Fall Lawn Fertilizing Tips
Having a lush green lawn in spring starts with proper fertilization long before spring arrives. When preparing your lawn for fall, it’s important to provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs for one last push before the cold months set in. This helps your lawn stay “on-the-ready” to bounce back in the spring. With well-timed fertilizing, you can support the types of growth your lawn needs to thrive.
After a long growing season, your lawn is hungry. It’s spent the entirety of the season draining your land of the vital nutrients it needs to promote blade and root growth. Before blindly adding fertilizer to your yard, it’s important to know what type of fertilizer to choose. When looking at fertilizers, there are three numbers used to classify the type of fertilizer you’re looking at. The most common type of fertilizer is a 5-10-5 mix. The numbers used to classify different blends stand for the amounts of nutrients found in the different fertilizers. The first number refers to the level of nitrogen found in the fertilizer. Nitrogen helps promote grass blade growth as well as other foliage growth in other plants. The second number refers to the level of phosphorus found in the fertilizer. Phosphorus helps to promote root growth. The last number refers to the level of potassium. Potassium helps promote cell function and the absorption of trace elements from the soil.
As with any fertilizer, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations for applying the fertilizer to your lawn. It’s also important to apply the fertilizer in a cross-thatched pattern. No one wants to spend the time and effort fertilizing their lawn to find it looking like a pin-striped suit a few days later. Remembering to apply your fertilizer in a cross-thatched pattern will help prevent “striping” of your lawn.
When your lawn is looking a little “tired” or arid after a long growing season, it’s recommended to apply a fertilizer that is heavy in nitrogen, such as a 20-8-8 mix. This is usually best done at the beginning of fall, right after the growing season ends. This nitrogen rich fertilizer will provide your lawn with the nutrients it needs to promote blade growth and help your lawn green back up again.
There are many benefits of having a deep root system in your lawn. Though this early fall application is important, applying the proper fertilizer at the end of fall is essential. You’ll want to use a different fertilizer mix for this application; using a fertilizer with a 13-25-12 mix is recommended. This fertilizer is phosphorus-rich and will give the lawn important nutrients it needs to promote root growth through the end of fall and even into the beginning of winter in some instances.
By giving your lawn a boost in root growth before winter you’ll help promote a healthy thick green lawn in the spring. When your lawn has deep roots it’s more resistant to disease and draught. Promoting root growth before winter ensures your lawn has a nice deep root system at the beginning of the next growing season. Your lawn like any other living organism needs to eat. Knowing what nutrients to feed it and when will help you provide the nutrients your lawn needs when it needs them to continue thriving all year.