When Is the Best Time to Fertilize Grass?

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Proper lawn care is essential to keeping your lawn growing strong and healthy. Along with proper planting and watering, grass needs to be fertilized during its growing season. Grass can deplete the nutrients from the soil very quickly, and while it can still grow, it will not be as vigorous or healthy. This can also lead to disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Fertilize in late spring. Spread your choice of fertilizer when the soil has warmed and the grass is in an active growing stage. Some experts recommend mowing your lawn 3 to 5 times before attempting to add fertilizer.

  • Fertilize periodically during the summer based on the type of grass you have, and manufacturer instructions. Cool grasses should not be fertilized during the summer, as this is their dormant phase. Fertilizing could damage the grass. Warm grasses on the other hand grow heavily during the summer. Check the manufacturer's directions for the frequency of fertilization. If you are mixing your own fertilizer, a good rule of thumb is to fertilize every two to four weeks.

  • Fertilize in the fall, before the first frost. During the winter, the grass will work to establish a strong, deep root system. The fertilizer will feed the grass during the winter so it can come back strong and healthy in the spring.

  • Avoid lawn maintenance during the winter. Do not water, fertilize or perform any other type of lawn maintenance during the winter. Doing so could damage the grass and lead to dead spots or unhealthy growth the next spring.

  • Chart your fertilizing. Over fertilizing your lawn could lead to damage or plant death. Document your fertilizing to avoid damaging the lawn, and try to stick to a rough schedule.

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