The Best Times To Apply Fertilizer
Whether youre a seasoned turfgrass fanatic or a first-time lawn owner, fertilizer schedules arent always the easiest to track throughout the year. Have no fear! Were here to help you keep up with when to fertilize your lawn, what type of fertilizer to use, and even how to organically care for your lawn if conventional fertilizers arent your thing.
What Is The Suitable Time Of Overseeding On Your Lawn
After preparing the areas of the lawn by mowing and raking, it is the right time to do the needful steps accordingly.
- Mow the lawn shorter than usual.
- Eliminate all the clippings from the lawn so that the lawn can get sunlight and water.
- Use a rake to loosen the soil of the lawn, so that seeds can well contact with soil, and have a chance to increase the development of seeds.
- Choose your seeds.
- Check the overseeding rate of the grass seeds.
- Use a spreader and spread seeds around the lawn according to the instruction given on the label.
- Spread seeds with a logical process like do it when air is quiet and avoid the windy day.
- Be ensured to distribute seeds equally.
When To Put Fertilizer On Lawns
All lawns need fertilizer in early spring when the grass begins to green up. Your fertilization schedule for the rest of the season depends on the type of grass in your lawn, the type of fertilizer you use, and your climate. Most lawn seed is a mixture of several different types of grasses, and both spring and fall fertilization are appropriate.
The label on a bag of lawn fertilizer will recommend a schedule based on the type of fertilizer it contains. The label is your best guide to how often to apply the product and how much to use. As long as you dont overdo it and avoid fertilizing in the hottest part of summer, your lawn should thrive.
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When Should I Put Down Scotts Winterguard
Fall is the best time to feed.
Additionally, is it too late to put down winter fertilizer? Beware: fertilizing too late or too early can actually do harm to your lawn. By fertilizing to early, you are making your lawn more vulnerable to insect outbreaks.
Beside above, when should I apply Winterizer to my lawn?
Winter fertilizers are usually applied in late October or early November to cool-season lawns. To take full advantage of the effects of winterizer fertilizer, you should also apply fertilizer to your lawn in early September. The early fall feeding stimulates root growth.
Can I use Scotts WinterGuard on new grass?
Answer: Yes, you can apply a winterizer fertilizer such as Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food at or around the same time as overseeding since there is no herbicide. This formulation is designed for established turf, but the boost of nutrients would only help the new seeding.
Fertilizing Your Lawn During Winter
Healthy lawns need three major nutrients: Nitrogen , for dense green top growth, phosphorus for root growth, and potassium for general health. Lawns also need micronutrients and fertilizers can help supply these nutrients. When buying lawn fertilizer, you will see three numbers showing the N-P-K values . The numbers represent the percentage of each nutrient however, they do not add up to 100 percent. The other ingredients are inert material.
Warm-season lawns respond best to fertilization when the grass is actively growing, the temperature is warm, and the days are long. In southern states with mild winters, fertilize in spring when the growing season is in full swing. Also, wait until you have mowed once or twice. If you fertilize too early, youre promoting top growth of the lawn at the expense of healthy root growth. Youre also encouraging weeds.
Cool-season lawns should be fertilized in fall, when temperatures are cooling off but the grass is still growing. Fertilizing in fall, when temperatures are still in the 50s, will help grass plants keep their green color into the winter. More importantly, it will promote healthy root growth, which helps grass get off to a good start in spring. Never fertilize when the soil is frozen as it serves no purpose, and most of the fertilizer will wash away.
Whenever you use fertilizer, follow the directions on the label. More is not better.
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Espoma Organic Fall Winterizer Lawn Food
The last product to feature on our list of best fall fertilizer for lawns is another product from Espoma. The previous was an all-weather friendly fertilizer this one is a winter specialist. The purpose of the manor is not to promote grass growth during fall.
The actual motivation behind it is to prepare the soil so that it can hold on to more nutrients while it hibernates through the winter. This way, the ground is ready to spring out when spring arrives. The ideal time to apply would be late summer through fall when the grass stops to grow.
Nitrogen is considered to be the most critical nutrient during these coming dormant months. With an NPK ratio of 8 0 5 nitrogen is found in abundance in this lawn food. The second essential nutrient is soluble potash. Like its all-season counterpart, it works well on types of lawns. Being organic, it is also a kid, pet, and environment-friendly.
With an application rate of 6 lbs, it is on par with a lot of the competition. The package caters to 6,000 sq. ft. Espoma is known to source its nutrients from an organic source. It maintains the synergy of the soil and fertilizer.
