Knowing When to Fertilize the Lawn

Closeup of Professional Gardener Spreading Granular Lawn Fertilizer Using Handheld Broadcast Spreader. Garden Care and Maintenance Theme.

If you are looking to be the envy of your neighborhood, the house where the grass is always greener, one of the most important things to get right is knowing when to fertilize the lawn. The first step to getting it right is knowing what kind of grass you have so you can figure out its growing season. That will give you a clue as to when the best time to fertilize is. 

There are cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Where you live should help inform you as to what kind of grass you have, if you don’t already know. Southern states will have warm-season grasses that thrive in hotter temperatures, and northern states will generally have cool-season grasses that do best in the spring and fall. So once you figure out if your grass is cool-season or warm-season you’ll have an idea when to fertilize.

Warm-Season Grass

Summertime in the south can be harsh for some plants, but warm-season grasses are tropical in origin so they stand up to the heat well. They grow most during the late spring and summer, and this is when you want to fertilize the lawn. A nitrogen-rich fertilizer should be applied at a rate of three to four pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. A lawn professional can help make sure you get the right amount down at the right time.

Cool-Season Grass

Cool-season grasses grow best when the temperature ranges between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This means spring and fall is the best time to fertilize the lawn. It’s important to plan fertilization for when the grass is actually growing and not for when it goes dormant in the winter or summer. This type of grass only needs one pound for 1,000 square of lawn.

Keeping the Grass Green

If you have a lush, lovely lawn you want it to stay that way. Know what kind of grass you have, whether it is cool-season or warm-season, so you know the right time to fertilize the lawn. When in doubt, consult a professional landscaper to make it is done right.