How To: Fall Fertilize
My inbox has been riddled with questions about the autumn application of lawn fertilizer so I thought I’d take some time to give you the low-down on this very important job.
When to Buy
Right now you’re seeing lawn fertilizer on sale at the stores left, right, and center. Of course, it’s a good idea to take advantage of these sales.
My fertilizer of choice is GolfGreen. I’ve tested it on my own lawn and it makes a world of difference:
When to Apply
Ideally, you want to apply your fall fertilizer in the fall. Who would have guessed? There is no exact date but aim for the end of October to the first couple weeks of November.
In your yearly lawn maintenance regiment, the fall application of fertilizer is the most important. By the time summer is over and fall is well underway, your lawn is hungry. The two spring fertilizer applications have provided enough food to get it to this point but now your lawn must prepare for its winter dormancy. This application not only provides your lawn with much needed nitrogen which the plant stores while it is dormant, it also provides your lawn with potassium – the most important nutrient available to the plant to help it withstand the freezing winter temperatures.
Your fall lawn fertilizer should have high levels of nitrogen and potassium with low levels of phosphorus. They will always go in the same order: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (N:P:K). This ratio is extremely important and you want a high level of potassium (around 18) to support your lawn over the winter.
And Finally, How?
Applying fertilizer to your lawn is simple. If you have a small lawn, applying by hand is not going to be a taxing chore. Simply grab handfuls and toss it out evenly – the plant’s roots will find the nutrients. For bigger lawns though, it is wise to invest in a spreader. This will ensure even distribution and take a good deal of the work out of this task.