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How Often Should You Use Fertilizer in Your Lawn?

Nourishing your lawn can go a long way in maintaining its growth and health all year round. However, feeding your lawn more nutrients than it needs could prove damaging for its health. There are a few benefits of using lawn fertilizer.

The best lawn fertilizer could help the grass grow, stay healthy, maintain its vibrant green color, strengthen roots, prevent weed growth, and help manage pests. Thanks to the benefits of using fertilizers, the lawn and gardening consumables market was valued at $19.50 billion in 2019. The market is predicted to grow at a CAGR(Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 3.6% by 2027.

Why is Over-Fertilizing Bad for Your Lawn?

Your lawn needs a variety of nutrients in the correct proportion to grow and thrive. The fertilizers you choose, depending on the grass, soil and climate, help maintain this proportion. Fertilizing a healthy lawn twice a year is enough to keep it going and prepare for the changing seasons.   

Over-fertilizing your lawn is the last thing you should be doing. By feeding the grass more nutrients than it needs, the fertilizers could have the reverse effect on the health of the lawn. You could also damage the lawn by the frequent use of fertilizers.  

Excess use of fertilizers could also result in groundwater and atmospheric pollution. It also affects the quality of plant growth. But, as the old proverb goes, too much of anything is good for nothing. For environmentally-friendly alternatives, consider using organic fertilizers.

How Often Should You Use Fertilizers in Your Lawn?

The grass needs the most nutrients and support when it is growing up. So the best time to fertilize your lawn depends on the climate, type of grass, and whether or not it is in its growing phase. You should use starter fertilizers when the aim is to help new sods or plugs grow. For established lawns, you could use fertilizer during the active period, depending on whether the grass is warm or cold. 

Warm Grasses

Buffalo grass, Zoysia, Bermuda grass, and Centipede are examples of warm grasses. Warm-season grasses prefer heat. They go dormant during the cold winter season and do most of their growing in the summer seasons. These grasses are better suited to the climate in the southern region.

Lawns with warm grass types ideally should be fertilized during the early summer months of May or June. However, if the need arises, if you notice any issues with your lawn, you could fertilize them again during August. Even if you are using the best lawn fertilizer, it will help if you first checked your lawn’s state to avoid over-fertilization. 

Cool Grasses

Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass are examples of cool-season grasses. Cool grasses, compared to warm grass types, do not go dormant during the winter season. With proper care and maintenance, lawns tend to be ever-green and healthy all around the year. 

Their non-dormant quality makes them a favorite, with homeowners wanting a beautiful lawn all year round. The Midwest, Northwest, and most of the Northeastern States with cool and humid weather are best suited for the growth of this grass type. 

The best time to fertilize a lawn with cool grass is during the start of the fall season. Again, if need be, you could go in for a second round of fertilizing during the late spring period. 

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When to Apply Fertilizers? 

Depending on the grass type and climate, one could broadly fertilize lawns during these four seasons:

  • Early spring
  • Late spring
  • Summer
  • Late fall

Early spring is the time when the new seeds and plugs start growing. As mentioned earlier, this would be an excellent time to spray around a starter fertilizer for new lawns. Weeds can be a pesky nuisance for lawns that have been around for a while. Fertilizing them during the late spring season would be ideal. 

The grass needs extra support during the Summer season. With the right fertilizer, you could ensure your lawn stays nourished for up to 3 months. However, late fall is the time when the lawns need to be prepped for the on-setting cold weather. Ideally, you should fertilize the lawns six to eight weeks before the expected onset of frost. 

Fertilize Right for a Healthy Lawn

Fertilization is one of the critical pillars of growing and maintaining a healthy lawn. But, it is also equally essential to know how and when to fertilize your lawn. If you are supplying your lawn with the wrong nutrients or at the wrong time, the health of the lawn could be severely affected. 

With the best lawn fertilizer combination and the tips mentioned above, you can have yourself a healthy-looking, green luscious lawn all year round. For those areas where nothing will grow, put down artificial grass.

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