Knowing how to fertilize your lawn means answering a variety of other questions that will help you understand your unique requirements and limitations depending on your location, situation, and materials. To ensure that you give your lawn the best care possible, learn about the various conditions to consider when thinking about fertilizing your lawn.
How Do You Know When To Fertilize Your Lawn?
Knowing when to fertilize your lawn depends on what type of grass you have. This is because each grass type has its unique growing season and requires a different lawn fertilizing schedule. For example, for cool-season grasses, the primary growing period is during the spring and fall. As such, for these types of grasses, you will want to fertilize in the fall pretty heavily and only lightly in the spring. Cool-season grasses also only need about one to two pounds of nitrogen-rich fertilizer per 1,000 square feet per year.
By contrast, warm-season grasses grow primarily in late spring and summer. These types of grasses require fertilization just when the grass starts turning green in the spring. They also require more fertilizer–about three to four pounds of nitrogen-rich fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn per year. Once the summer heat has passed, warm-season grasses should be fertilized for a second time.
Should You Fertilize Your Lawn Before Or After Rain?
Fertilizing before rain is a mistake that many budding gardeners make, but it is one that is easily solved. Why should you wait? Pouring fertilizer on your lawn when there is heavy rain coming in can cause the fertilizer to run off or pool in concentrated areas. This does not allow it to break down properly and causes run-off. Runoff is more than just money wasted on products for your lawn — runoff from your fertilizer can make its way into waterways and cause pollution.
This is why it is so important to fertilize after a rain to ensure you get the most effectiveness out of your fertilizer. Also, rain can deliver extra nitrogen to your lawn, which will help in the overall condition of your lawn. Furthermore, fertilizing your lawn when it is not stressed from drought will enhance the effectiveness of the fertilizer.
Is It Too Late To Fertilize Your Lawn?
Knowing whether it is too late to fertilize your lawn depends upon when you are supposed to fertilize your lawn to begin with. This depends upon where you live in the United States. For example, in the state of Florida, the first fertilization will typically take place in mid-April, with another two applications in the summer and early fall as well as one final one in mid-September.
All that said, if you miss your window to fertilize at the appropriate time, resist the urge to make up for it by doubling the amount the next time you fertilize. This can actually cause damage to your lawn, so simply apply the next treatment as scheduled.
What Temperature Is Too Cold To Fertilize The Lawn?
Temperature plays an important part in fertilizing your lawn properly. If the temperature is too cold, your grass will enter a dormant state and your fertilizer will be wasted. For most grasses, this temperature threshold lies at around 60 to 70 degrees Farenheit. At these temperatures, your grass will enter dormancy to protect itself from the cold and only the weeds will receive the benefits of the fertilizer. Because you’re only feeding the weeds, you’ll be harming your lawn’s growth as the root growth will be stunted.
Should You Mow Before You Fertilize?
The perfect time to cut your grass is right before your next fertilization treatment. This ensures that your lawn is the ideal length when it gets fertilized. It also allows you to not have to disturb the lawn with moving for at least a week afterward. Allowing it to stay unbothered will give your soil the time it needs to absorb the nutrients from your fertilizer before your grass length gets too long.
Another benefit of mowing right before your next fertilization is that the grass clippings that you leave behind will give your lawn a natural boost. That is because these clippings will eventually decompose and release extra organic nutrients and water back into your soil.
If you have already fertilized, you will want to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before mowing your lawn. Obviously, this is not the ideal scenario and you will want to have mowed before your fertilization. That said, this waiting period will at least ensure that the nutrients have a little bit of time to absorb.
What If It Rains After I Fertilize My Lawn?
The answer to this question is not a straightforward one. After all, too much rain or very intense rain can wash out the fertilizer all together and create run off. That said, some rain can actually be good for your fertilizer treatment. This is because water can help to activate your fertilizer by moving the granules deep into the thatch where it starts to break down so that it may be soaked into the root system.
This means that if you get a little bit of rain, it could actually be helping your lawn. However, if you are concerned about excessive rain affecting the effectiveness of your fertilizing treatment, you can run your sprinklers to help the fertilizer break down and soak into the roots before the rain storm hits.
How Long Can Fertilizer Sit On Your Lawn Before Watering?
Basically, the best time to water your lawn after applying a dry fertilizer is immediately after you have finished spreading it. However, you can wait up to 24 hours after fertilizing to water your lawn as long as there is cool weather or if you are using a slow-release fertilizer.
Waiting any longer than that can cause leaf burn–which happens when the fertilizer is mixed with water but is not washed off the grass.
Fertilizer & Other Weed Control Solutions
At Sod Depot, we understand the importance of knowing how to maintain your lawn. The right fertilizer can make the difference in creating a healthy, thriving lawn, and that is why offer quality fertilizer well suited to the needs of the Floridian gardener so that you get the fertilizer that will give you your ideal lawn. We also offer a variety of other products to ensure that your yard looks its absolute best. If you would like to learn more about our fertilizer and other weed control solutions, please contact us today.