Setting a Lawn Fertilizer Schedule for Your Yard – Timing, Frequency, and Location are Key

Technician with fertilizer on lawn

Lawn Doctor of Buffalo Grove-Lake Zurich-Barrington-Palatine fertilizing a thriving lawn


The benefits of lawn fertilizer are endless. For starters, feeding your grass will let it grow greener and thicker. Fertilizing improves the health of a lawn’s root system, making the grass more resistant to weeds and drought. When done properly, lawn feeding drastically upgrades the yard’s appearance and makes those summer barbecues all the more welcoming.

Fertilization, like any lawn care task, requires special attention when it comes to timing, frequency, and location. All of these factors impact its effectiveness. In fact, neglecting them can hurt your lawn. Our advice will help you establish an effective lawn fertilizer schedule.

Grass Type and Location Make a Huge Difference

Every variety of grass falls into one of two categories: warm-season and cool-season. Lawns in the South are comprised of warm-season grasses such as Centipede, Bermuda, Saint Augustine, and Zoysia. Lawns in the North include cool-season grasses like Tall and Fine Fescue, Rye, and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Because of their different climate conditions, warm and cool season grasses have different fertilizing needs. Additionally, individual grass types also impact the lawn fertilizer schedule. As a result, the timing and frequency tips below are only general rules of thumb. For the most accurate information concerning your lawn’s specific fertilizing requirements, consult a local professional.

How Often to Fertilize Lawn

Both warm-season and cool-season grasses should be fertilized six to eight over the course of a year. A lawn’s health can affect this, though, as certain conditions may necessitate fewer fertilizer applications. Fertilizer treatments should be spaced out by at least six to eight weeks. Otherwise, the lawn risks being over-fertilized and thus susceptible to browning out.

When to Fertilize Lawn

Cool-season grasses should be fertilized in early spring, late summer, and autumn. Warm-season grasses are best fed in early spring, late spring (or early summer), late summer, and autumn. It’s also helpful to have your lawn fertilized a day or two before it rains.

Water Before and After Feeding

Water your lawn several days before having it fertilized. Irrigation will keep it hydrated before the product is applied. After your lawn is fertilized, water it again. This is one of the most important aspects of lawn feeding, as the water will wash the fertilizer into the soil—where it needs to be. Fertilizing will be a fraction as effective if you don’t water afterwards. However, you don’t want to drench the grass either, as over-watering can wash the product away. Check out our lawn watering tips for the best practices.

Coordinate with Aeration

If you plan on hiring a lawn aeration service, schedule fertilization afterwards. Aeration opens up passageways for grass roots to take in vital nutrients, which will enhance the fertilization benefits.

Get Started on Your Lawn Fertilizing Schedule Now

Spring is the best time to get the ball rolling on fertilization. The sooner your lawn is fed, the better equipped it will be to thrive over the coming months. Contact Lawn Doctor today for expert lawn fertilization services. Fill out the form below or call us at 866-591-8432 for more information.

2 thoughts on “Setting a Lawn Fertilizer Schedule for Your Yard – Timing, Frequency, and Location are Key

  1. Is it ok to water your lawn 24 hours after the lawn is fertilized? Also, if there are high wind gusts will the fertilizer be blown away if not watered right away.

    1. Carlie,

      You should water in the fertilizer within 24 hours to release the nutrients into the soil. If there are heavy winds, we don’t recommend applying fertilizer, as this will prevent a uniform application. However, once the fertilizer has been applied to the lawn and watered in, it will not move.

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