How Often Should I Fertilize My Lawn
Adding fertilizer to your lawn is one of the main ways to ensure that your grass is as healthy as possible. Throughout each growing season, your grass will slowly deplete its nutrient levels and these should be replenished manually. The trick in performing this task is to know how often you should fertilize your lawn.
Knowing how regularly to apply fertilizer to your lawn depends on the time of year. During late spring and early summer, your lawn will need to fertilize your lawn more frequently than during the late summer and early fall/autumn. This is because your lawn is more active during the spring and early summer and will be able to withstand more frequent applications of feed.
The rate of grass growth will slow during the late summer and early fall/autumn so, therefore, the lawn will require fewer nutrients.
This article contains two tables, one for U.S. gardeners and the other for U.K. gardeners, that list the most popular fertilizers. The tables refer to fertilizers that are designed to be applied at different times of the year.
When To Fertilize New Sod
Anyone who has just laid down new sod will be standing back, looking at the results, and wondering how soon they need to be adding fertilizer. After all, if youre adding sod to your garden, the chances are that you want quick results. Caring for your sod properly will soon turn it into beautiful turf to be proud of.
So, if youre wondering when to fertilize new sod, the answer is that you can do so very shortly after installation, but there isnt really any benefit to fertilize straight away: it is much better to wait four to six weeks before applying fertilizer. This also depends on your geographical location and the season in which you lay the sod.
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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.
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When And How Often To Fertilize Lawn
There are many crazy specific fertilizer schedules out there, but less is better when it comes to healthy lawns.
The best schedule for you depends on a few key details: your grass type and species, whether you go with organic or synthetic fertilizer, and how much effort you want to put into it.
When To Fertilize Your Lawn
What time of year is best to fertilize your lawn depends on what type of grass you have, cool-season or warm-season. This is because the best time to fertilize is the period when the grass in question is growing most actively, and this period is different for cool-season grasses than it is for warm-season grasses. Nonetheless, there’s no one “right” fertilizer schedule. Different people have success doing it in slightly different ways. All that can be suggested is a typical schedule favored by many.
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Setting A Tentative Lawn Fertilizing Schedule
Creating a lawn fertilizing schedule is a good idea to keep track of when you fertilize and how much. It also helps you to get everything lined up in time for fertilization.
However, lawn fertilizing schedule needs to be flexible. If rain is not in the forecast, delay fertilizing until it is. And if there is a drought, delay the fertilization until its over, or skip it altogether. When there is no water, grass wont grow, and fertilizer has no place to go. Fertilizing a lawn during a drought when the grass is already stressed makes fertilizer burns more likely.
Fertilizers Help Grass To Grow Faster
In addition to being an essential part of your lawns diet, fertilizers can help your grasses grow a lot faster compared to turfgrass without fertilizers.
When you apply fertilizers to your lawn, they strengthen the roots of your grass. This allows the roots to quickly take in more water.
In addition to healthier roots and stems, your lawn is less likely to have messy mud puddles since the roots absorb water faster.
It also means youll have firm soil. Plus zero bare patches!
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When To Fertilize Lawn
Knowing when to fertilize your lawn depends on how often you plan to apply it. If you fertilize once a year, do it around Labor Day thats when lawns absorb the most nutrients. For biannual fertilizing, add a second application the middle of October.
There are exceptions to this timeline depending on climate and soil types, so adjust if your lawn is not retaining enough nutrients. In the spring, if you feel the need, spread a little fertilizer to help the greening process.
Things You Do After Your First Use Of Lawn Fertilizer
Once you apply fertilizer, you have to keep a few tips in mind. Have a look:
- Avoid using the lawn for at least 24 hours after the fertilization process. Keep away the kids and pets from the grass till you find things dry, and once you find the soil has absorbed fertilizers.
- Avoid mowing for at least two days. The reason is simple: it can hamper the setting of fertilization.
These are basic things to keep in mind once you apply the fertilizer.
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What Happens If I Over
Along with fertilize burn, over-fertilizing can cause damage to your turfs root structure, as well. Some fertilizers contain high levels of nitrogen, which if absorbed in large amounts can become harmful. What mainly causes the dreaded burn, however, is an abundant accumulation of soluble salts.
