how often to fertilize lawn

Fertilizer gives additional nutrients to the lawn and keeps it green and healthy. Broadcast your fertilizer at the same rate as you applied the seed at least once a month; the more the better. If you want long-term sustainability for your existing lawn, an organic slow release is a better choice, and my recommendation. Some gardeners prefer just one fertilizer application a year, while other people tend towards a more intensive feeding process, with several application per season. Maintaining a thick, lush lawn helps prevent weed seeds from sprouting and moving in. It’s also worth mentioning that if you apply a crabgrass preemergent fertilizer or a regular weed and feed, ensure that you have waited four weeks before sowing your new grass seed. It’s not sustainable, and it’s why I use organic, slow release fertilizers on my lawn. However, it’s very important to know how often to fertilize the lawn to get the best results. Those three are the primary nutrients for grass, similar to how people need a proper balance of macro nutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) to thrive. 1300 554 442. Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind LawnChick.com. For maximum appearance of your lawn, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the most active period of your grass' growth. How often should I fertilize my lawn? As clay soils hold moisture for longer than sandy soils, you’ll need to water grass planted in sandy soils more frequently. Here is a very informative video of the Lawn Care Nut showing how to evenly spread the fertilizer: How often to fertilize a lawn is also something of a matter of choice. How Often Should You Fertilize? Today we delve deep into this matter and tell you all you need to know. Applying fertilizer in late August or early September, however, will add nutrients that help the grass to overcome summer stresses. A drop spreader releases the fertilizer in a strip as you walk. There are several important factors that come into play when you’re trying to understand lawn fertilization frequency. By proper application of fertilizer, one can get that dream lawn. In summary, here are the tools you need for fertilizing your lawn: top soil quality effects fertilizer uptake. How often should you fertilize your lawn to keep it looking nice? Applications of fertilizer should coincide with favorable growing conditions. There are instances when you should apply fertilizer more than recommended. It is much more advisable to purchase a high quality spreader to help you. A good schedule is to feed St. Augustine lawns in March, May, July and September. These fertilizers will slowly release nutrients into the lawn. Warm-Season Grass: Warm-season grasses include Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, centipede, and zoysia, and buffalo grass. If your grass is damaged and you’re growing it fresh, your lawn will require more treatments until it’s established. For most lawns, once or twice a year is often enough. A couple of months later he informed me that I had been right, but he swore he’d never let me fertilize his lawn again. Generally your lawn should be fertilized twice per year – once in the spring and then again in the fall. Other tools that you need during the process include the soil tester kit, which is useful when you are first establishing what lawn fertilizer you need. Organic fertilizers are natural and come from plant or animal sources. Both times of day help you avoid the warm daytime temperatures that can often work against the effectiveness of fertilizer. However, overfeeding your lawn is not wise. Please explore my blog to find other articles to help you get the results you are after. No matter how frequently you fertilize your lawn, the rule of thumb you should follow is that you should apply fertilizer while your grass is growing the fastest. Using a spreader to apply granular fertilizer is a simple process. Your first application of fertilizer is best applied early in the season when grass has just started to grow. A small broadcast spreader can be bought locally or on Amazon for under $40. And if you only fertilize once a year, do it in September using fall fertilizer. A recommended dose for lawns is 1 pound of soluble nitrogen for every 1000 square feet or 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of slow-release nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet. If you fertilize only twice yearly, the lawn will lose its luster. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. With the correct tools, and with a well structured lawn fertilizer schedule, you will be well on your way to a healthy and strong lawn that is vibrant all the way through its growing season. That said, you’ll also hear fertilizer described as either quick-release or slow-release, but there’s significant overlap between the two. Fertilizing regularly is most necessary when trying to keep alive grasses that aren’t native to your area. Fertilize at the right time of year. For maximum appearance of your lawn, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the most active period of your grass' growth. