Tips For Watering Your Lawn The Right Way13 Photos
Learn the ins and outs of lawn irrigation, including expert tips for efficient watering.
A day or two before applying fertilizer, water your lawn thoroughly. After grass dries, apply fertilizer. Then lightly water again. This second watering is vitally important, because it washes fertilizer off grass blades and into soil. You can also time fertilizer application between rainfalls to let rain wash fertilizer into soil. Just be sure you don’t fertilize before a downpour, or you may wind up with fertilizer washing away, especially if your lawn slopes. Avoid applying fertilizer during a drought when a lawn has browned or withered from lack of moisture.
Granular Fertilizer Application Tips
This is especially likely to be a problem if you use a synthetic, quick-release fertilizer in granular form. If the fertilizer is left on longer, you could even end up with a dead lawn.
If you want to use a granular fertilizer, I recommend that you wait for the grass to completely dry before application for best results. There cannot be any dew, rainwater, or irrigation water on the grass. Be wary if there is any mist or fog outside, as this can also lead to moisture on the grass as well.
If there has been any heavy rain, you will want to wait a minimum of a day before fertilizing with most granular fertilizers.
As I already mentioned, there are some fertilizers which dont require this level of diligence. You can usually throw them down whenever, though late afternoon or early evening is still the best time of day to fertilize lawns with these fertilizers.
Best Time To Fertilize Lawn Before Or After Rain
When is the best time to fertilize a lawn before or after a rain? Too much rain could wash away the fertilizer before it has a chance to soak into the soil, so plan to fertilize several days before a heavy rain arrives or several days later. Here are more tips from the professionals at Jonathan Green.
The Jonathan Green company is built upon innovative scientific research and time-honored traditions. We have studied turfgrass and what it needs to thrive since 1881, developing products that provide lasting results year after year. Currently, we use the latest scientific technology to test all of our products to make sure they will perform well on your lawn. The result will be a beautiful green, healthy lawn for you and your family.
Also Check: Lawn Mowing Hiring
Can I Fertilize My Lawn In Winter
Can you fertilise your lawn in the winter months? Honestly, you should be careful not to fertilise your lawn too early. You see, in wintertime, the grass is likely to be dormant, particularly if you havent been irrigating.
If you fertilise your lawn too early in spring , then youll be providing all of these nutrients to the grass before it was broke dormancy.
If you want deep and healthier roots, and a weed-resistant lawn, then you should probably wait until mid-spring before fertilising your lawn.
When Is The Best Time To Fertilize Your Lawn
Ultimately, spring is without question the most important time for you to fertilise your lawn. This is just as the lawn is breaking from its winter dormancy.
As the weather begins to warm up and your grass begins to grow again, it is time to undertake your spring lawn care routines.
Of course, be sure not to get too carried away and spread your fertilisers too early. Timing is essential. Apply your fertiliser too early and your lawn wont get the full benefits of nutrient uptake.
As the season begins to warm up, the speed at which your grass grows will increase as well. When doing so, you will want to use a slow-release granular fertiliser. This will slowly release the nutrients throughout the spring months in your lawn. Having a good feed with slow-release nitrogen, for example, will help your lawn properly prepare itself for the harsh summer months to follow.
Granular fertilisers are highly popular. This is because they are easy to apply, and again, the slow delivery of nutrients is much more effective at this time of year.
Also Check: How Much To Charge For Aerating
When Not To Fertilize Your Lawn
Don’t apply fertilizer when a heavy rainstorm is in the forecast. A downpour may wash the fertilizer away. But if you’re expecting a moderate amount of rain to come and to fall steadily upon the earth, this is an ideal time to fertilize: It will save you from having to water the fertilizer in, yourself.
Since heat and dryness are your enemies when fertilizing a lawn, avoid applying fertilizer to your grass during periods of severe drought. Your grass is stressed at such times, increasing the likelihood that a chemical fertilizer will burn it.
How To Aerate Your Lawn
Lawn aeration encourages deep roots, resulting in a healthy lawn. Learn how to give your grass a breath of fresh air with these aerating tips.