Best Time Of Day To Fertilize
The best time to fertilize is also the best time to mow: between 8 to 10 AM or 4 to 6 PM, although this will depend on weather and water factors. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
High heat and fertilizer dont mix, especially with cool-season grasses. Asking cool-season grasses to absorb high amounts of nitrogen while surviving heat or drought will not end well for your lawn.
Wait until the grass dries from morning dew or rain before applying fertilizer. Droplets will weigh grass blades down, preventing fertilizers from evenly reaching the soil.
While you can fertilize before a light rain if youre expecting a big rainstorm, wait. Synthetic fertilizers will wash away before they even have a chance to absorb.
Dont wait too long in the evening to fertilize, as grass needs time to dry out a bit before the cool nighttime temperatures. Wet grass is more susceptible to fungal diseases.
Only fertilize when the grass is growing, not when its gone dormant.
Find out about the ideal time of day for fertilizing plants:
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Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every Two Weeks
Applying a fertilizer every two weeks isnt recommended by the professionals. It has drastic effects. That will likely lead to many problems, such as lawn burn, excessive grass growth, and pollution to waterways. There is also a natural way of feeding your lawn every two weeks. It would be to leave the grass clippings on the lawn surface when mowing your grass.
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Fertilizer Is Lawn Food
Besides water and sunshine, lawns need food to survive and thrive. By adding fertilizer to the soil, you provide your lawn with three rich elements:
- Potassium : This makes your grasses stronger so they can resist diseases and drought.
- Nitrogen : This boosts the production of chlorophyll, which promotes healthy leaf growth.
- Phosphorous : This helps your turfgrass develop healthy stems and roots.
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Understanding Whats In Your Lawn Fertilizer
When choosing a fertilizer, youll need a basic understanding of the fertilizers NPK rating.
NPK rating is the fertilizers levels of:
- Phosphorous, and
For a standard lawn, a good choice for your first application of the season is around a 20-5-10 NPK rating.
That means the fertilizer is comprised of 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Those three are the primary nutrients for grass, similar to how people need a proper balance of macro nutrients to thrive.
- Nitrogen makes your lawn grow and green quickly, and its essential throughout the season.
- Phosphorous promotes healthy root development. Thats why its recommended to apply high phosphorous fertilizers early in the season to help your grass develop strong roots early. If you water regularly and well, your lawns roots will be able to withstand drought and dryness in the hottest part of summer. However, Phosphorous in high concentrations is bad for the environment, so more places are regulating the allowed amounts or banning it altogether.
- Potassium promotes overall grass growth for a healthy, balanced lawn.
Synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have higher NPK ratings, while organic fertilizers have lower ratings.
The higher potency of synthetic fertilizers is why they have more immediate results in making your grass green. However, thats also why they are unsustainable.
Synthetic fertilizers inhibit your lawns ability to fend for itself, since the fertilizer replaces its natural processes.
How Often To Fertilize A Lawn
Differenttypes of grasses have their own growing season and you must make a differentfertilizer schedule for different types.
Schedule for cool-season grass
Cool-season grasses are actively grown in spring and fall when the average temperature fluctuates between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You have to follow heavy fertilizer in fall and light fertilizer in early spring. You can use either slow-release or fast-release fertilizer.
You must apply these fertilizers before the very high temperature in summer when the grass will remain in dormant conditions. One pound of N-rich fertilizer is very effective for 500 square feet area of your lawn for cool-season grasses. Special cool-season fertilizers are available in the local market which facilitates your lawn to protect your grass during the winter season.
Schedule for warm-season grass
Warm-season grasses are actively grown when the average temperature fluctuates between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit that means in late spring and summer. You might notice that your lawn grass turns green in the late spring and this is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Slow or fast release fertilizer can be used for these warm-season grasses.
Best time to fertilize lawn before or after the rain?
On the other hand, after heavy rainfall fertilization, gives an effective result for your lawn. It helps to reduce the chance of fertilizing running off that can not pollute near water sources and rest environment clean.
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The Right Feeding Schedule For Your Grass Type
Overfertilizing promotes excess leaf growth at the expense of root growth, or worse, creates an unhealthy pH and nutrient balance, and a harmful buildup of salts. Before you decide on your fertilization schedule, read your fertilizers label to find out how long its formulated to last. Some time-released formulas continuously release nutrients for as long as 12 months, and reapplying to soon leads to over fertilization.
In general, plan to fertilize two to four times or around once every six to eight weeks, applying the bulk of the lawns yearly fertilizer during its most active growth period. Your grass active growth period depends on whether its a cool-season species, such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, or a warm-season species, such as Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass.