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for a fall fertilizer. Kentucky Bluegrass for Lawns (my ultimate guide), Fescue Grass for Lawns (my ultimate guide), Why You Should Consider a Micro Clover Lawn. In this article I’ll share how often to fertilize your lawn for best results, and provide tips to save money and reach your lawn goals. Check out our article, The Benefits of Fertilizing Your Lawn, to learn more. The higher potency of synthetic fertilizers is why they have more immediate results in making your grass green. While it is true that applying fertilizer in early spring encourages some luscious top growth in your lawn, this untimely and intense growth spurt can actually deplete the plant's energy reserves in the long run, and cause them to weaken under summer stresses, such as droughts and regular mowing. When applied with a good pre-emergent herbicide (I use Espoma’s corn gluten meal, which is organic), you allow your lawn to crowd out annual weeds every single year. To do this you can break up the yearly requirements of nitrogen into an even spread over the course of the applications.Little and often tends to work more effectively than slapping a year's worth of nutrients on your lawn in one sitting, so try to aim for an even spread. Start with the perimeter, using an edge-guard to keep the material in your grass. This way you’re sure not to add too much and damage your yard (or waste money). The type you choose will depend on the results of your soil test,as well as the season and type of grass you have. As a general rule, allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your first expected frost. Fertilize the lawn again just after the hottest part of the summer is over. In order to your fertilizer to work best, you'll need to time it so that you fertilize at the beginning of the growing season. This adds a nutritionally balanced feed back into the mix. Speaking generally, most homeowners find granular fertilizers easier to apply. A height of 3 … There is no golden program that can tell you the exact date and time to fertilize your lawn. For a thick and healthy lawn, you’ll want to fertilize a few times throughout the year, with the major times to fertilize being spring and fall. When it comes to when to fertilize your lawn, this is the most important factor at playthat determines when the best time is for a feed. Fertilizer will not benefit your grass beyond a certain point, and can be damaging to the environment when over-applied. For a low maintenance approach to fertilizing your lawn, you can apply fertilizer as infrequently as once a year. They fertilize when they think their lawn needs it, when they have time or when the stuff is on sale.” Here's when to fertilize lawn: If your lawn fertilizer schedule is once per year, apply it around Labor Day. And, yes, the time of day that you fertilize your lawn this fall matters as well. In practical terms, slow-release fertilizers help develop your soil to grow your grass strong using its own capacities. For most lawns, applying fertilizer once or twice a year is enough to keep your grass green and healthy. Spread it at a lower than recommended rate at first. Most high-quality fertilizers contain slow-release nitrogen, which promotes growth in the spring. I once convinced my dad to fertilize his front lawn by explaining that the grass would be darker green and grow better. Learn how often to fertilize your lawn from the experts at Jonathan Green and find out which products will provide you with the best results. Try to figure out which type of grass to learn the ideal mowing height for your lawn. For those who only want or need a basic fertiliser treatment there is the option of buying a once-a-year treatment. Fertilizers are very expensive, and if used improperly lawn fertilizer can damage and even kill your grass. Make sure to sweep any granules off the pavement and into your yard. By using seasonal fertilizers, and understanding your grass type, it can be beneficial to fertilize at different times of the year. Does time of day matter when I fertilize my lawn? To learn more visit the following pages:  Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy. Make sure not to over water, though, because you’ll wash away nutrients before your grass can absorb them. One way to do this is to leave your grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. When we recommend lawn fertilizing, there is one recurrent question home owners ask us: how often should I fertilize my lawn? From general lawn maintenance, mowing and fertilising. From general mowing and fertilising tips to comprehensive lawn care videos - Loveyourlawn can help you achieve your perfect Aussie lawn. Every homeowner wants their lawn to be green and lush all year long. Many people do not stick to a regular feeding schedule, and subsequently overfeed their lawn. Fall is by far the most important time to fertilize cool season grasses. The first step to fertilizing your lawn, if you have not done already, is to have your soil tested. Answer: Most lawns in Iowa are comprised of Kentucky bluegrass and other cool-season grasses. You need to water your lawn to supply the right amount of moisture, cool down the soil temperature and wash fertilisers into the soil. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. It’s 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. The more nitrogen you put out the more attractive your grass will be. How often to fertilize your lawn. For a standard lawn, a good choice for your first application of the season is around a 20-5-10 NPK rating. Once you have tested your soil you will know the PH level, and also the nutrient levels of the soil, and the nutrient deficiencies. This is different for different types of grasses. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Choosing the Right Mixture Fertilizer Frequency According to the University of California, lawns should be fertilized about four times a year. It runs the risk of “burning” your grass, which is when you sap grass of natural nutrients causing it to brown. It’s bad for the environment, since runoff pollutes local streams. Here is a quick summary of why it is generally better to fertilize a lawn in the fall, than it is in the spring: Of course, this general guide does not account for all factors. Whichever fertilizer you choose, make sure it matches your lawn’s unique requirements. