What Months Of The Year Should You Be Fertilizing Your Lawn?
Deciding the best time to fertilize your lawn can be a confusing venture. Are there “best months” for fertilizing your lawn? Can it be broken down that simply? You can visit five different websites and most likely find five different answers to your lawn fertilizer questions. If you’re wondering about what months you should be applying fertilizer, you’ve come to the right place. Now, let’s dig into the question.
When it comes to fertilizing lawns, what’s good for tall fescue in Columbus, OH, may not apply to tall fescue in Atlanta, GA or what’s good for tall fescue in Nashville, TN, will not apply to bermudagrass in the same place. Since the United States covers such a wide range of growing zones and has a wide variety of turfgrasses cultivated as lawns, selecting a few months to apply fertilizers that apply to every lawn in the U.S. is not feasible. However, with a little research, you can find the 2 or 3 months that work best for your specific situation.
Let’s break this down a little bit further. Let’s say we wanted to pick three times during the year to fertilize our lawn. Rather than just telling everyone to fertilize in April, September, and October, it’s better to think about your specific location and how your grass grows due to your location. Warm-season and cool-season grasses require fertilizer at different times of the year. When we fertilize, we ensure that we apply our fertilizer to actively growing grass, free of environmental stress. Think about the times of year when you need to mow your lawn the most; these times coincide with the seasons of active growth for your lawn. At these times, we want to supply fertilizer to the lawn to help support all of the new growth.
For cool-season lawns, this is typically during the spring and the fall. A three-fertilization plan for a cool-season lawn might look like one application in early May, one in early September, and a final application in early October. These “months” can be adjusted depending on your location. If you’re in the extreme far North, this window for fertilizing would tighten up to, say, late May, late August and late September. Or, vice versa, growing a cool-season lawn farther south, the window would expand to late April, mid-September, and late October. So the short answer for months to fertilize cool-season lawns could be considered May, September, and October, but it is a little more nuanced than that.
For warm-season lawns, our season of active growth will typically occur in between that of cool-season grasses. When the heat ramps up, it’s go time for warm-season lawns. Again, we want to deliver nutrients when the grass is doing the most growing. A three-fertilizer application plan for John Doe in the southeastern United States could be applied on the summer holiday schedule. An application near Memorial Day, around the 4th of July, and then finally around Labor Day. Similar to the cool-season fertilization schedule, your windows shrink as you move further north and expand as you move south. It seems then as though warm-season lawn fertilization according to month could be scheduled as May, July, and September. Again, like cool-season lawns, it isn’t that simple, but that’s a good place to start.