If you plan to aerate your lawn, follow up that task with fertilizing. Lawns benefit from soil aeration, which creates literal holes in soil and exposes the root zone of grass plants. These holes allow water, fertilizer and air direct access to grass roots. For the best aeration, use a core aerator that pulls actual plugs of soil from the lawn . If you rent this machine, know that it’s heavy and requires a strong pair of arms to handle it. Many riding mowers also have core aerator attachments. In small grassy areas, plunging a digging fork into soil accomplishes the task quickly and inexpensively. Aerate whenever the thatch layer is more than one-half-inch thick.
Don’t Miss: Recover Lawn Chair
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:
Apply Lawn Fertilizer With Care
Grass will benefit the most from lawn fertilizer when it’s applied correctly. First, do not fertilize right after you mow wait at least two days after mowing. Second, use a spreader to apply it evenly and make sure it reaches all areas of your yard. Close the spreader hopper when stopping and turning so fertilizer doesn’t leak out in piles. Clean sidewalks and paths of any excess fertilizer to prevent it from washing or blowing into grass, resulting in burn spots.
The best time to apply your lawn fertilizer is in the morning when the grass is wet with dew, and you’re not expected to have rain for one or two days. Once you apply the lawn fertilizer, add at least a half inch of water within 14 days per Pennington Seed. This can be from rainfall or watering with a sprinkler.
Feeding your grass a regular dose of lawn fertilizer helps it stay healthy, strong and green all summer long so you can enjoy it as much as possible.
You May Like: How Much Does Tru Green Cost
The Best Time To Fertilize Your Lawn
Fall is a great time to fertilize the lawn. Lawns are hungry now and they will develop most of their root systems during this season.
Labor Day is a good time to fertilize lawns. Lawns are actively growing and this fertilizer promotes vigorous blade growth and stronger root systems.
A soil test is recommended to determine exactly what fertilizer your lawn needs. In most cases, a winterizer fertilizer is recommended. Formulations vary, but most winterizer fertilizers are approximately 25-3-10 . Winterizer fertilizers provide a little extra potash compared to summer fertilizers. This boost of potash promotes winter hardiness.
Fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen are valuable since they provide a consistent release of nitrogen to the growing plants. They are more expensive, however.
Follow the rates on the fertilizer package. A standard rate is 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. For reference, one pound of actual nitrogen is in four pounds of a 25% nitrogen fertilizer . Excess nitrogen can burn the turf.
Reduced rates can be used in shady spots. They grow more slowly and only need about half as much fertilizer as sunny spots.
To prevent creating dark green stripes in your yard, apply half the fertilizer going back and forth in one direction and the other half going perpendicular to that. For example, apply half going north-south and the other half going east-west.
Student Focused. Land Grant. Research Institution.
To Figure How Much Nitrogen Fertilizer To Apply To Lawns:
- Divide rate of nitrogen desired by percent nitrogen in bag
- Multiply answer found by square footage of lawn and divide by 1,000
EXAMPLE: 15-5-10 fertilizer, 7,000 sq ft, want to apply 1 lb. nitrogen/1,000 sq ft
- 1 pound divided by .15 = 6.66, round to 6.7
- 6.7 multiplied by 7,000 = 46,900 divided by 1,000 = 46.9, or 47 pounds
Therefore, need about 47 pounds of 15-5-10 fertilizer to cover entire lawn
After calculating how much to apply, when to apply is the other important decision. Early fall is a key time for fertilizing lawns in northern Illinois. The schedule below outlines when to apply based on how many applications are to be made annually and desired lawn quality. Use controlled-release nitrogen fertilizers in May and September and a fast-release source in late fall. Consider Mother’s Day, Labor Day and Halloween as reminders or favorable times to fertilize lawns in nothern Illinois.
Also Check: Homemade Rabbit Repellent For Lawn
Feeding The Lawn In The Summer And Fall
Warm-season grasses thrive in the heat of the summer and can be fertilized throughout the growing season. However, cool-season grasses are in a survival mode during the heat of the summer. Refrain from applying fertilizer to a lawn in mid- or late-summer if you live in a climate where cool-season grasses are in your lawn seed mix. A cool-season lawn should need nothing other than water and pest management until September.
Most lawn experts recommend a mild dose of a “turf-builder” fertilizer formulation in the early- to mid-fall, while the turf still has several weeks of active growth before dormancy. This application will help build robust root systems going into winter and restart the growing cycle in the spring. You are not looking to return your lawn to the green of summer. Heading into winter, you can expect a natural slowdown of your lawn’s growth and the loss of its green luster.
