When you invest in the best organic fertilizer for your lawn you are looking for the best results. To get the best results you need to know what the best time is for spreading fertilizer.
Is there a difference in spreading time between granular vs liquid lawn fertilizer? Not necessarily but how you spread liquid lawn fertilizer for your backyard is different to how you spread granular fertilizer.
5 Tips on When to Spray Lawn Fertilizer
Read on to learn exactly when the best time of the year is for fertilizing your lawn. We have also included a few extra tips on how to achieve lush green grass that is resilient and does not grow too fast.
1. The Magic Number: 55°F
The exact time to start using fertilizer on your lawn is when the soil temperature reaches 55°F. This usually occurs in the springtime for most states, around mid-April.
You can measure the soil temperature yourself using a special thermometer but there are other ways to find out, too. You can check with the local farmers association or research body what their registered temperature is.
For states further North, it takes longer for the soil to heat up and the states further South will reach this ideal temperature earlier in the year. So, do not take mid-April as the fixed date but check for the precise temperature.
2. Continue Fertilizing Until October
Fertilizing your lawn just once a year will not give you the results that you want. For lush green and healthy grass, this has to become a regular routine for every few weeks.
How often you should repeat this routine depends on the type of fertilizer that you are using. Quick-release fertilizers, mainly the liquid form, must be applied more often than slow-release fertilizers which are usually in granular form.
Every 4 to 6 weeks is the common interval for the quick-release type. If you are using the slow-release type then you will have to apply it every 6 to 8 weeks.
Continue fertilizing your lawn until the fall, usually around mid-October. It is a common misconception that grass does not grow when the temperatures drop – in fact, this is when the grass is growing their roots in preparation for the next spring season.
So, in total, you will be fertilizing your lawn around 3-5 times between April and October when using slow-release fertilizers and 4-6 times when using quick release fertilizers.
Create your own lawn fertilizing calendar to track the time intervals or browse online for ready-made calendars created by manufacturers of gardening products.
3. Control the Feed
Pay close attention to the ingredients in your fertilizer, specifically the N-P-K value. This is an indicator of how green the grass will be, how strong and healthy it will and how fast it will grow.
Nitrogen is an especially important factor in how fast your grass grows. Too much Nitrogen means that you will have to mow more often so don’t overdo it.
The recommended level of Nitrogen for your backyard is 1/10 pounds per week, spread over the growing season. Since you are not spreading fertilizer each week, it is okay to accumulate this amount of Nitrogen in each feed.
For example, for a growing season of 26 weeks, you should spread a total of 2.6 pounds of Nitrogen in your garden. This is why it is important to know the N-P-K value so you can monitor how much of the nutrients are in your soil.
4. Adjust the Type of Fertilizer
Each type of fertilizer is better suited for a different growing stage. Keep this in mind for your backyard or front lawn and adjust accordingly.
Nitrogen is especially important for the early growing stages but towards the fall when grassroots become more important you might want to switch to a formula that has more phosphorus or potassium.
Yes, this might mean that you need to purchase different kinds of fertilizer for each growing season. Check the label for the nutrients found inside and what growth stage they are more appropriate for.
5. Read the Instructions
Each composition is different so make sure to check the label for precise instructions on how to spread or spray the fertilizer. Pay particularly close attention to how the product reacts to water.
Certain types are absorbed better when the soil is still moist which is often the case with liquid fertilizers. Other types require you to water your lawn after spreading which is often the case for granular fertilizer.
Be sure to follow these instructions because you risk burning your grass if you don’t. also, if you have an automated sprinkler system then check how it affects the absorption of the nutrients.
Water is directly related to how your soil absorbs the nutrients so pay attention to this step.