Spring and fall are the active growing times for cool-season grasses, so thats when youll want to provide most of the years fertilizer. In summer, when growth is slower, these grasses need little to no feeding. Warm-season grasses are most active in summer, so they need most of their nutrition between late spring to early fall. Because they slow down once the weather cools, they dont benefit from late-fall fertilization.
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How Much And Which Fertilizer To Use
Lawn fertilizers fall into three categories: granular slow-release, liquid water-soluble, organic, and synthetic. In most cases, granular slow-release fertilizer is the best to use because it slowly feeds and releases nitrogen into the grass over a period of months.
For the amount of fertilizer to use, the rule of thumb is to apply no more than one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn in a single feeding. How this translates into the exact fertilizer amount depends on the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer. If you use a fertilizer with a high percentage of nitrogen, such as 30-0-4, you will need less fertilizer than when using a 24-0-5 fertilizer. Always follow the directions on the fertilizer label.
The only way to know for sure how much fertilizer your lawn needs is to do a soil test in a specialized laboratory . Everything else is mere guesswork and overdoing the fertilizer can be more detrimental to the lawn than using no fertilizer at all. While you can fix an overfertilized lawn, in the absence of a soil test, being a minimalist is the safest approach to avoid problems in the first place.
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When Should I Fertilize My Lawn In Southern Ontario
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When to Fertilize
Additionally, what is the best lawn fertilizer for early spring? Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer Espoma ELF20 Organic All Season Lawn Food
Similarly one may ask, when should I fertilize my lawn in Canada?
You should typically fertilize your lawn every 6-8 weeks, as when it grows and gets cut, the nutrients in the soil deplete and need to be replenished. Typically youd feed your lawn once in early spring, once in late spring, once in late summer and finally in the fall, just before the snow comes.
When should I apply fertilizer to my lawn?
You want to time fertilizing so it occurs just before grass enters its peak growing phase. If you live in southern areas where lawns feature warm-season grasses, fertilize turf in late spring or early summer, just before grass kicks into high gear. Make a second application in late summer.
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Where Fertilizer Fits Into Your Grass Care Cycle
Like any other plant, grass makes its own food from sunlight and water. In contrast to the plant food that you might add to potted plants, fertilizer is really meant to improve the soil.
Whether youre using natural or synthetic, the reason you fertilize your lawn is to add micronutrients that improve the soil quality and help the grass grow.
When and Where Plant Get Their Essential Nutrients
Plants tend to grow in cycles, and grasses are no different. When your lawn is in a growing phase, the grass draws essential minerals like fertilizer, potassium, and phosphate from the soil. Although sunlight and water are the basic ingredients needed for grass growth, these minerals help produce structural and functional components that keep them healthy and strong.
When Fertilizer Comes In
Before or during the next growing cycle, which may not be until the next year, youll need to add another round of fertilizer to replenish the minerals that have been removed from the soil. Thats why many species of grasses dont need frequent fertilization.
Overfertilizing is wasting money on excessive minerals for your lawn and may risk damaging it, which well go over later. First, to decide exactly when and how often to fertilize your lawn, you need to identify what type of grass it has.
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What Fertiliser Should You Use Our Recommendations
When choosing a fertiliser, make sure it is suitable for your lawn variety and the time of year you are applying it to your lawn.
- Liquid Fertilisers contain the active ingredients which push your lawn to its fullest growing potential in the quickest time. As liquid fertiliser is a quick fix and ignites growth and greening-up of your lawn, it needs to be applied more frequently. They are easily applied through your hose or a spray applicator.
- Granular Slow-Release Fertiliser is often better value for money if you are looking for a slow-release feed and growth for your lawn over an entire season . Slow release granular fertiliser is easily applied through a hand or push spreader.
- Traditional Fertiliser are often the cheapest granular fertilisers that cause a quick spike in the growth and greening-up of your lawn.
- Organic Fertiliser is the most natural and environmentally-friendly fertiliser product available. True organic fertilisers are made up of either animal or vegetable matter and contain no artificial or synthetic materials. Application can be through a spreader or by hand depending on what product you purchase.
Knowing when to fertilise your lawn is the key to ensuring your lawn reaps all the benefits of being feed root and leaf growth. The season and type of fertiliser you choose all come into the equation when fertilising as well as environmental factors such as drought.