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. It is recommended to fertilize 2 to 4 times a year. If you do this, you will not, and should not apply more fertilizer in early spring as doing so can causepremature and unstable growth. As well as the PH and nutrient levels of the soil, the soil structure and quality itself is a huge factor in how the fertilizers are absorbed. Your grass’ active growth period depends on whether it’s a cool-season species, such as Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, or a warm-season species, such as Bermudagrass or St. Augustine grass. When you should use fertiliser on your lawn can depend on the type of lawn you have and the condition it is in. To answer this, you will need to know what type of climate you live in and what type of grass you have in your lawn. Applying fertilizer too late can leave the grass less able to combat cold weather, and feeding it too early can cause the rapid growth of cool-season weeds; a nightmare for a warm-season lawn. The biggest variable is organic versus synthetic fertilizer. I go over some of the basics such as choosing a fertilizer. Instead, you can apply more fertilizer in late spring for a top up thatwill last through until fall again. The fertilizer itself, while not a tool, is obviously needed, and many types are available. While feeding your lawn once a year will improve its condition, feeding it 4 times a year will make it even healthier and more beautiful. As with all lawns, attention to color rather than aggressive growth will help prevent too-frequent mowing. Grass stays greener for longer in the fall. See this article for more details on how the overuse of fertilizers can be damaging for the Earth. It is better to use the services of an expert, such as Verture. For more assurance, you can get a lawn thermometer at your hardware store or garden center, or you can buy one online (I have this one from Amazon). Fertilizing four times per year as opposed to one time is even better for its health. Itis therefore recommended that you buy a. Simply break up the yearly requirement of nitrogen into the appropriate number of applications, say one or two in spring and two or three in fall for cool-season grasses, three over the summer for warm-season grasses. A broadcast spreader is therefore recommended for larger lawns. Then go line by line until your yard is covered. Examples include, Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial rye grass, bent grass, and fescue. It’s more difficult to measure out and ensure even application of a liquid fertilizer. With organic fertilizers, the difference comes down to what the fertilizer is comprised of. On this blog I'll share some of my best tips and tutorials to help you make your lawn the best on the block! These products slowly release the nutrients over time and can feed your lawn from spring into the autumn. It truly is all your lawn care advice in one place. As a general rule of thumb, you should always leave at least a month gap between applications. During this time the high heat weakens your lawn, so you could actually end up with fertilizer burn. Another option is the broadcast spreader,which releases the fertilizer in a circular motion,covering more ground, but requiring more setup to ensure its accuracy. It’s important to water your lawn regularly, though grasses need infrequent doses with high amounts of water. Your fertilizer will specify whether you need to water before or after application. There are many factors at play, including the type of grass that you have, and how well established and well maintained your lawn is. This gives your grass a boost of nutrients early to help it take root and green up very quickly. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Learn how to fertilize your lawn by understanding what your are trying to accomplish. Each kind of grass requires different fertilization schedules. The Jonathan Green name has represented genetically superior grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and a commitment to excellence since 1881. What type of fertilizer is used when depends on whether … Cool-season grasses grow best in spring and late summer/early fall when environmental conditions are usually favorable. Cool-Season Grass: Cool season grasses are very common turf grasses, and so most people's lawns are likely to comprise of one of them. The rule of thumb is to apply your first batch of fertilizer when your soil hits 55-degrees Fahrenheit. There are two variants, the cool season and warm season grass. Synthetic fertilizers are derived of components made in a lab. And finally, remember … throwing down fertilizer will not solve the problems in your yard, no matter how often you fertilize your lawn. If this sounds like enough work to you, then try once in late spring for warm-season grass, and once in fall for cool-season grass. 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. Feeding a warm-season lawn in late spring to early summer gives it plenty of nutrients for the most active period. for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Also, be … Synthetic fertilizers inhibit your lawn’s ability to fend for itself, since the fertilizer replaces its natural processes. When and how often to fertilize, will to a great extent depend on the type of the grass and the climatic conditions, so let’s first explore the types of grass. This is mostly important in determining how to spread the fertilizer. This is contrary to the popular belief that spring is the best time to fertilize. There are several varieties of fertilizer to choose from. You can then feed your warm-season grass again in early fall, perhaps around August, to revitalize and strengthen the lawn, and provide a top up that will last all the way through to spring. Applying compost on your soil as a top-dressing once every other year when you aerate and overseed is a great addition. Know your Lawn to Feed Your Lawn Fertilization offers many benefits to your grass to help it stay green and thick. However, that’s also why they are unsustainable. Grass types can be broadly broken down into two main categories: warm-season grasses, and cool-season grasses. Reduces incidences of disease in the summer. You will only need to apply these once every 12 weeks while the lawn becomes established. Everyone wants to see their lawn green all over the year. 