Why Fertilize the Lawn?
Your soil supplies some of the nutrients that turfgrass needs but most soils are not able to provide all of them during the entire growing season. A healthy and actively-growing lawn uses a great deal of energy. Fertilizer helps your lawn stay healthy by:
- Promoting new leaf and root growth.
- Aiding in recovery from foot traffic and pest damage.
- Reducing and controlling weeds.
- Replacing nutrients lost to leaching, volatilization and grass clipping removal.
Proper Fertilizer Application
Fertilizing Cool-Season Grasses
Fertilize heavily in the fall, lightly (or not at all) in early spring.
The growing season for these grasses is mainly in the cool months of spring and fall. Cool season grasses grow best when the temperature is in the range of 60 to 70° Fahrenheit.
In fall, fertilize when the intense heat of the summer has subsided. Time your fertilization so the fertilizer will become ineffective before the onset of severe cold weather. Fall is the favorite time of year for cool season grasses, so care for these types is most important at this time of year. You may choose to apply a special winterizer fertilizer for the fall application. These fertilizers are specially-formulated to help protect the grass during the winter months.
In the spring, begin fertilizing early. You may use either slow or quick release fertilizer, but time your fertilization regimen so the fertilizer will be used up before the onset of hot summer weather.
Fertilizing Warm-Season Grasses
Fertilize when the grass starts to turn green in spring. The growing season for these grasses, depending upon the geographic area, is during late spring and summer. Warm season grasses grow best when the temperature is in the range of 80 to 95 ° Fahrenheit, although they will also grow outside of this range.
Begin fertilizing in late spring when the lawn begins to show signs of life. You may use either slow or quick release fertilizer, but time your fertilization regimen so the fertilizer will be used up before the onset of severe hot summer weather. Begin fertilizing again after the intense heat of the summer has subsided.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when fertilizing, and ensure that you time the life of the fertilizer so it is not present at the onset of severe hot or cold temperatures. Failing to do so could damage your lawn. When fertilizing, too much is not a good thing.