will feed desirable grasses with 35% slow-release nitrogen fertilizer for up to 3 months and also kills weeds down to the root.
Early summer is a great time to feed your lawn organically because the soil is warm and the microbes are active. Apply Jonathan Green Organic Lawn Food because it contains food-grade organic ingredients such as feather meal, bone meal, blood meal, wheat shorts, and molasses.
Find out how often you should fertilize your lawn by visiting Jonathan Green online or contacting your nearest independent retail store for valuable lawn care advice.
What If Ive Recently Overseeded My Lawn
The best time to fertilize a lawn is right after or just before youve done overseeding work. When you have a starter fertilizer available, itll offer a quick-release nitrogen profile to give the seeds an extra nutritional boost that encourages germination.
Although fertilizer isnt 100% necessary for grass seeds to germinate, it does make the process faster. If youre trying to fix bare spots or solve patchiness, a quick fix establishes a more robust root profile that supports the rest of the lawn.
With fertilizer, the grass should grow faster, making it more likely youll get a lush and healthy lawn to enjoy throughout the year.
How Often Should You Fertilize
Fertilizer companies will tell you that you need to fertilize multiple times per season, or throughout the year.
Then again, fertilizer companies also tell you that you need to fertilize your ornamentals .
In reality, there is no hard and fast rule. How often you fertilize is going to be based on your individual circumstances and it will change over time as your garden gets healthier.
If youve just moved to a new property and the soil is in dire straits, then giving your ornamental garden, lawn, and veggie garden a feed with a good quality organic fertilizer wont do any harm and will get you off to a good start.
Long term, your ornamentals should need nothing except mulch and water, your lawn should need no more than one application per year, and your vegetable garden should need no more than a couple of applications, and only in summer.
Fertilizing anything when it doesnt need it is a bad idea. You could end up with fertilizer burn and plants that is less healthy than it was before! In fact, fertilizing too much is more damaging than not fertilizing enough. So, if in doubt, dont!
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Lawn Fertilizing Tips And Tricks: When And How To Apply
The secret to accurate amounts of lawn fertilization lies in knowing when and how much should you fertilize your lawn. Low amounts of grass fertilizing will not help in killing weeds neither will it contribute to providing the desired essential nutrients to your grass. Too much grass fertilizer can harm your grass and curb its growth.
How can one identify the precise amount of fertilizer for grass lawns?
We have curated a set of questions and answers that will give you clarity as to the frequency of lawn fertilization you must carry out. There are fall lawn fertilizers, winterizer fertilizers, summer fertilizers, and rainy season fertilizers. But how do they contribute and help your garden adapt to change in climate?
How To Apply Lawn Fertilizer For Best Results
Whenever you apply fertilizer, always follow best practices for fertilizer safety. For best results, mow your lawn one to two days beforehand. Then set your spreader to the setting recommended on the product label.
- For drop spreaders, start with two strips across your lawn’s ends. Then work back and forth, overlapping each swath slightly.
- For broadcast spreaders, start on the outside and work in, overlapping slightly as you go.
Always shut the hopper when you stop and turn to prevent a fertilizer pile. When finished, sweep excess fertilizer off hard surfaces, such as sidewalks and driveways, to avoid iron stains and fertilizer runoff.
By following these lawn fertilizer tips, you can keep your grass at the peak of performance, beauty and health. At Pennington, we take pride in providing you with the best in lawn fertilizers and expert advice to help you have a lawn you’re proud to own. Stay connected with our email newsletter for accurate, timely tips and offers to help you make the most of your lawn and home.
*dollarweed, clover, henbit and chickweed
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including specific guidance for your grass type.
Pennington is a registered trademark of Pennington Seed, Inc.
UltraGreen is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.
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Fertilizing The Lawn In Summer
Photo by pxhere
Do not fertilize your lawn on extremely hot days of the summer.
Grass that is fed and fertilized well can survive the summer heat and dry conditions better. However, every type of grass does not need to be fertilized in the summer. For instance, cool-season grasses stay dormant in summer, so they dont need to be fertilized.
The exceptions are cool-season grasses grown in cool-summer high-elevation areas. Here, you can feed the cool-season grasses, but we suggest you use less fertilizer. For the rest of the areas, wait until early fall and then fertilize your cool-season lawn.
On the other hand, summer is the most critical feeding time for warm-season grasses. You can apply the fertilizer once in June and then again a few weeks before the first expected frost. However, this time try using an organic fertilizer.
Recap: Lawn Fertilizer Dos And Don’ts
- Use test results to choose the right fertilizer.