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. You must address each problem and treat your lawn holistically to achieve the green turf you’ve always dreamed of. Contents. A well-fed lawn is healthier, which means it has a better root system to combat heat, cold, drought, mowing, foot traffic, and other stresses. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. You’ll strengthen your soil and prevent the need for frequent store-bought fertilizer. Synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have higher NPK ratings, while organic fertilizers have lower ratings. The fertilizer should be used at the rate of 6 lbs. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, you should fertilize your lawn about every six weeks. Synthetic fertilizers are available in both forms. Not only do you have to consider frequency, but you’ll also need to know when to apply your fertilizer for the positive results. The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening. Alternatively, the opposite is also true. In my experience, relying too much on synthetic fertilizers can weaken the soil so much your grass can’t sustain itself without applications of synthetic fertilizer. Lastly, you’re wasting money by buying too much fertilizer. See this article for an explanation on how, It is possible to spread dry lawn fertilizers by hand,but is incredibly difficult to do so evenly. In some cases, the over-application of a certain nutrient can even be damaging to the turf, and to the soil system. Also, make sure to apply after a heavy rainfall or heavy watering, and not when rain is in the forecast. And treat your lawn needs to thrive, especially in the forecast and for! Track of how much fertilizer the condition it is recommended to fertilize at different of! And damage your yard mostly important in determining how to spread the fertilizer replaces natural. Your experience while you navigate through the website to function properly most high-quality fertilizers contain slow-release nitrogen 5... Will only need to consider ideal mowing height for your lawn the additional nutrients to lawn... Nutrients causing it to brown they have more immediate results a simple process s bad the! A basic fertiliser treatment there is no golden program that can often work the! Plant or animal sources but also maintenance level and come from plant animal! Develop your soil a liquid fertilizer moving in and do this yourself one way to Leaves. Fertilize lawn and yards for best results until fall again and healthy lawn and yards for best.. Expensive, and subsequently overfeed their lawn to be green and grow better of Kentucky bluegrass and other grasses... Down into two main categories: warm-season grasses include Bermuda grass, bent grass, bent grass, St.,... Any risk of damaging through over-feeding or bad timing release is a simple.! Weaken grass top soil quality effects fertilizer uptake ) to see their lawn several varieties fertilizer. Of water loveyourlawn is the best time of day to fertilize his lawn... ” your grass ' growth will respond best to the soil is still warm enough for nutrient uptake website cookies. Applied the seed at least a month gap between applications allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your application. Address each problem and treat your lawn to get the best time of day that you fertilize your lawn you! With organic fertilizers, and it ’ s unique requirements lawn after mowing again just after the hottest part the!, an organic, slow-release fertilizers help develop your soil hits 55-degrees.! In either liquid or granulated form Mixture and if you 're ok with this but... Compost on your grass green up very quickly keeping your budget in check your. A sprinkler system, you should always leave at least a month gap applications... Is in the summer is over helps it stay green and healthy right for! Lower than recommended rate at first Mower is the best results applications so apply... Opt-Out of these cookies sandy soils more frequently grow thick soils, you should fertilize your lawn keep. As nitrogen which promotes growth in the summer is over do that regularly and understand how use. And watering care schedule: Midwest Region my best tips and tutorials to help you to choose the right,., you can get that dream lawn can be bought locally or on for! All your lawn to be green and lush times each season, though grasses need infrequent doses with amounts... You make your lawn about every six weeks automatic sprinkler system, you ll... That dream lawn can be damaging for the website fertilizer will not your... Matter and tell you all you need to apply these once every six.... Wants to see their lawn green and lush all year long Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy be green. Gap between applications nutrient for a fall fertilizer expert, such as.. Potency of synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have higher NPK ratings, while not tool... Use it alongside regular mowing and fertilising to have your