That improves the capacity of the ground to hold the compost through the harsh season. If you want your garden treatment always to be weather compatible, Espomas fall-winter product is one of the best fall lawn fertilizers.
Fill Spreader With Fertilizer
Using the example above, all you really know at this point is that you need to apply 6 pounds of product for every 1000 square feet, so now what?
Dont worry, this part is simple. Once again, lets look at an example:
If your lawn is 5000 square feet, and you need to apply 6 pounds of product per 1000 square feet, then you need to apply 30 pounds of product . The formula looks like this:
Application Rate * = Pounds of product to put in spreader
In the example above:
6 pounds * 5 = 30 pounds
If you have a 40 pound bag of fertilizer simply pour 3/4 of the bag into the spreader and this will be 30 pounds.
At this point we now know how much product is going to be distributed over the lawn.
The only question you should be asking yourself now is How do I apply 30 pounds of fertilizer as evenly as possible.
Thats it, still no mention of spreader settings. Just 30 pounds of fertilizer spread evenly across your lawn.
So, whats the secret to getting a good even fertilizer application?
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Do You Fertilize Your Lawn Before Or After Rain
This is not a yes or no situation, but an it depends.
If you fertilize before rain, you will be spared the task of having to water your lawn to help fertilizer soak in. However, if the rain is heavy enough, you risk your fertilizer being washed away and possibly polluting local waterways. While it is fine to fertilize before a light rain, if you are expecting heavy thunderstorms, it might be best to aim to fertilize your lawn after the rain has passed.
Reasons For Different Application Times For Synthetic And Organic Lawn Fertilizer:
- Synthetic fertilizers are made up of ingredients that are readily available for plant uptake. These fertilizers are designed so that once you water them in, the ingredients are released immediately into the soil and begin to break down right away for plants to use.
- Organic fertilizer ingredients are not readily available for plant uptake. It takes time for them to break down to where their ingredients can be absorbed by lawns and plants. So if organic fertilizer is applied in these first few weeks of September, the nutrients will have the appropriate amount of time to break down efficiently and be ready for lawns to absorb and use by mid October. Get it? Its kind of like a math problem.
So which lawn fertilizer do you choose? Synthetic or Organic?
It really comes down to a preference. Youll get no judgement from us if you choose a synthetic lawn fertilizer or if you choose an organic lawn fertilizer, but we will offer you the facts:
- Many people choose synthetic lawn fertilizers because, lets face it, we live in a day of we want it now! Synthetic will give you faster results, faster green up, faster growth but it doesnt do anything for the soil which is the basis and foundation for truly healthy lawns and plants. In actuality, chemicals in synthetic products tend to destroy beneficial microbes, microorganisms, and other beneficial species in the soil. The soil actually ends up becoming weaker and more fertilizer is than needed this becomes an endless cycle.
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Tips For Applying Fertilizer After A Rainfall
Its raining, and youre wondering when to fertilize lawn. Here are some tips to get your lawn care right and help it grow healthy.
- Fertilizer application two days after heavy rainfall is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
- The best time to fertilize lawns is in the afternoon or evening when the sun is not burning high in the sky anymore. This helps give the turf a little time to absorb the nutrients.
- Apply fertilizer and give your lawn a light watering, unless youre expecting light rain in the following hours.
- One important thing to note is that you need to keep pets and kids away from the lawn for at least 24 hours after fertilizing.
- In general, watering your lawn once a week, instead of every day, helps promote strong roots. If it rains a lot, you dont need extra water.
- Another practice for healthy lawns is keeping your grass long, between about 3 and 4.5 inches. This helps provide a greater surface for , which improves their overall health.
- A heavy-handed nitrogen application will mean you need to mow more often.
- When you mow the lawn, leave the clippings on the ground as a mulch to feed the grass and reduce the evaporation of water.
When Do I Put Starter Fertilizer Down On My New Grass Seed
One of the most frustrating situations when seeding a new lawn or repairing places in an existing one is doing all the work and watching the seeds sprout, grow – and then die off. Although a variety of factors can cause this, improper fertilization is a common culprit. Seeds need nutrients to get off to a strong start, which is why applying starter fertilizer at the correct time is critical.
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Using A Drop Spreader
Choose a drop spreader for controlled fertilizer distribution. Overlap slightly on each pass to ensure you have adequate coverage, and don’t forget to close the hopper when you come to the end of a pass. You’ll typically pay more for a drop spreader, but if you’re tending a typical suburban-size lawn, it’s worth the investment. If you accidentally dump fertilizer onto your lawn, gather what you can, then use a stiff broom to spread out any remaining fertilizer as far as possible. Water it in well, and do so again a few days later to help move that nitrogen down through soil and out of the lawn’s root zone.
