Why Fall is Great for Fertilizing Lawns

Why Fall Is Great For Fertilizing

You might think spring when you think fertilizer, but experts say if you only do it once a year, fall is the time to feed your lawn. Autumn, with its cool temperatures and soaking rains, is a great time to get your lawn ready to be green and healthy in the spring. As the weather gets cooler, your grass grows more slowly, but there’s plenty of action beneath the ground. The roots are growing quickly. That means they’re hungry. Fertilize in the fall and you give those roots nutrients to grow nice and deep. Your lawn will germinate quicker in the spring and become more resistant to disease and drought.

fertilizing lawn in fall

What Type Of Fertilizer To Use

Bare with us while we do a quick numbers lesson. You’ve likely seen the three-number fertilizer formula. The common 5-10-5, for instance. The first number represents nitrogen, which promotes lawn blade and foliage growth; the second number stands for phosphorus, which helps root growth; and the third for potassium, which promotes cell function and absorption of trace elements.

For this important fall feeding, apply a fertilizer with a formula of 13-25-12.  The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December. By helping roots grow before winter sets in, you help ensure that the lawn will green up quicker in the spring and become more resistant to disease and drought. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended rate of application.

When Should I Fall Fertilize In Carmel?

You need to be a bit of a weather forecaster — or at least keep your eye on the forecast. You should apply fall lawn fertilizer two to three weeks before the ground freezes so that the nutrients are available before the freeze and after the thaw. In general, here in the midwest, shoot for mid-October.

Is Weed Control Important in the Fall?

September and October are the best months to control perennial broadleaf weeds like dandelions and clover.  As weeds prepare for winter, they pull nutrients and starches from their leaves into their roots. They also draw herbicides into their root systems in the process, thus more effectively killing the weed. During September, grasses grow rapidly in the cool fall weather, and with less competition from germinating weeds will quickly fill in the bare spots created after the weeds die.

Should I Water The Lawn Before Or After Fertilizing?

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 3.40.08 PMBoth. A day or two before applying fertilizer, water your lawn thoroughly. Wait until the grass is dry, then apply the fertilizer. Then, lightly water again. This second watering washes fertilizer off the grass blades and into the soil.

Expecting rain? You can time your fertilizer application between rainfalls to let the rain wash fertilizer into soil, as long as you’re not expecting a real downpour. You don’t want all that great fertilizer just washing away.

Should I Fertilize Before or After Over-Seeding?

If you’re going to over-seed, fall is an excellent time to fertilize. The reason is that your still have the warm soil temperatures from the summer and the cooler air temperatures, so it’s ideal for seed and root growth. Application of fertilizers in the fall can also be of great benefit to established landscapes. With proper use of selected fertilizers and application timing, improved cold hardiness of plant material can be encouraged. Proper fall fertilization can also supply the plants with a reserve of nutrients, which will be drawn upon during the following spring awakening. Fall is the best time to put in a new lawn.

Should I Mow Before Or After Fertilizing?

The best plan is to apply fertilizer after the lawn has been mowed so it has a few days to absorb the fertilizer.

Leave The Fall Fertilizing To GreenLawn by Design

GreenLawn by Design Lawn Care experts know all about fall fertilizing. And everything else your lawn needs: over-seeding, aeration, organic lawn care, weed control, pest control. We do it all.

Your relationship with GreenLawn by Design begins with a free lawn care analysis. We’ll take a walk around your property to get a sense of exactly what your lawn needs.

Give us a call 317-804-8088 Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.