Knowing when to feed your lawn is essential. Your feeding schedule depends on the type of grass you have. In general, feeding is done when your lawn is actively growing. It takes commitment - a regular fertilizing schedule is required if you want a great-looking lawn year after year.
Fertilizing Cool-Season Grasses
Fertilize heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring. The growing season for these grasses is mainly in the cool months of spring and fall. Cool season grasses grow best when the temperature is in the range of 60 to 70° Fahrenheit.
Fall is the favorite time of year for cool season grasses, so care for these types is most important at this time of year. Fertilize when the intense heat of the summer has subsided, but well before the onset of severe cold weather. You may choose to apply a special winterizer fertilizer for the fall application. These fertilizers are specially-formulated to help protect the grass during the winter months.
In the spring, begin fertilizing early. You may use either slow- or quick-release fertilizer, but time your fertilization regimen so the fertilizer will be used up before the onset of hot summer weather when cool-season grasses often go dormant.
Fertilizing Warm-Season Grasses
Fertilize when the grass starts to turn green in spring. The growing season for these grasses, depending upon the geographic area, is during late spring and summer. Warm season grasses grow best when the temperature is in the range of 80 to 95° Fahrenheit, although they will also grow outside of this range.
Use either slow- or quick-release fertilizer, but time your fertilization regimen so the fertilizer will be used up before the onset of severe hot summer weather. Begin fertilizing again after the intense heat of the summer has subsided.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when fertilizing, and ensure that you time the life of the fertilizer so it is not present at the onset of severe hot or cold temperatures. Failing to do so could damage your lawn. When fertilizing, too much is not a good thing.
1. Make sure the spreader and fertilizer are dry.
2. Set the rate-of-flow lever according to the setting listed on the fertilizer bag. If you have any doubts, apply too little rather than too much.
3. Close the hopper vent. Place the spreader on a hard surface and fill the hopper slowly. Wear gloves and a dust mask and be sure to keep fertilizer away from eyes and skin.
4. For complete coverage, cut the recommended application rate in half and apply evenly in a crisscross manner.
5. Clean the spreader thoroughly after use.
6. Clean up any excess fertilizer from driveways, patios, sidewalks, etc.
Spraying Liquid Fertilizer
1. Fill the sprayer canister with liquid fertilizer. Carefully attach the canister unit to the end of your garden hose.
2. Move at a steady pace to cover the entire lawn evenly. Walk slowly, spraying from side to side.
Do not apply other chemicals, such as herbicides or insecticides, at the same time as fertilizer. Leftover fertilizer does not store very well. Try to buy only enough for the season's needs.