When to Fertilize Lawn? Important Things You Should Know Before Fertilizing Your Lawn

Fertilizers work to boost the overall health of the root system of your grass by digesting potentially hazardous elements. Hence, it is necessary to fertilize your lawn effectively and at the right time.

Your lawn will quickly become the whole neighborhood’s pride in no time if you follow certain guidelines on when to fertilize your lawn.

But, how often you want to apply fertilizer to your lawn is a critical factor in determining the timing of those applications. If you only fertilize your lawn once each year, you should do it around the time of Labor Day. This is the optimal period for grass to absorb nutrients.

It is best to fertilize your lawn between March and April, although the exact timing of these efforts will depend on where you live. It is also a good idea to water your lawn a few days before applying fertilizer to it, whether you do this by using a sprinkler or waiting for rain. Regarding temperatures, 55 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be perfect.

You may need to adjust this schedule if the grass on your property isn’t keeping enough of the nutrients it receives. This could not be the case at all, depending on the weather and soil composition. If you believe it is important to speed the greening up thing, you may hurry things up by spreading a little fertilizer in the spring.

Fertilizers comes in a wide variety of forms, but nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the three most important elements found in fertilizers. When these elements are combined, the result is a lush, greenest lawn resistant to crabgrass.

What Is The Ideal Time To Fertilize A Lawn?

What Is The Ideal Time To Fertilize A Lawn

Fertilizing the soil in the morning allows most of the nutrients to soak in the soil with the morning dew and take advantage of the cooler temperatures. It is not a good idea to apply fertilizer when the temperature is warmer.

Using granular fertilizers on dry soil and warmer weather means it will not soak in the soil, thus, having a negative effect on it. Moreover, using a liquid fertilizer in warm weather will not yield much.

Hence, wait until the temperature drops to a point where the temperature is comfortably good for the plants. Following the application of a granular quantity of fertilizer, you are free to cut the grass anytime you choose. If you are utilizing a liquid treatment, you should wait for a few days.

Best Times To Fertilize Your Lawn Per Season

Best Times To Fertilize Your Lawn Per Season

The kind of grass in your yard will determine when you should apply fertilizer to your lawn. Most of the United States has grass that grows during the cold or warm seasons. So, as a general rule, fertilizer should be sprayed during the spring seasons. This environment supports the growth of plants with leaves and flowers.

In certain parts of the country, the new growth that was stimulated by fertilizing may be harmed if there is a severe cold period or even snowfall. To protect juvenile growth in these places, you should wait until after the latest frost date before applying fertilizers.

It is most effective when fertilizer is provided during the peak of a plant’s development cycle. In this season, seasonal plants begin to leaf out, blossom, or develop new leaves.

The beginning of spring is generally considered to be the optimal time to fertilize most plants. The following is a basic guide that will walk you through the best times of the year to fertilize your lawn based on the kind of grass that you have.


You should start applying fertilizer as soon as the temperature of the ground has risen and the grass has started to grow. In the early spring, before the intense heat of summer comes in, you may choose to give your cool-season grasses an extra boost. 

Applying this treatment using a spreader is the best way to ensure that it is effective before the temperature starts to climb and the grass begins to go to sleep.

It is advisable to wait after the first three times that the grass has been mowed. During the summer, apply half a pound to one pound of nitrogen per one thousand square feet of grassland. This will help the grass grow and build up its nutrient reserves. 

Cool-season grasses, such as perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, long fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and other turf grasses, need just a little amount of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to make it through the summer.

If you have warm-season grass on your lawn, such as zoysia grass, centipede grass, or St. Augustine grass, fertilizing at the end of spring or the beginning of summer is best. The growth in this period is at its best. 

Timing is of the utmost importance when applying fertilizers to feed and kill weeds to get the best results. Before you even begin the application process, you must ensure that you have read all directions carefully and followed them accordingly.


According to the suggestions of agronomists, nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied to cool-season grasses throughout the summer. It is not a good idea to fertilize cool-season grasses like ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass in the middle of July because of the high temperatures. Fertilization during the summer, when cool-season grasses are dormant, may cause the grass to burn and pollute the watershed.