- Spend time accurately measuring the size of your lawn.
- Try an organic during the hot summer months.
- Buy a quality spreader that best fits your needs.
- Accurately calibrate your spreader to make sure you apply the right amount.
- Keep your spreader well maintained.
- Keep records of what and how much you apply and when you apply it.
- Test your soil after you have fertilized.
- Guess on how much fertilizer you need and what setting you use.
- Apply fertilizer in hot, humid weather.
- Apply fertilizer near water features, on hard surfaces or on frozen ground.
- Use phosphorus unless your soil test indicates a deficiency.
- Apply more than four times a year.
- Use liquid fertilizers on your lawn.
- Use a drop spreader in big lawns.
- Bag your clippings.
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How Often To Fertilize
How often to fertilize depends on whether you go with an organic or synthetic fertilizer. Because they give quick color boosts that dont last very long, youll need to apply synthetic fertilizer much more often.
However, dont go over 4 applications a year. Then youre just spending a lot of time and money making your grass grow crazy fast, meaning you have to mow more often, and more nitrogen leaches into waterways, groundwater, and the surrounding environment.
With organic fertilizers, youll only need to fertilize once, maybe twice, a year for the best effect.
When To Fertilize Warm
The best time to fertilize warm-season grasses is between late-spring to late-summer, when these grasses are growing most vibrantly.
apply any amendments as required by soil test results and/or compost tea.
Last-spring: fertilize in June. If using synthetic fertilizer, start your 4-to-6 week fertilizer schedule. If using compost, use a lighter top-up, if you choose. Warm-season grass will begin growing actively when soil temperatures reach 65F, which is usually around April.
Late-summer: give one final fertilizer in August while the grass is still growing vibrantly to prepare the winter dormancy grass.
If youve overseeded with cool-season grasses, you may need to fertilize once more in November, when they grow more vigorously. If youve given your lawn a good compost feeding, though, this might not be necessary.
And if you have centipede grass, youre in luck! Centipede grass doesnt like extra nitrogen, so you dont have to fertilize.
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Why Lawn Fertilization Is Important
Lawn fertilizers are made of the three major nutrients nitrogen , phosphorous , and potassium in various combinations and concentrations. Because nitrogen is the key nutrient for leaf growth, the ratio of nitrogen in lawn fertilizer is always the highest. Phosphorus is important for root growth, and potassium helps with water and nutrient absorption, but their numbers are always lower because most soils already contain enough or most of those two nutrients.
When To Fertilize A Lawn
When your lawn is looking a little shabby, you may be tempted to throw some fertilizer on it. But when, how, and at what time you fertilize your lawn requires some careful consideration.
The best time of day to fertilize a lawn is morning because that’s when the temperature is cooler and the grass is moist with dew. Heat and dryness are your enemies when fertilizing your lawn. Even without hot temperatures, applying chemical fertilizers to grass exposes it to the danger of burning. Plus fertilizer should be watered immediately into the soil, and this task is easier to perform on a lawn already moist. The exception is with “weed and feed” products, which you don’t want to water in immediately: You want the herbicidal component to maintain contact with the weeds for a period of time.
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Late Summer To Late Fall
Between August and November, grass slows down and prepares for the winter months. At the same time, broadleaf weeds start active growth again. With Pennington UltraGreen Winterizer Plus Weed & Feed Fertilizer 22-0-14, you can feed your northern or southern lawn nutrients essential to its winter prep and spring green-up and kill broadleaf weeds. As a general rule, allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your first expected frost.
As with all fertilizer products, check the label and follow instructions for your specific grass type. If you’re overseeding, wait until next year for weed & feed. Instead, turn to Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 for the year’s final feeding.
Always sweep excess fertilizer off sidewalks and patios to avoid runoff.
Picking The Right Fertilizer
Picking the right fertilizer depends on your lawn type and your end goal is. If you want to make your lawn greener and healthier, a product like The Andersons 16-0-8 Fertilizer with Humic DG is great for you. It contains methylene-urea that will give your lawn an even feed over eight to 10 weeks. Its also safe for pets.
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Rotary Spreader With Fertilizer
Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
©Scripps Networks, LLC
Scripps Networks, LLC
Tip: Before filling the hopper of a rotary spreader, make sure its closed. Also, consider filling the hopper over a tarp so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer.
Nitrogen is every lawn’s most important ingredient, and each type of grass demands different amounts to display peak growth and performance. How often you fertilize affects not only lawn appearance, but also maintenance level. The more you fertilize, the more you’ll have to mow, for instance.
