Let’s get one thing clear: the answer isn’t “never.” Your lawn needs fertilizer, and if you haven’t been providing it, then I doubt the grass is very green. You may have been told that all plants need are sunlight and water, but that’s not exactly true. You might have some success with that method, but if you really want a lush, vibrant green lawn, then you need to fertilize. And fertilize quite a bit.
But just how often should you be providing the lawn with plant food? I’m glad you asked.
- It Depends On the Time of Year
So it’s not an easy answer; I’m sorry. But we want you to have correct information. You see, there are two types of grasses: cold-season and warm-season grasses. Cold season grasses typically flourish when the temperature is in the 60s, while warm season grasses prefer temperatures in the 70s.
Therefore, when you fertilize will depend on when your grass is supposed to be greenest. If you have cool season grasses, you’ll want to fertilize in the winter – that way, the grass will be ready to go come springtime. Warm season grasses can also be fertilized in winter, but you might want to wait until early spring.
- So When Should I Fertilize?
Probably once before the season begins, and then once again when the grass starts coming in green. But after that, you probably shouldn’t fertilize much until the following year.
During the summer, your grass is under a lot of stress – the heat takes a toll. Therefore, if you fertilize during this period, you run the risk of “burning” the lawn. The nitrates present in fertilizer will be too strong for it to handle during summer. Focus on watering and disease prevention at this time instead.
- Some Final Tips
It’s recommended that you use a slow-release fertilizer, in order to decrease the chances of burn. It’s also a good idea to apply fertilizer after a strong rain or heavy watering; however, you want to avoid fertilizing before a heavy rain.