A beautiful lawn requires year round care and proper maintenance. With every season there is always something to be done that will keep a lawn looking healthy and vibrant. Choosing the best fertilizer for grass in a particular area or growth region is just as important as when it should be applied. Just as every season requires specific tasks to be performed, different types of grass seed will also call for measures that are unique to its hardiness and growth traits.
We've designed the chart below to help you pick out the right fertilizer for your individual application:
Best Fertilizer for Grass in Spring
In most locations during the winter months, grass will go dormant. During the dormant months, grass doesn't grow and there is no need to fertilize, mow or otherwise care for the lawn. When spring rolls around and the grass eventually begins its growth phase, the fall fertilizer that was applied is still available for it to use. Overfeeding while there is still an ample supply can actually harm the lawn. Too much fertilizer applied to soon can cause an overgrowth of weeds and damage caused by diseases and insects. In spring, the best fertilizer for grass is one that is very light when it comes to nitrogen. Compost material is often a wise choice in spring because it includes other nutrients the grass needs to thrive. For homeowners who have their own compost bins, the compost material they have accumulated over the winter months can now be put to good use. One positive benefit of using home-made compost is there are no unknown or harmful chemicals added to it.
Best Fertilizer for Grass in Summer
The hot, dry weather of summer will have a different impact on each type of grass. Warm weather grasses (Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine) will normally handle the temperatures well, but when they rise to extreme highs (90 to 100 degrees), even they can suffer the effects. Cool weather grasses (bluegrass, fescue and rye), will begin having problems when temps reach into the upper 80’s on a regular basis. As the summer drags on grass can fade, droop and become brittle. Growth will cease or slow down if there is a lack of adequate water and nutrients. Making sure the lawn is adequately hydrated during the summer months will allow it to pull much needed nutrients directly from the soil as it brings in water through the roots. This is extremely important and will do more good than many homeowners realize. Fertilizing during the summer months can be tricky if there is not enough water to dilute and spread the chemical evenly throughout the soil. Too much nitrogen during the summer can actually burn the grass causing brown patches and leaving bare spots.
Best Fertilizer for Grass in Fall
The best fertilizer for grass in fall is one that is more potent and likely to survive the long winter months. Whatever is applied in the fall, will more than likely remain there throughout the grass’ dormant period. After the summer months, cool season grasses have to recover from the stresses they experience during the hot, dry weather. During its recovery period (the fall months), it will need an abundance of nutrients to help them regain what they lost during the extreme heat. Applying a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content is important. Approximately one pound of soluble nitrogen per 1000 square feet of grass is needed to help grass replenish and begin to get back on track. When applied at the right time, the grass will have been able to use a good portion of the fertilizer that was applied and will recovered nicely from the wear and tear of the summer climate and activities. If a homeowner wants his or her lawn to be in good condition in the spring, applying fertilizer in the fall is the key. Making sure the grass has enough time to recover before the freezing temperatures arrive will help it to survive the winter with little or no lasting damage. A home’s grow region, the type of soil and the climate will all play a role in when fertilizing should take place. Knowing all of the details will help a homeowner make a wise choice when it comes time to choose the best fertilizer for grass in any particular region or climate.