When is the Right Time to Fertilize Lawn?
Determining the best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn will greatly depend upon the type of grass you are growing. All grasses require certain nutrients and nitrogen during their active growth seasons so that they can grow in evenly throughout your lawn. Timing is everything as fertilizing your grass when it is typically dormant would be a waste of time, money, and energy. However, spacing the fertilizing too far apart could also cause fluctuations in the way that the grass grows as it can be growing fine one minute and then slow down the next without notice.
Warm Season Grasses
Warm season grasses include types such as Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass. These types grow most efficiently during the warmer seasons. Typically you will need to start feeding and fertilizing your warm season grasses starting in the late spring through the early fall. Feeding too early in the spring could result in rapid growth of cool season weeds which is very unsightly on the lawn. However, fertilizing too late in the fall could result in the grass being less rich when entering the colder seasons and will become more susceptible to damage during the winter months.
Cool Season Grasses
Common cool season grasses include tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. They grow most prominently during the cooler months of fall and spring. When dealing with milder winter clients in ears such as the deep south the cool season grasses can also grow well in the winter. Fall is generally the best time of year to fertilize the cool season grasses so that they effectively grow during the colder weather. You should take caution in fertilizing your cool season grasses too early in the spring or ou could end up with lush top growth and damaged root growth which is never a good result. Fertilizing these grass types in the fall means that you won’t need another application until late spring.
While cool season grasses stay green during warmer months you should never fertilize during the mid summer. Since growth naturally slows during the hot summer months adding fertilizer to the grass during that time will only weaken the condition of the law. The only exception to this rule is for those who live in far northern or highly elevated climates in which the weather stays reasonably cool all summer long.
Tips for Best Results
For maximum appearance it is best to fertilize your lawn at least once every six to eight weeks around their active growth periods. Break down the annual requirement of nitrogen into several application periods. For instance you could say one application in the spring and two or three applications in the fall for cool season grasses and three applications in the summer for warm season grasses. For those who are not a big fan of lawn maintenance you can skim back your fertilizing process to once every peak growing season such as once in the fall and spring for cool season grass and once in the summer and fall for the warm weather grasses.