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When To Fertilize For A Green Lawn

lawn fertilizer schedule

Many people don’t realize that their lawns can significantly contribute to their property’s value. Specifically, lawns contribute to a home’s curb appeal. Besides making sure you use great corded electric mowers, another way to make sure your lawns are in tip top shape is to fertilize them.

A lawn fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients for plants to grow, helping them grow healthily. If you are looking into fertilizing your lawn, read this article to find out about our suggested lawn fertilizer schedule.

What are Lawn Fertilizers?

Lawn fertilizers are a class of agrochemicals that aim to provide the nutrients that plants may not naturally have in their soil.

Plants require a wide array of chemicals that are considered essential nutrients. However, they require three nutrients in particular in large amounts: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Commercial fertilizers are usually composed of these three chemicals that plants can heavily utilize for growth. Most fertilizers have these three chemicals in different ratios and you can usually see what the ratio is depending on the “NPK” ratio, a term denoted by the atomic symbols of the three chemicals. 

How to Apply Fertilizers?

There are many different types of fertilizers that you can purchase. Aside from knowing the NPK ratios, fertilizers also come in different forms.

You can purchase them in liquid, powder, and granular forms. For lawns, granular forms are recommended because you can purchase granular fertilizers and specifically choose granular fertilizers that are slow-release, which means they slowly release the nutrients when the granules get wet from watering or from rain. 

An effective way to apply granular fertilizers is to use a drop spreader or rotary spreader.

These are garden tools that will help you easily apply granular fertilizers and they are similar in the sense that all you have to do is to put your granular fertilizers in a bin that would slowly feed a rotary device underneath.

As you push the spreader across the lawn, the spreader would either drop the fertilizers or spread them in a circular manner.

When is the Best Time to Fertilize Your Lawn

The best time to fertilize your lawn will depend on the growth stages of the plants and grass you want to fertilize. Many sources cite the first best time to fertilize your lawn is early spring. 

Early Spring

Early spring is a seasonal time of the year where the temperature begins to rise, shedding off the cold that winter previously brought. As a result of this warming onset, many plants begin to sprout and grow.

Giving plants additional nutrients are especially important because this is considered to be a crucial developmental stage. Thus, fertilizing lawns during early spring provides essential nutrients for seeds to germinate and sprout during this time. 

Wait A Month After the First Fertilization

The next time that you should fertilize your lawn should be approximately a month after your first fertilization. This would fall approximately in the middle of May. This is simply to resupply the soil with the necessary nutrients and make sure that the plants have a constant source of nutrients needed for both growth and development. 

This is important because although plants require various essential macronutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are nutrients that the soil does not naturally hold very well. Thus, whatever fertilizer you have placed in early spring must have already been absorbed or leached away in the soil. 

Every Six to Eight Weeks

After your second application of fertilizers, you can continue to do so for every six to eight weeks. This is to simply resupply the soil with essential nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants need in large amounts.

While the first application in early spring was to jump start plant growth, the constant application of fertilizers every six to eight weeks will make sure that the soil is properly saturated with fertilizers for the plants to use.

If you add fertilizers in shorter intervals, you run the risk of oversaturating the soil to the point of inefficiency. No matter how much fertilizer you apply, the plants can only absorb so much.

Throughout Summer

Using a lawn fertilizer throughout the summer is also important for grass and plants because summer is technically considered to be relatively harsh on plants. The heat can cause droughts and the warmth of the summer makes it a period conducive for diseases and weeds as well.

Your grass and plants in your lawn will need all the nutrients it can absorb from fertilizers to make sure to thrive during this time. 

Fall

Your last application of fertilizers will be around fall. During this time, the fertilizers will provide nutrients for the lawn plants to recover from whatever they had to go through during the summer. Additionally, the added nutrients during fall would greatly benefit your lawn plants as they begin to store energy needed to survive the winter.

Due to the cold and the limited amount of sunlight, plants typically undergo a period of dormancy or relative metabolic inactivity. 

Final Thoughts

If you want healthy, thick and lush lawns, it’s best to go by the right timing to get the best results. Follow our lawn fertilizer schedule guideline to feed your lawn and look forward to enjoying the fruit of your labor.

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