A key part of maintaining a healthy lawn all year long is following the proper fertilization schedule. The schedule you follow will depend in large part on the specific fertilizer you use—you should be sure to read the instructions on the packaging of any type of fertilizer you purchase.
There are some general fertilizer tips and guidelines, however, that will help you know when to fertilize your lawn so you can achieve outstanding lawn quality.
One recommended schedule is to fertilize once in early spring, once in late spring, once in midsummer, once in early fall and once in late fall, with a possible winter application depending on the circumstances.
Let’s take a closer look at this schedule, as well as highlight some fertilizer tips to keep in mind:
- Spring fertilizer: As previously mentioned, you should aim to fertilize twice in the spring: once in the early spring right after everything has thawed out, and once in the late spring when growth has picked up. These first couple applications of fertilizer are extremely important, because they provide the foundation for the rest of the year. They are a post-emergent to kill weeds that have already germinated, as well as a pre-emergent to prevent summertime weeds from growing and spreading. A failure to properly apply at these times will create poor results.
- Summer: There should be one application of fertilizer at some point in the middle of the summer. Usually this application is a light fertilizer that simply helps the grass maintain its color and growth potential even when the conditions are stressful.
- Fall: There should be two applications in the fall: once in the early fall, as the weather has just started to cool down, and once late in the fall, right before everything goes dormant. The fall applications should be paired with seed to promote seed germination and to remove weeds. The fertilizer in the fall also helps the grass get the nutrients it needs to stay healthy all through the winter so it can get started off on the right foot in the spring.
- Winter: In some areas, winter fertilization might be encouraged to help grass maintain color and health throughout the colder months. If you get a lot of snow coverage you probably don’t need to worry about this—the grass is going to be covered up anyway. But if you live in an area that gets colder temperatures but minimal snow, a winter application can be helpful in setting you up for success.
You can perform these fertilizer applications yourself, so long as you have the proper equipment. You’ll want a seed spreader set to the setting indicated on the instructions provided with the fertilizer packaging.
You can also have a professional lawn maintenance company do your fertilizer applications for you throughout the year. This saves you time and ensures the job is done correctly.
For more fertilizer tips and information about when to fertilize your lawn to keep your grass looking great all year long, contact the team of lawn care experts at Star Sprinkler Systems Inc.