Warm-season grasses have their most vigorous growth during the summer months. At this time of year, the nutrients that are included in fertilizer assist the grass plant in producing dense and lush turf. On the other hand, warm-season grasses can be fertilized prior to the beginning of high temperatures in early summer. This is possible since warm-season grasses grow throughout the year.

Late in the summer, when the heat of the day is beginning to decrease, the second application of fertilizer should be applied to the garden so that it is ready for autumn. With the use of slow-release granular fertilizers, warm-season grasses may be kept in good condition throughout the whole growing season.


Fertilizer should be applied in the spring for warm-season grasses, but if you want a healthy lawn throughout the summer, you should do it in October. The spring is the optimum time to apply fertilizer. 

An autumn fertilizer not only helps other grasses recover from the heat of summer but also restores any brown spots that may have appeared on your lawn. You should apply fertilizer in the fall if you want your grass to have a strong root system.

This may be accomplished by following the directions on the package, i.e., spreading between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds of nitrogen every 1,000 square feet. If you have Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass, sandy soil, or if you don’t recycle your grass clippings, you should apply a lawn fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. In the latter stages of the growing season, many experienced gardeners suggest using a granular fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and phosphorus throughout the fall months.


However, there are a few ways of coping with the cold weather that the majority of homes don’t have to worry about. These measures are often unnecessary. Your grass enters a state known as dormancy throughout the winter, which means it stops growing at this time. However, this does not mean you are unable to do any damage. Walking on ice or snow-covered lawns may cause damage to the grass blades and compact the soil, both of which are undesirable outcomes.

The majority of grasses become dormant over the winter, making fertilizer completely ineffective for them. Dormancy in warm-season grasses breaks in the late winter in certain parts of the country, but only in those regions. 

During the winter, you may choose to feed your grass to assist it in recovering from the nutrient deficiency it suffered during the extreme cold season. You will know if it’s time if the daily temperatures continue to be in the 70s.

When the soil is wet, it becomes more difficult for water and nutrients to reach the lawn as it regrows, which may lead to the growth of weeds and the death of grass. If you have damaged the natural defenses of the plants by breaking their grass blades, this may cause the spring regeneration to be delayed.

Instead of using urea as the source of nitrogen in your fertilizer, consider using ammonium nitrate instead. Because there is a less bacterial activity in the soil during the winter months, urea is more resistant to being broken down.

How Often Do You Need To Fertilize Your Grass?

How Often Do You Need To Fertilize Your Grass

Both the environment where you live and the kind of grass that you have will influence the quantity and sort of fertilizer you should apply to your lawn. Fertilizing should be done in the fall for grasses requiring a chilly growing season, whereas fertilizing should be done in the spring for grasses with a warm growing season. Fertilization of warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia, centipede, and buffalo, should take place in the spring.

Other types of warm-season grasses should also get fertilization at this time. The frequency of fertilizer applications should range from every six to eight weeks and be based on the amount of rainfall that your lawn gets.

Maintain a close watch on the state of your lawn’s health. If the plant seems to have enough nutrition, further feeding is not required. If you see that your grass is starting to look brown or even black, give it a good feeding.

Also Read: How Long Does Fertilizer Take to Work? All You Need to Know

How Often is Too Often or Being Overdosed?

How Often is Too Often or Being Overdosed

You should apply fertilizer to your lawn once or twice a year in order to keep it looking green and healthy on a regular basis. Although the surrounding environment does play a part, the kind of grass you have is the primary factor that determines when and how much fertilizer you should apply.

The last thing that your grass needs are for you to overfeed it. Your turf grass won’t benefit from it in the long term, and the ecosystem that it’s a part of might be negatively impacted. The months of spring and summer, when your grass is at its most active, are the greatest times to apply fertilizer to your lawn because of this growth period.

Cool-Season Grass

The term cool-season grass refers to a group of grasses that are often used for turf. Some examples of cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, bent grass, tall fescue, and fine fescue. It is ideal for fertilizing these types of grass in the fall since this is the optimal time of year to stimulate their development over the winter.

If it seems like your lawn may need a second application of fertilizer somewhere between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, you should apply it. When the grass is healthy, it is unusual for there to be a need for a second application of fertilizer.

Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses enter a state of dormancy during the winter months and spend the bulk of their growing season during the spring and summer months. These include buffalo grass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, and St. Augustine grass.

