How Often Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?

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?lawn fertilizing

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?

What does Lawn Fertilizing mean?

Lawn fertilization is described as the application of material (water, powder, solid chunks) over your lawn. These materials consist of nutrients that will act as a catalyst and supporting agent to grow and maintain your garden. Calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, citrate-soluble phosphatic, etc. are a few fertilizer ingredients that can improve garden health.

The following types of fertilizers contribute to help the lawn adapt to a change in weather:

Fall Lawn Fertilizer: Firstly, these fertilizers boost your garden with a much-needed nitrogen shot after the summer season. Secondly, morning time in the fall season generally gathers dew all over your lawn. This moisture allows the fertilizer to settle and get absorbed by the lawn. Also, make sure your fall fertilizer has greater potassium and phosphorus content as they help in root growth.

Cool-season grass (fine fescue, bent grass, perennial rye grass, etc.) portray great growth in the winter months, thus fall would be a good time to apply fertilizer.garden fertilizing

Winterizer Fertilizer: These fertilizers will help your garden store nutrients for the long winter months. Nutrients like these are converted to energy whenever the plant requires it. 

Summer Fertilizer: Summer fertilizers equip the lawn to combat drought and heat conditions. Over-fertilizing can burn the surface of your lawn. Generally, summer months are not a nice time to adapt to blooming gardens. 

Lawn fertilizing must be done on warm-season grass (buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, etc.) in early summer. This assures that they have stocked up with nutrients for their most active growth period of the year (which is summer as they are warm-season grass).lawn fertilizer ratio

Rainy season Fertilizer: Rain causes your fertilizer to wash away. Thus, lawn fertilizing just before the rainy season helps. This is because by the time rainfall hits your garden, the fertilizer would already be absorbed. Make sure to use slow-releasing fertilizers that keep sharing nutrients over a period of time. This neutralizes the effect that rain has on your fertilizer.

How often should Lawn Fertilizer be applied on my lawn?

Lawn fertilizers should be applied on your lawn depending on the region that you live in. This is because you know what seasons are harsh and what are comparatively calmer. Conducting efficient and effective lawn fertilizing 2 times a year proves to be enough. Also, most often your fertilizer package will indicate the lawn fertilizer ratio you need to apply.

If you do not have experience with fertilizers for grass lawns and you don’t want to risk your beautiful garden, a professional fertilization service will do you no harm.

Ask yourself the following questions –

What kind of lawn do I have? Do I have several species of plant growth?

What is my purpose of maintaining my lawn? Growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs? Or is it just for beautification?

These questions will give you clarity as to whether you need a slow-release or quick-release fertilizer. 

Fast-release fertilizers are the ones that expose your garden to the risk of harm. They possess several fast-reacting chemicals and high concentration salts. These components will quickly release and spread into your soil. If you are not 100% sure of your fertilizer then it would be wise to opt for a slow-release fertilizer. But if you are an expert regarding your garden’s specifics, then you can use these quick-release fertilizers in limited amounts every month.fall lawn fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizers will release nutrients to your soil and garden at a slow and steady pace. Their effects will be present for around 2 months and the chance of damage to your garden is much lower.lawn fertilizer ratio

The true key to fertilizing your lawn is just before the season that your garden exhibits most growth.

When should Garden Fertilizing be done?

Garden fertilizing should be done in spring according to most gardening experts. Ideally, when the soil temperature hits the 55 degrees Fahrenheit mark. Make sure you study the N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) concentration of your fertilizer. before rushing into things. An NPK rating of 20-5-10 usually does the job. Each of these constituents will contribute towards a unique aspect of garden growth.fall lawn fertilizer

If you have fertilized your lawn in spring (mid to late April) as mentioned above, then you must conduct your next round of fertilization after a month. The 3rd round of lawn feeding is optional and can be performed in the month of October.

Another crucial point is the amount of watering your garden needs post-fertilization. The more you water your plant, the greater growth occurs, and thus more fertilizer can be applied as the initial amount has already been absorbed. 

Have you already equipped your lawn with an oscillating sprinkler system? If yes, then you can perform fertilization every 6 weeks in and around the season that suits your garden type. If not, then you can wait for 2 months before your next round of fertilization.fertilizer for grass

Now, whether you have chosen a granulated or liquid lawn fertilizer, the process of applying water changes. Liquid lawn fertilizer must be applied after watering your garden. Whereas granulated fertilizer requires the moisture to break down. Thus it should be applied post watering your lawn.

Why professional Lawn Fertilizing may be a good choice?

You may know your garden interiors really well. Soil type, soil pH, type of grass, suitable climate, weed growth, etc. – these are all probably well documented in your head. But the perks of hiring a professional garden fertilizing service comes with the added advantage of their expertise with fertilizers.

winterizer fertilizer

These professionals are well aware of how often must fertilizers be applied. Most importantly they know the precise method of application. How much to apply, what to do post-applying, when to apply, and the most important question, when to apply?

You can check this link out for a thorough understanding of the equipment needed and the exact process to be followed.

Lawn Fertilizer: Frequently Asked Questions

How much time to wait for between consecutive usage of fertilizer for grass?

Lawn fertilizing is a game of patience and precision when performed. Most lawns do not need to undergo fertilization more than 2 times a year. But in case you notice that your grass is dying, turning brown, or growing in patches, then you may want to add more fertilizer. It is advised to wait for at least 6 to 8 weeks before embarking on a new lawn fertilizing mission.

Can my kids or pets access the lawn right after using fertilizers?

Kids or pets should not be allowed to step into the lawn for at least 48 to 72 hours post lawn fertilizing has taken place. You need to allow your lawn to seep in the fertilizers applied. It can take a few days of watering and moisture collection for the fertilizer to get to the roots of your soil. Besides you don’t want your pets or kids to get sick by rolling over the grass and coming in contact with reacting chemical fertilizers.

grass fertilizer

When should I fertilize a new lawn?

If you have planted a fresh and new lawn, then once seeding has been completed it is a good time to perform lawn fertilizing. The perks of using lawn fertilizer on freshly planted gardens are visible in the long-term. Your grass will not only grow 35% faster but will turn out to be 70% thicker than lawns that have not been fed.

Should I aerate, mow, or rake my lawn before or after fertilization?

You must run a lawnmower across your lawn before lawn fertilizing is performed. You must also rake away any shed leaves and lawn waste. These two steps will help make it easier for the fertilizer to reach the soil and penetrate to the roots of your garden grass. Although not necessary, aerating your garden after fertilization can help too. 

lawn fertilizer ratio

However, you do not need to mow, aerate, or rake your lawn once you are done fertilizing your garden.

Consider using a backpack sprayer for spraying fertilizer or even basic water for on your lawn.

Conclusion

Garden fertilizing can be an interesting topic if you follow the guidelines and do things right. Above all, if you fertilize your lawn at the wrong time – you won’t notice any positive effects and will also waste your resources and valuable time.

Brice The Botanist
 

Growing up in Ventura, California famous for it's rich gardens. Brice has spent most of his life trying to help make the world greener. Studying Botany at CSRA, he's made it a lifelong passion to greenify every home.

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