When is the Best Time to Fertilize the Lawn?
Fertilize when the roots are growing!
When to apply lawn fertilizer is almost as important as the fertilizer you apply. Leading scientists recommend applying nitrogen fertilizers in the spring and fall for cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue and Ryegrass, and throughout the summer for warm season grasses like St. Augustine and Bermuda, since this is when the grass plant is actively growing.
The recommended timing of fertilizer applications by season is as follows:
Lawn fertilizer recommendations from the experts at GreenView
GreenView fertilizers are designed to feed your lawn when it's spending the most energy growing. GreenView Fairway Formula Fertilizers are formulated to deliver the proper amount of nitrogen using a proprietary and patented slow release nitrogen technology. GreenView fertilizers contain the same fertilizer technology we provide to championship golf courses.
To keep your lawn in top shape, follow up with an annual fertilization program developed and recommended by agronomy experts. Check out the GreenView Annual Lawn Plan
Get expert timing from GreenView Annual Lawn Plan
Signup for the GreenView Annual Lawn Plan and have your fertilizer delivered to your door at the right time to apply it. The turfgrass experts at GreenView:
- Have worked with the weed scientists and agronomists to determine the best time in the growth cycle to apply our fertilizer and weed control products for maximum results.
- Utilize our field offices throughout the country to monitor weather conditions in the spring and fall.
- Pinpoint when each growing zone will reach the optimal application window.
When you order your products as a part of the GreenView Annual Lawn Plan you get the benefit of expert assisted timing: the products are shipped at the best time for application as determined by our experts. Your spring fertilizer order can be delivered as early as March and as late as mid May, depending upon your region's weather. The fall fertilizer will arrive between late August and the end of September, depending upon your growing zone and weather conditions.
Learn more about the GreenView Annual Lawn Plan »
Spring Lawn Care: April–May
The best time to apply fertilizer in spring is when soil temperatures have warmed and the grass plant is actively growing. A general rule of thumb is after the first 3 mowings. Apply 0.5 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to the lawn to support growth and to build-up nutrient reserves, which help the lawn withstand the heat and stress of summer. If you are using a weed and feed fertilizer, timing is much more critical to get the best results from the weed control. Be sure to read and follow application directions carefully.
We recommend and applying it after the forsythia has bloomed but before the dandelions go to the "puff ball" stage. The combination of weed control ingredients kill over 200 broadleaf weeds and prevent crabgrass.
Summer Lawn Care: June–August
Cool season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass and Ryegrass, should not be fertilized in summer.
- Agronomy experts do not recommend the application of nitrogen fertilizers to cool season grasses in the summer. Cool season grasses go dormant in the summer and fertilizing at this time can burn the grass and contribute to watershed pollution.
Warm season grasses do need fertilizer in the summer.
Warm season grasses grow most vigorously during the hot summer months. At this time the grass plant benefits from the nutrients in fertilizer to grow dense, lush turf. GreenView recommends GreenView Fairway Formula Lawn Fertilizer
Fall Lawn Care: September–November
The most important time to fertilize your lawn is in the fall to help you lawn develop a strong root system. Apply 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Use a lawn fertilizer with a higher amount of nitrogen, if your grass type is Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass, or soil is sandy, or grass clippings are not returned to the lawn.
GreenView recommends applying in early September.
Although most homeowners do not need to worry about putting products down during the cold, winter months, there are a few winter weather tricks. Your lawn is dormant during winter, meaning it won't actively grow. However, that doesn't mean you can't do damage to it. Walking on frozen or snow-covered grass can break the grass blades and compact the soil.
Compacted soil does not allow water and nutrients in when the lawn starts growing again, and can lead to weed infestation and dead grass. Breaking the grass blades removes the plants protection from the elements and can make greening up in the spring take longer.