Can You Fertilize Your Lawn During Fall? (Here’s How)
Autumn ushers in so many fun activities – cozy backyard movie nights, pumpkin spice lattes, and finding those Instagram-worthy fall photos. Don’t forget about your lawn either, Giving it some love this fall can set the stage for a vibrant, lush lawn next year. Wondering about fall lawn fertilization? Dive into our article for all the details.
Fall Lawn Fertilization, Which Is Best?
Let’s decode the world of lawn fertilizers. The stuff you find on shelves is typically tailored to match your area’s soil and grass type. Look for slow-release nitrogen – that’s the good stuff that seeps into grass roots over time. And when you eye those numbers on the bag, know that the first one (nitrogen, N) should be bigger, while phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) tag along with smaller digits or zeros. Think 32-0-10 or 10-0-20.
Facts of Fall Grass
The cold that fall brings has a similar effect on plant growth, including the grass on your lawn. The roots remain active, enjoying the warmth of the soil which hangs onto its summer vibes, while the blades above ground soak in the sun, turning it into plant fuel. But here’s the twist—this fuel isn’t spent on leaf growth, it’s actually tucked away in the roots for safekeeping until spring.
If you’ve been fertilizing yourself this whole time, you’ll want to do a full fertilizer round with your favorite fall fertilizer. That will ensure your year schedule keeps your grass looking green.
If you’ve been working with a professional, it’s best to have them give the turf a good feeding during fall, to provide an energy boost to the underground growth. Those roots get the message that it’s time to get to work and they spread out, dig deeper, and improve. And guess what? Come spring, your lawn wakes up faster with a vibrant green, and it’s so lush that pesky weeds can’t even find a spot to squeeze in.
Know Your Lawn
Deciding whether to give your grass a fall fertilizer or feeding boost depends on the kind of turf you’ve got. If you’re rocking cool-season grasses like fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, they do the growth hustle in both fall and spring. So, tossing them some food during autumn is like giving them a high-five, because that’s when their roots are like sponges for nutrients. These grasses usually call the northern two-thirds of the country home.
If you’re in the warmest corners of the country, your lawn is likely rocking warm-season grasses—think Bermuda, centipede, St. Augustine, or zoysia. For these sun-lovers, the rule of thumb is to stop feeding after September 1st. They start their active growth when spring kicks in and temperatures rise. So, if you want to give them a meal, do it from late spring up to Labor Day.
At Soils Alive, it’s best in our experience to fertilize in the spring and sprinkle in feedings throughout the rest of the year to give the best results. Most lawns will be receptive to feedings in the fall but won’t need another round of fertilizing to stay green. It can also be dangerous to feed in the fall for risk of pests and fungus growing.
The Importance of Timing (Throughout The Year)
Alright, let’s break it down. If you’re the once-a-year fertilizer type, spring is the best time. Although it’s up to you and your strategy, spring fertilizations will give your lawn the best looking growth. If you’re going the DIY route it’s always a good idea to add in an extra fertilization round in the early fall time but if you’re feeding the lawn throughout the year in smaller amounts it won’t need another full round come fall time – it will still look as good.
Similarly weed control and plant health care will revolve around your fertilization and timing them throughout the year. If you’re doing your fertilization DIY it’s a great idea to do them at a similar time. Also if you want to save a ton of time, ask your local professional lawn fertilization company.
Frequently Asked Questions – Fall Lawn Fertilization
When in the fall should I fertilize my lawn?
If you’ve been DIYing your fertilization, apply autumn lawn feeding between August and November, just before the onset of winter, approximately 6 to 8 weeks after your summer feeding. If you’re working with a professional like us, let them do the feedings in the early fall time – around the same time.
What happens if you fertilize too late in the fall?
Feeding your lawn too late can lead to continued growth during the freezing winter months, increasing the risk of winter damage and potential springtime disease problems.