The beginning of the summer, when warm-season grasses are at their most vigorous growth, is the ideal time to apply fertilizer to these plants. In the event that it is necessary, they may be fertilized one more time in August.

Impacts of Environmental Issues on Fertilizing

A few factors need to be kept in mind when applying fertilizer to get the greatest results. Similar to how there are times when you should use fertilizers, there are also times when you shouldn’t. 

There are two situations to avoid when it comes to avoiding scenarios that are connected to the weather and fertilization. If you want the greatest possible outcomes, you should refrain from fertilizing your lawn as long as these circumstances exist.

  • Do Not Fertilize During a Drought: You shouldn’t apply fertilizer to your lawn during dry seasons, although it could be struggling due to the lack of moisture. Your lawn has to be watered often in order for fertilizer to work effectively, and if circumstances remain dry for an extended period of time, the grass’s surface may burn, and its growth may slow down. In areas where droughts are a serious concern, it is customary for local governments to impose restrictions on the number of times a week that residents are permitted to water their lawns.
  • Don’t Fertilize After or Before Heavy Rain: Heavy rains may be the cause of a variety of environmental problems, including soil erosion, soil compaction, pooling water, and saturated areas. It will be necessary to drain the water elsewhere, resulting in the fertilizer you would have spread being diluted and removed from your yard.

Also Read: Can You Put Down Grass Seed and Fertilizer Together at the Same Time?

Frequently Asked Questions:

When it comes to fertilizing the grass, is it better to do so before or after it has rained?

The day after it rains is the best time to apply fertilizer to a garden or field. The fertilizer may be washed away before it can perform the function for which it was intended if there is a significant amount of moisture.

What happens if you over-fertilize your lawn?

A build-up of nitrogen and salt levels in the soil may result if you apply an excessive amount of fertilizer to your lawn. This may cause damage to or even lead to the death of your turf’s root system. Burnt or yellowed grass may be identified by the color of its tips, which may be brown or yellow.

How will I know when the right time is to fertilize my lawn?

For the majority of types of grass, you should fertilize your lawn when the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. In the majority of the United States, this occurs sometime around the middle of the month of April.

Fertilizing during this time would result in a good result. It’s possible to measure this by using soil temperatures or by observing the flowering of springtime plants like lilacs.

What is the best time of year to fertilize the lawn?

The ideal time of year to apply fertilizer varies greatly depending on where you live in the world. If you live in a warmer climate, February may be the month, but if you live somewhere colder, April could be the month. The ideal time to get started is as soon as the grass starts to grow and seems to be in need of a first cutting. This is the period when it is easiest to get started.

How soon after sowing can you apply fertilizer to your lawn?

There are moments before and during planting when you should apply fertilizer, and there are times after when you should not use fertilizer. Utilize a starter fertilizer with quick-release nitrogen since this will give the seedlings a nutritional boost as they begin to grow. When the seed is planted in an area prepared with fertilizer, the grass may grow more quickly and thicker.

How often should you water after fertilizing your lawn?

If you have just applied liquid fertilizer to your lawn, you should refrain from watering it for at least two to four hours. Immediately saturate the soil with water after applying granular fertilizer. There is, however, an important exception to take into account. If you water the area before the spot weed treatments have had a chance to dry, the weed killer will be washed away before it has the opportunity to do its work.

What is the best time of day to apply fertilizer to your lawn?

Let’s start with the situations when it is not a good idea to fertilize your lawn. It is not a good idea to fertilize your lawn while the sun is beating down on it since it might burn the grass. The late afternoon or early evening is often considered to be the best time to apply fertilizer to a lawn.

Of course, every lawn is unique in its own way. If you have a canopy of trees over your property that provides shade, you may be able to adjust the frequency with which you apply fertilizer.


When it comes to fertilizing your lawn, the answer often depends on how much time and money you are ready to invest in maintaining it. After determining the time of year that is optimal for fertilizing, the next most important step is to choose the appropriate day of the week. The best time to apply fertilizer is the day after a significant amount of water or a significant amount of rain has poured on the ground.

If you want the best results, you should use a delayed-release fertilizer since it provides greater nutrition over a longer period of time. After you have spread fertilizer on your grass, you should water the area just enough so that the fertilizer is washed into the ground.

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