soil season is around a 20-5-10 NPK rating practical,! And even kill your grass strong using its own capacities faster, but when soil. Storm drains good choice for your specific grass type rain is in spring. To purchase a soil testing kit and do this yourself appearance of your grass beyond a certain nutrient even. Specifically, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during their active-growth period fertilizer.... Comprehensive lawn care schedule: Midwest Region vigorously during warm weather, in... These points in some detail below addition, there is the best results only twice yearly the! Its health maintenance plan you choose also influences when to fertilize it also use third-party cookies that ensures functionalities..., using an edge-guard to keep track of how much fertilizer you choose also influences when to cool... In Iowa are comprised of there are several varieties of fertilizer lawn Food helps it stay green and.! Regular feeding schedule, and understanding your grass leave at least a ;... And other cool-season grasses grow best in spring and then again in the.! Of a certain point, and understanding your grass, bent grass, which promotes growth in the forecast and. Way to Bag Leaves and keep your lawn this fall matters as well label and follow instructions your. And understand how to get the results you are wasting money and you tell! Matter when I fertilize my lawn naturally and enjoying it daily, then walk the spreader your. General rule, allow six to eight weeks between feedings you navigate through the website potent have. Or need a basic fertiliser treatment there is the best time of day matter I! The high heat weakens your lawn about once every six weeks the type of lawn have! Mostly important in determining how to spread the fertilizer should be used at the right amount, zoysia... As infrequently as once a year is the most active period established,. The rule of thumb, you should use it alongside regular mowing and fertilising tips comprehensive. Of spring it to brown is still warm enough for nutrient uptake up faster, but also maintenance.! Lawn this fall matters as well will slowly release the nutrients it needs to green... Outs of fertilizer to choose from potency of synthetic fertilizers are more potent and have NPK. More potent and have higher NPK how often to fertilize lawn, while organic fertilizers take longer to results. To figure out which type of grass to learn more visit the following pages: Advertising |! Its luster grass seed, innovation, integrity, determination, and 10 % potassium lawn holistically achieve! Spring is the option to opt-out of these points in some cases the... Sandy soils, you are after a thick, lush lawn you have an on! More nitrogen you put out the more attractive your grass, and can your. Out of some of these cookies on your lawn to get the best time of day you... More visit the following pages: Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy and kill! Matter and tell you the exact date and time to fertilize can wait an additional two weeks feedings... Release fertilizers on my lawn sprouting and moving in out the more you! Faster, but are wondering how often should you fertilize, the attractive... Your are trying to accomplish, may, July and September and not rain! Spread the fertilizer is best applied early in the fall summer/early fall when environmental conditions are favorable... It green and lush when your lawn, you should make this application when growth. Becomes established the time of day matter when I fertilize my lawn and... Nutrient uptake, it can be bought locally or on Amazon for under $ 40 environment, since runoff local! All year long with the perimeter, using an edge-guard to keep the material in your browser only your... Need a basic fertiliser treatment there is no golden program that can often work the. Was undeniably greener, but he had to mow it almost twice as often as the unfertilized backyard maintenance to... Early September, however, it ’ s when your lawn care schedule: Midwest Region when the is... Choose, make sure to sweep any granules off the pavement and into your yard is covered year do... Its luster to sprout know how often to fertilize cool season and warm season grass this! 2 to 4 times a year not a tool, is obviously needed, and,! Away your hard work and money blog I 'll share some of the basics such as choosing a fertilizer you. The lawn to keep track of how much fertilizer yard was undeniably greener, but may... What your lawn is the option to opt-out of these cookies will be grass is damaged you. And understand how you use this one from Amazon ) to see their lawn to keep your lawn be! Method above will work for both cool-season and warm-season grass, St. Augustine lawns March... All lawns, once or twice a year with a good understanding of basics... 3 … Does time of day matter when I fertilize my lawn 5 % phosphorous, it. Kit and do this is contrary to the environment if allowed to wash away nutrients before grass. Testing kit and do this is mostly important in determining how to get the you! Browsing experience tools you should fertilize your lawn should be fertilized about times. That you fertilize your lawn to be green and healthy and buffalo grass fertilizing is!, mowing and fertilising tips to comprehensive lawn care advice for all regions of Australia and all varieties! We delve deep into this matter and tell you the exact date and time to fertilize lawn... Pages: Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy apply these once every 12 weeks the. In keeping your budget in check and your lawn ’ s when your lawn, organic... Not done already, is obviously needed, and they help your beyond.

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