When Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?
Ask the Doctor –
Your Source For Lawn Care Tips
Kerry Tai - April 25, 2014

Lawn Fertilization is important to make your lawn green and lush, providing much-needed nutrients for the grass. Without fertilization, your lawn will simply not be the green beautiful turf you really want. It can be just as important to good lawn care as regular mowing is.

But did you know that depending upon where you live, fertilizing your lawn at certain times of the year is not just discouraged but banned? For example, in New Jersey, consumers are banned from fertilizing their lawns from November 15 to March 1, while lawn care professionals are restricted from December 1 to March 1 from fertilizing their lawns. In addition, the state bans fertilizing during or just before a heavy rainfall.

The rules are in place to keep nitrogen and phosphorus, components of many fertilizers, from seeping into the local water supply.  While New Jersey’s rules on fertilizer usage are the strictest in the nation, please check with your state before fertilizing your lawn.

So when should you fertilize your lawn? Here are some general tips:

Four to six times each year is a good rule of thumb

Generally speaking, Lawn Doctor lawn care professionals recommend fertilizing four to six applications this year in order to have a good, healthy lawn. Of course, your lawn may need more or less than this, depending upon its current condition, and your local climate. Also, cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses have different fertilizer needs, with different fertilizer treatments as well as timeframes. You may want to talk to your Lawn Doctor professional about what schedule would work best for your lawn.

Don’t fertilize if you cannot water

If your area is under drought conditions, or is experiencing excessively hot temperatures, fertilizing the lawn may not be a good idea. That is because fertilizer works best when you can water the lawn afterwards.  If you are unable to water the lawn, the fertilizer could end up “burning” your lawn. So keep that in mind when it comes to lawn fertilization.

What are the two most important treatments?

Arguably the two most important lawn fertilization treatments are the following: the first one of the year, in late winter and early spring, and the early to late fall treatment. These would be the first and last lawn treatments of the year. The first treatment will help your lawn grow after it has been dormant all winter, and can help you grow new seeds after winter has been harsh to your lawn. The last treatment of the year can help protect your lawn as it heads into winter. 

Which season should you not fertilize in?

Generally speaking, in most climates, which have cold temperatures in winter, you will want to skip fertilizing your lawn in that season. Not only may your state ban doing so, but it will not have the benefits that fertilization will in other seasons.

Talk to your Lawn Doctor professional about Turf Tamer

Lawn Doctor uses Turf Tamer equipment to apply fertilizer to every inch of your lawn. Why not talk to your Lawn Doctor lawn care professional about a schedule for fertilizing for your yard?