Deciding that you want a lush, green lawn is easy. Figuring out how to get it can be a bit harder. If you’re craving gorgeous grass that delights the eye and feels fantastic underfoot, fertilizer is a good place to start. Why fertilize your grass? What nutrients should a fertilizer contain? How do you know when to fertilize grass? Keep reading to find out.
When to Fertilize Grass
Why Apply Fertilizer to Your Lawn?
A lawn that has all the nutrients it needs is a healthy, beautiful lawn. One that is lacking in nutrients is weak and susceptible to disease and damage. Ideally, your grass should be able to draw the nutrients it needs from the soil, but some soils are less than optimal, and even rich soils can become deficient in key nutrients as time passes. By fertilizing your lawn, you’re giving your grass access to the nutrients that it needs to build a healthy root system, resist disease, and maintain good health.
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The Nutrients Your Grass Needs
What nutrients does your grass require to flourish? While there are countless formulations of fertilizer, there are three main nutrients that you need to be on the lookout for when selecting a fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen supports the production of chlorophyll, a chemical necessary for photosynthesis, so it is crucial for healthy plant growth. Phosphorus’s purpose goes a bit deeper; this nutrient is critical for the development of a strong, healthy root system. As for potassium, it improves your lawn’s ability to resist disease and drought.
Deciding When to Fertilize Grass
How do you know when to fertilize grass? Applying fertilizer too early in the year can leave you with a yard full of extremely healthy weeds, so the first rule of fertilizing grass is to apply it when your grass is actively growing. Beyond that, the best schedule for fertilizing your lawn depends on how much effort and money you’re willing to put into the project.
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If you prefer a minimalist approach, aim to apply fertilizer in the spring when your grass first begins to green up and grow. Then, follow it up with a second application of fertilizer in the fall to strengthen your grass, so that it’s in good shape to weather winter’s woes.
Third Time Lucky
Many experts recommend fertilizing your lawn three times a year. When you’re following this schedule, the first step is determining whether you have cool-season grasses or warm-season grasses. Generally, people in the northern third of the U.S. have cool-season grasses, people in the southern third have warm-season grasses, and those who call the middle third home can have either or both types.
Cool-season grasses remain green and grow throughout the year except for the middle- and late-winter months. When fertilizing these grasses three times a year, you should fertilize once in the spring, once in early autumn, and again about two months later. Warm-season grasses tend to go brown in the winter months. They should be fertilized in early spring, late spring, and late summer.
If you have your heart set on a verdant expanse of lush grass, then you may want to fertilize more frequently. With this approach, you’ll make the initial application in the spring and repeat the process every eight weeks or so until you apply the year’s final fertilizer treatment in late autumn, for a total of four or five applications. You might be interested in our 6-step fertilization program for fescue and bluegrass, which keeps your lawn green, prevents grubs, rebuilds turf, and controls weeds like dandelions, broadleaf, and clover.
Nixa Lawn Service Can Help
Understanding when and how to fertilize your grass can protect the health of your lawn and create a beautiful outdoor space for your family to enjoy. And if fertilizing isn’t your forte, call a professional for help! Homeowners in the southwest Missouri area should contact the full-service lawn care specialists at Nixa Lawn Service. To learn more, call 417-724-0318 or request a quote online. We look forward to hearing from you!