Best time to fertilize your lawn

Fri. Oct. 4, 2019

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 – after a LOT of work.

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.

July rains created a green lawn. We leave grass clippings on the lawn – 2017 or 18?

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.

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.

You can also apply a shot of broadleaf weed killer for that Creeping Charlie.  Always follow directions on the package and consider spot treating rather than blanketing your entire lawn with more chemical.  Or you can become “Friends of Charlie” and just let it be…

Creeping charlie

Rather than raking those leaves, mow ‘em over and over and over and leave ‘em on the lawn for extra nitrogen. You may find you get a little pleasure from shredding them, and the bonus of no blisters!  I’m all for that.

You can also put them in your compost pile, which is my intent.  Unfortunately I have 2 black walnut trees which have been prolific producers of nuts that are all over the yard… AGAIN.

black walnuts photo by Teri Knight

You could also just let your lawn be… mine was looking lovely full of clover!

My clover lawn 2019 photo by Teri Knight