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.
Recommended Reading: Ants In My Lawn
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.
Using A Broadcast Or Rotary Spreader
A broadcast or rotary spreader works well when you’re fertilizing larger lawn areas. Before filling the hopper, make sure it’s closed. It’s a good idea to fill it on a tarp, so you can easily gather any spilled fertilizer. Apply fertilizer around the perimeter of the lawn first, and then start to move back and forth across turf in an orderly pattern. Overlap application strips slightly to ensure that you cover the whole lawn evenly with fertilizer.
Recommended Reading: Perfectmatch Herbicide
When To Fertilize Your Lawn: Timing And Frequency
Choosing the correct time and schedule to fertilize your lawn is essential to a beautiful yard. Here are the best tips on how to get your lawn in its best shape this year.
Lawn fertilizer is like food for your grass, providing it with the nutrients it needs to grow and maintain its healthy, green glow. Each fertilizer uses a unique combination of nutrients, though most include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These ingredients create a vibrant lawn that resists weeds like crabgrass while creating an optimal environment for good microorganisms and worms.
While its important to fertilize your lawn, throwing down these nutrients at any time of the season wont help your grass reach its full potential. Instead, its important to consider your grass type and the environment you live in before deciding on a time to fertilize. Read on to learn more about the best time to fertilize your lawn, how often you should do it, and the factors that impact growth.
When And How To Fertilize Your Lawn
In some ways, lawns are a lot like people. Operating at the peak of beauty and performance requires a good diet and proper care. Lush, thick, green lawns depend on properly timed, properly balanced nutrition to look and grow their best. Understanding when and how to fertilize your lawn can help you and your grass stand out from the rest.
Recommended Reading: How To Keep Rabbits Off My Lawn
Ideal Time To Fertilize
When applied incorrectly, fertilizers can burn grass plants, so its important to take air temperatures and weather into consideration when deciding when to fertilize your lawn. If air temperatures are too hot, plant damage can occur.
Quick-release and slow-release granular fertilizers require you to water the lawn after application. Applying fertilizer in the afternoon will cause the moisture in the soil that is preventing the lawn from burning to evaporate as the sun beats down on the lawn.
Its also important for grass to dry out slightly before the nighttime temperatures. If you fertilize and water too late in the day and the lawn is still wet when the cool night temperatures arrive, it will become more susceptible to contracting a fungal disease.
Fertilizing your lawn in the morning enables you to take advantage of cooler temperatures and morning dew to reduce the risk of burning the grass. As you spread the fertilizer and water it in, the nutrients will have the best chance of reaching the roots and being absorbed quickly.
When your lawn and soil are in harmony, there will be a natural balance that protects your lawn against most insects, weeds, and turf diseases and improves the heat and cold tolerance of your grass. The soil will become more permeable and alive with beneficial microbial organisms, allowing water, air, and grass roots to penetrate into the soil more deeply and establish a better foundation for the grass to flourish.
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
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.
Recommended Reading: Flying Ants In The Grass
Should You Fertilize Your Lawn
There are many things to consider before answering this question. Not everyone’s goals and circumstances are the same. So the answer will vary from individual to individual.
If you want a great-looking lawn, and if you have the time, energy, and money to achieve that objective, then the answer is unequivocally yes. Proper fertilization is one factor that can make one lawn in the neighborhood stand out above the rest. Which brings us to the question, How often should you fertilize your lawn? Because, if you truly care about showcasing your lawn, you will want to fertilize it more than someone who is content with a patchy lawn. For the ultimate manicured lawn, you should fertilize it two or three times per year.
But not everyone needs a lush lawn. There are homeowners who value low maintenance over having the showiest lawn on the block. There are some homeowners who are organic gardeners, who shy away from using chemical fertilizers. Homemade compost can be applied to a lawn, instead, but there is work involved in making compost. Gardeners may value what compost is available too highly to waste it on lawns rather than on vegetable gardens. And there are some who simply hold lawns in low esteem for them, grass-covered areas are utilitarian, functioning merely as spaces for walking from point A to point B in the landscape.