Debating The Use Of Fertilizer On The Lawn
Whether or not you should use fertilizer on a lawn depends on where you stand on organic or low impact-to-chemical gardening practices. Organic gardeners bemoan the use of any chemicals as lawn fertilizers. The main concern is the fertilizer run-off can enter the local water supply. There is good evidence that shows phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and agricultural fertilizers are contaminating streams, rivers, and groundwater supplies, creating a pressing environmental problem.
There are a few organic methods of feeding a lawn safely. You can choose to use a mulching mower that chops up grass into fine particles that then break down on the lawn. Horticultural experts say that throughout the season, this technique provides a lawn with as much nitrogen as one complete application of lawn fertilizer. You can also use organic fertilizers made from natural materials instead of refined chemicals. Organic-labeled fertilizers will indeed feed your lawn, though they are usually less saturated with the essential nutrients than the industrially refined fertilizers.
Pre-emergent herbicides are a combination of fertilizer and crabgrass control herbicide applied in the early spring. This combination product does not have a full feeding of fertilizer. This small dose of fertilizer slightly boosts grass growth and keeps it alive, while the herbicide in the product restricts crabgrass seedling development.
Is Spring The Time To Fertilize
With cool season grass, we want to fertilize in the early spring, but not too early. Once the outside temperature reaches fifty-five degrees fahrenheit, the lawn should no longer be dormant and it will be ready for a spring feeding.
Keep in mind, if you fertilize in the fall , there will still be some fertilizer left working while the lawn is waking up. Since there may still be some slow release fertilizer left, treating the lawn with nutrients too early will be a waste of fertilizer and time.
Here in Ohio, the temperature could hit fifty-five degrees in March, or it may not reach fifty-five until late April, we just never know! With our crazy temperatures, it makes it a little bit harder to make a lawn fertilizing schedule with a specific timeline, but you have to be prepared just in case we have an early spring this year! If there is an early spring, you may need to fertilize twice, once in the early spring and once in late spring. Ideally we want to get in a few fertilizer treatments before it gets too hot outside.
How Often To Fertilize Lawn
Over-fertilizing is a thing. If once a year is right for your lawn, stick with that and dont get carried away. Fertilizer can be a valuable tool to keep a lawn healthy, dense and looking great, but it can also create environmental concerns if not used responsibly. Follow the label instructions on your fertilizer as each product has unique specifications and needs.
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Follow This Lawn Fertilizer Schedule For Optimal Results
At the start of the new year, many homeowners take the time to map out their calendar with all the things that are in the pipeline for the year birthdays, appointments, vacation time. While doing so this year, its also worthwhile to mark down reminders for your lawn fertilizer schedule. This will help to ensure that your Southeast Michigan lawn is fed at the right times and that its health and beauty are preserved year-round.
With this in mind, weve created a lawn fertilizer schedule that you can consult for your calendar one that is assured to deliver the optimal results.
The Saying Goes The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
This is of course because the other side knows the best time to use fertilizer: before or after it rains?
It matters that your lawn is well-cared for and not just because it helps your grass look nice in healthy: grass generates oxygen to improve the quality of the surrounding air and it can help reduce ground heat up to 20 or even 30 degrees.
Knowing the frequency and conditions that fertilizer should be best used is important for good lawn care.
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Apply A Starter Fertilizer
When the soil temperature falls to 50 to 65 degrees or the air temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, apply a starter fertilizer for overseeding. Avoid weed-and-feed products, as the pre-emergent herbicides will prevent germination of the fescue seeds. Put on safety gear, including shoes, gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask before applying the fertilizer.
Starter fertilizers vary, but most are either a 10-10-10 or a 20-10-10 formulation. The extra nitrogen helps green up the existing grass as well as feed the fescue as it germinates and grows. Apply at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Water thoroughly after fertilizing.
Alternatively, if you prefer to use organic methods, rake 1 to 2 inches of a manure-based compost over the lawn. Water it before planting the fescue seed.
Fertilizers Summer And Your Lawn
When growing turfgrass, its important that you follow it closely through seasonal changes. Summer is usually the warmest season. And hot weather can be as stressful for your lawn as it is for humans.
For your lawn, summer usually implies drought, heat and excess traffic due to use. Lawn owners are usually tempted to fertilize at this point in order to correct whatever adverse effect this might cause.
Fertilizers ordinarily should promote the growth and development of your turfgrass, but you might want to reconsider that idea during summer.
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