When Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?

Push fertilizer spreader on green lawn.In a previous blog, we addressed why you should be fertilizing your lawn. However, that brings up another point: when should you be fertilizing your lawn? While the short answer that fertilizer is food and you should feed your lawn when it’s growing the most, knowing exactly when that is and how often aren’t always so clear. For your lawn, this blog is going to help you identify what’s the optimal time to fertilize and how different fertilizers affect when and how often you should fertilize your lawn.

Step One: Identify Your Type of Grass

As was mentioned above, the best time to fertilize your lawn is during its primary growth period. However, not all grasses grow during the same seasons. There are two major types of grasses: warm season grasses and cool season grasses. Unsurprisingly, these are geographically divided. If you’re up near us in New England, you’re going to have cool season grasses, while as you head south, warmer season grasses become more common. The major difference is their peak growing seasons, with cool season grasses growing more in the cool seasons (early spring and late fall) and warm season grasses growing peak in the summer. Those are the best time to fertilize your lawn. Check out our blog, Warm Season Grasses vs. Cool Season Grasses, for more details.

Step Two: Pick Your Fertilizer and Fertilization Schedule

If you’re not using a lawn care company, it’s up to you to pick out a lawn fertilizer and a schedule. Two good rules of thumb are to: feed your lawn until it’s going to go dormant, and use time-release granules to reduce the number of applications. Some more details:

  • How Often to Feed Your Lawn: Depending on your fertilizer, you’re going to want to fertilize your lawn every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • When to Start: For cool season grasses, start in early spring. Decide if you’re going to let your grass go dormant in the summer, and then feed again in the fall when things cool down. Do the opposite for warm season grasses, feeding through late spring into early fall.
  • Going Granular: Unless they are handled by a specialist, spray-on fertilizer can be tricky. We recommend using granules for both longer times between applications and easier to get down to the roots. Augment this with watering the lawn after application to get it down into the roots.

Need a hand with lawn fertilizing? Dolan Landscaping has been at the forefront of lawn installation and lawn care for over 25 years. Contact us for expert lawn care techniques and technology, with lawn fertilization and maintenance services as well as irrigation system services to keep your lawn looking fresh and lush all year round.