Updated: March 2nd, 2018
When should I fertilize my lawn??
Great question, and there are many different answers.
When you should fertilize, all depends on what your expectations are for your lawn…
What are your goals for your lawn?
What is your fertilizing budget?
Should you hire a fertilizer pro?
Can your Fertilize your own lawn?
These are just a few of the things you may be wondering when it comes to fertilizing your lawn.
Below You’ll Learn:
- When the best time to fertilize your own yard is.
- How to fertilize your own lawn.
- How to hire a fertilizer company.
So, When Should I Fertilize?
Fertilizer applications are typically spread out.
- The first occurring in the early spring,
- The second in late spring,
- The third in mid-summer, and
- The fourth in early fall, and
- The fifth fertilizer application in late fall,
- Sometimes a winter application will also be recommended.
Applying Fertilizer in Spring-
The first two applications of the year will have a fertilizer to boost the growth of the turf.
A post emergent to kill the weeds that have germinated, and also a pre-emergent to prevent the weeds from germinating in the summer.
These first two applications are the most important as they will set you up for success. If they are not properly applied, then you will not have very good results.
Mid-Summer Fertilizer Application-
The mid-summer lawn fertilizer application is generally a light fertilizer to promote color and growth through the rough summer.
Fall Lawn Fertilizer Application-
The fall applications are applied in conjunction with seeded to promote seed germination and also take care of any weeds that pop up in the fall.
Finally Apply Fertilizer in the Winter-
The winter fertilizer application should you get one helps maintain color and health throughout the cold months.
Now, if you are a diehard do it yourself, you can apply the applications yourself.
However by the time you buy the needed fertilizers and chemicals and factor your time, the cost will be about the same.
Most people don’t know this, but if you tackle it yourself, you should work with a good local supply company, such as your local CO-OP, or your locally owned lawn and garden shop. Here’s why, typically these stores will have a more knowledgeable staff than the big box stores.
The Challenges of Fertilizing Your Own Lawn-
One of the main challenges to tackling this yourself is the spraying of the weeds that have already popped up.
The pros have big tanks of chemical that they use, but you will have to use a granular weed and feed. This product will not work unless you apply it doing the very early morning while the grass is still wet from the due, as the particles have to stick to the leaves of the weeds in order to be effective in killing the weed.
Consider Hiring a Professional-
Let’s say you want a green healthy weed free lawn all year long.
And let's face it, who doesn’t?
Here’s the thing, if that’s the case, then to be honest you are probably best to work with a local lawn care specialist that focuses on residential lawn care.
I n my experience, I would not recommend that you work with one of the national providers, as they often do not maintain their customers. You can quickly see the poor reviews the national companies have with a quick online search.
To the contrary, I would recommend that you look for a locally owned company that only does lawn fertilization. I would not recommend that you work with a company that also does lawn mowing, as turf fertilization and weed control is its own discipline.
No doubt about it, the companies you have hired to mow and fertilize, are often not as good as the companies that focus solely on lawn spraying and fertilization.
When you hire a good company they will handle the necessary applications to keep the lawn in its best performing shape. Typically a comple lawn program will consist of 4-6 timly applications per year.
So, What’s the Bottom Line?
The best bet is to work with a Pro. Yes you can fertilize on your own, it can even be quite fun, but is not always an easy task. If you want to do it on your own be sure to check know the best fertilizers for your lawn.
This plan works well for southeastern climates, but if you live in a warmer climate such as Florida you will want to read our guide for caring for St. Augustine turf.
Use this fertilizer guide to fertilize to schedule your own fertilizer program, or in to better inform yourself when you hire the pros. GreenPal is a great source for lawn care professionals, take a look the next time you need to hire someone for your lawn care needs.