What Kind of Lawn Fertilizer Should I Use and When?

Lawn fertilizers come with different blends of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, so it’s important to know what you need. If your lawn is more than a year old, apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer early in the season for greening. You want the nitrogen to come in contact with the lawn’s root system as soon as possible. This article will help you determine how much fertilizer to use and when to apply it.

1. High-nitrogen fertilizer

If your lawn was established less than a year ago, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer the first time you fertilize. This helps the grass start strong after it has been dormant during the winter. This will also be beneficial if you have recently hosed off your lawn to improve its appearance, as well as for de-thatching or re-seeding areas of bare soil.

2. High-phosphate fertilizer

If your lawn has been established for at least a year, you’ll want to use a high-phosphate fertilizer, also known as a “green up” fertilizer. Some people do this because it helps the grass become more resilient to heat and drought.

3. Softer grass, less chance of fall browning

If you want your lawn to be softer and greener throughout the entire summer, use a high-nitrogen/mid-range phosphate fertilizer. This will give your lawn a green appearance for longer into the fall. This type of fertilizer can’t be applied after the lawn has been dormant for more than a year. It will also help prevent fall browning when temperatures cool down.

4. Low-nitrogen fertilizer

If you want your lawn to be a darker green, use a low-nitrogen/high-potassium fertilizer. This will help your grass withstand the summer heat. Apply this type of fertilizer in the spring or early summer.

5. Late-season nitrogen fertilizer

If you want your lawn to turn a darker green throughout the fall and winter, use a late-season nitrogen fertilizer. If you do this, you should provide plenty of organic matter to maintain long-term growth.

6. Increasing lawn height

If you hope to increase your lawn height, use a high-nitrogen/low-potassium fertilizer in the spring and late summer. This will encourage rapid root growth.

7. Preventing thatch

If you have a lot of thatch, apply a low-nitrogen/high-potassium fertilizer two to three times per year. This will help break down the thatch layer.

8. Dealing with over-fertilization

During the first two to three weeks after you fertilize, your grass may look a little greener or have more color. This is because the fertilizer has made your lawn produce new growth. It should go away in a month or two.

If your lawn doesn’t return to its normal color throughout the summer, you may have applied too much fertilizer.

Use your lawn fertilizer for the appropriate purpose to improve your grass consistently throughout the year. Be sure to apply it at the professionally recommended rate and use a spreader from Giroud tree and lawn to ensure that you don’t apply too much.