When and Why Do I Need Fertilizer for My Lawn?

Summer has quickly run by, fall is now upon us, and winter is headed our way. Now you can take a break from all that lawn maintenance, right? Wrong. Here are a few tips regarding fertilizer that you can use to keep your lawn healthy.


We know fertilizing your lawn is a fundamental component of maintaining beautiful grass, but what does it actually do? Besides giving your lawn a fresh, green color and boosting healthy growth, lawn fertilizer can help fix common problems such as weed growth, unwanted moss and insects, and crabgrass.

A good rule of thumb is to apply 1.0 lb. nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft. For additional help on determining how much fertilizer your lawn needs, you can view these examples.

What You’re Using to Fertilize

If you are using a Broadcasting Seeder

  • Make sure the spreader and fertilizer are dry.
  • Set the rate-of-flow lever according to the setting listed on the fertilizer bag you have bought.
  • When filling, place the spreader on a hard surface, and fill the hopper slowly. Protect your eyes and skin by wearing gloves and a dust mask.
  • Clean the spreader thoroughly after use.
  • Clean up excess fertilizer from driveways, patios, or sidewalks.


If you are using a Spraying Liquid Fertilizer

  • Fill the sprayer canister with liquid fertilizer.
  • Carefully attach the canister unit to the end of your garden hose.
  • Move at a steady pace to cover the entire lawn evenly. Walk slowly and spray from side to side.


Do not apply other chemicals with your fertilizer to try and apply at the same time. Remember, that leftover fertilizer doesn’t store very well, so try to only buy enough for the seasons need. When and how often you apply fertilizer depends on the type of grass you grow.


Cool-Season Grass

Cool-Season grasses are well suited to the North. They generally remain green year-round when grown in cool and transitional areas. They grow best in regions with temperatures between 60 to 75-degree temperature, and will grow throughout the year except for mid- and late winter months.  These grasses include Rye, Fescue, and Bentgrass varieties.

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service recommends feeding cool-season grasses twice in the fall – September and November – and then again in the spring in May or April.


Warm-Season Grass

Warm-season grasses grow best in southern areas and generally go dormant in the winter. The varieties of warm-season grasses include Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia. These grasses grow rapidly in warm weather. They grow best in regions with temperatures 80 to 95 degrees.

Feed warm-season grasses during active growth periods but avoid doing it in the hot midsummer months. There are three phases you need to apply the fertilizer: first in early spring when the grass starts to green, next in late spring, and then once more towards the end of summer.


Now get out there and show your beautiful lawn some love! Once the fertilization component is complete, prepare for winter with our blog post on how to winterize your sprinklers!