Top Reasons To Fertilize Your Lawn This Fall

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • September 12, 2018

Fall Lawn Care That Lasts All Year

For many homeowners, a lush green lawn is something to achieve, maintain and take pride in. A healthy lawn looks good and feels good to walk and play in.

It’s also good for the environment. When your lawn is well maintained it can improve air quality, generate oxygen, provide erosion and runoff control, water purification, and can even reduce heat in your yard by 20 to 30 degrees. By taking care of your lawn, you’ll benefit from these perks and so will the environment. Win-win!

One of the best ways to keep your grass healthy right down to its roots is to fertilize, and fall is a great season to do so. Read on to learn why fall is the best season to fertilize your lawn and everything else you need to know to get your fall lawn care started.

Using a fall fertilizer

Your soil supplies some of the necessary nutrients your lawn needs to stay healthy, but it isn’t always able to provide enough to support your lawn during the entire growing season. This is where fertilizer comes in. Fertilizer helps out by:

  • Replacing nutrients lost through rain, irrigation, leaching, and plant removal
  • Promoting root growth
  • Controlling and eliminating weeds
  • Advancing regrowth from foot traffic and pest damage

It’s important to choose the right type of fertilizer for your grass type, the region you live in, and the season you’re using it in – in this case, fall. Fall is a welcome season for lawns after the stress of summer heat may have stunted growth. This is a great season to fertilize your lawn because:

  • Cooler temperatures put less stress on lawn growth, giving grass the chance to rebuild its strength before winter
  • Morning dew formed during the fall provides moisture that helps turf absorb the fertilizer
  • Fall fertilizing helps grass develop a thick and deep root system to better survive winter weather

Taking care of your lawn in the fall will give a much better chance of not only surviving winter but thriving in the spring and summer.

Wondering is your fertilizer is actually working?

Preparing your lawn

When preparing your fall lawn, consider testing your soil for pH and composition. Testing your soil will give you a better idea of which fertilizer ingredients will work best for your lawn. You’ll want a pH as close to neutral as you can to get, so the fertilizer you use should bring you to this balance. For composition, look for fertilizers with a high percentage of nitrogen, which promotes growth.

When to apply fertilizer will vary based on your region’s frost season. A good time to fertilize your lawn is typically two to three weeks before the ground freezes. This will usually be mid-October. The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening when warmer daytime temperatures won’t hinder the fertilizer’s strength.

Prep your lawn for fertilizing by mowing it right before. This will give you a clean slate to work with as it removes excess lawn waste and exposes the soil, allowing the fertilizer to work more efficiently.

Make sure there won’t be any heavy rain after your fertilizer is applied. Rain will cause runoff, which will wash away the fertilizer. Check the forecast before you fertilize. If it rained recently, make sure the grass is completely dry before fertilizing.

Applying your fertilizer

Now that you know the makeup of your soil and the best fertilizer ingredients to use for it, as well as when to apply it and how to prepare for it, you’re ready for application. Fertilizer can be applied to your lawn by either a liquid application or a granular application.

Liquid fertilizer is:

  • Diluted in water to spread over your lawn with an applicator
  • Fast acting, results may appear within a few weeks
  • Often cheaper than other applications
  • At a higher risk of leaching if applied in high doses
  • In need of more applications than granular but too many applications can ruin the lawn

Granular fertilizer is:

  • Recommended for most homeowners
  • Applied using a rotary spreader
  • Absorbed by the soil at a slower rate, extending its effects
  • Not needing to be applied as often as liquid
  • Less chance of fertilizer leaching out of the soil, so there is a less chance that too much fertilizer will ruin the lawn

Whichever application type is right for your lawn, make sure you know how to apply it correctly for the best results.  

It may only be the start of fall, but now is the time to think about taking care of your lawn so that it lasts all year long. If you’re in need of some fall lawn care, we’ve got you covered. Contact us about our lawn fertilizer services.

We also offer a free workbook to help you through tricky lawn care things like this. Download our Killingsworth Workbook with Lawn Care Tips, Ticks, and Checklists!

What'd You Think?

Comments are closed.