Best time to fertilize your lawn

Fri. Oct. 2, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Best time to fertilize your lawn

Although most plants are shutting down right now, your lawn is actively growing.  Fall is the time when lawn grasses use their energy to spread and develop deeper root systems instead of above ground blades.  The best time to fertilize your lawn now to late October.

my lawn in Lakeville in 2008

Using a slow release nitrogen fertilizer, the actively growing plants will use some of the nutrients now and save the unused nitrogen in the frozen soil over the winter.  How cool is that!  As soon as the ground thaws, the grass starts to grow.

2020 clover lawn – I don’t fertilize but I do leave the grass clippings on the lawn

If you fertilize in this way, you’ll be the first on the block with a gorgeous green lawn in the Spring.

A word of caution, the University of Minnesota says don’t use the winterizing formulas, they have more phosphorus and potassium than you need. And that tends to go into our storm drains and to our rivers and lakes. You could do a soil test to see what level of each NPK you have to determine whether you really need it. Should you use a “winterize” formula, this is done late October into November AFTER the initial Fall fertilizing.

Rule of thumb is to apply 1 to 1 ½  pounds of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet, this translates to 2 to 3 pounds per 1000 square feet of sulfur coated Urea.  The numbers on the front of the package should read 45-0-0.