Should I Fertilize My Lawn Before Or After Mowing
Ideally, youll want to mow and rake before fertilizing so that excess lawn waste is removed, allowing the fertilizer to have an easier time reaching the soil. Aerating your soil before fertilizing can also help. When fertilizing a lawn, it is best to apply fertilizer after the lawn has been mowed so it has a few days to absorb the fertilizer.
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How Do You Put Fertilizer On Grass
Photo by Cade Martin
Liquid fertilizers are usually hard to handle and apply.
Lawn fertilizers come in different forms, i.e., liquid, spray, granules, pellets etc. Depending on its form, the process of the application of fertilizer will vary. Typically granular fertilizers are easier to handle and apply. Also, granular fertilizers have a lower risk of over- or under-fertilization, which saves on cost.
With liquid fertilizers, experts usually recommend hiring a lawn care professional. It is because they are difficult to measure and apply uniformly over the lawn. Regardless of the form of the fertilizer, it is highly recommended not to apply fertilizer when there is expected rain.
It can cause significant loss of nutrients with water runoff or may cause the fertilizer to penetrate deep away from the grassroots reach.
How To Apply Fertilizer To Your Lawn
Lawn fertilizers are sold in either liquid or granulated form.
This is mostly important in determining how to spread the fertilizer. With organic fertilizers, the difference comes down to what the fertilizer is comprised of. Corn grain meal based fertilizers are typically granular, while fish emulsions are liquid.
Synthetic fertilizers are available in both forms.
Speaking generally, most homeowners find granular fertilizers easier to apply.
If you want to use a liquid fertilizer, it is simpler to hire a professional service like TruGreen or a local alternative to do so.
Its more difficult to measure out and ensure even application of a liquid fertilizer. Professional services do that regularly and understand how to apply it.
Using a spreader to apply granular fertilizer is a simple process. A small broadcast spreader can be bought locally or for under $40.
Using a spreader is easy fill the hopper up on pavement, then walk the spreader across your yard.
Start with the perimeter, using an edge-guard to keep the material in your grass. Then go line by line until your yard is covered.
Spread it at a lower than recommended rate at first. This way youre sure not to add too much and damage your yard .
Make sure to sweep any granules off the pavement and into your yard. Left on pavement, they can harm the environment if allowed to wash into storm drains.
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Do I Fertilize My Lawn Before Or After Rain
It is best to wait a day or so after a rain before applying fertilizer. Grass blades that are still wet should not be fertilized. Fertilizer is applied at the rate of one to two pounds per square foot per day. If you have a lot of grass, you may need to apply more than one pound of fertilizer at a time.
Apply the fertilizer in the morning and leave it on for the rest of the day, or until the grass is dry enough to use again. You can also use a garden sprayer to spray the area with fertilizer as you go.
After Your First Lawn Fertilizer Application
So now you know about the first treatment, but are wondering how often to fertilize lawn areas throughout the rest of the year?
After your first application, you want to apply another round of fertilizer 6 to 8 weeks later and repeat that two more times with 6 to 8 weeks in between.
Try to schedule your applications so you apply ahead of the hottest part of summer to give your lawn the necessary boost.
For an established lawn, youll fertilize 4 times each season, though that is based on some important assumptions. If your grass is damaged and youre growing it fresh, your lawn will require more treatments until its established.
This is also true if your lawn has a species of grass that isnt native to your climate, like in areas that are more hostile to grasses. Alternatively, the opposite is also true. Fertilizing regularly is most necessary when trying to keep alive grasses that arent native to your area.
Its very likely you can get away with only fertilizing 1 to 2 times per year if the grass in your lawn is native. A healthy lawn can get by with fertilizing in the spring, and maybe again In the fall to keep it strong through the off-season.
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Can You Overfeed A Lawn
Unfortunately it is possible to overfeed a lawn with fertilizer.
If you apply too much fertilizer, a significant amount could leach through the soil and make its way into precious groundwater, and cause environmental pollution through the phosphorus in the fertilizer.
Moreover, if you were to overfeed grass with fertilizer, the grass could start to take on a strange bluey green color, and the leaves of grass will grow only at the expense of the roots underneath. This is not good. It means that you will have to water your lawn more frequently.
Or you could get lawn burn, where brown or yellow patches of grass will appear on your lawn in the areas that have had too much nitrogen. The excess nitrogen effectively kills off the grass, and you will have to reseed.
If in any doubt about how often to feed your lawn to avoid under-or overfeeding, simply refer to our instructions earlier in the article.