When to Fertilize Grass – Know the Timing!

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Lush, green grass is a sign that you care about your yard. If you have grass, you want it to be as vibrant as possible and not a dull brown, which is why it is so important to fertilize it.

When to fertilize grass: Grass fertilizer is a mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and gives your lawn much-needed nutrients. As your grass continues to grow, it will quickly deplete what is in the soil, which is why you need to keep feeding it. Complete your first round of fertilization in the spring, after the snow has melted and the ground starts to warm up. Then, repeat the step every six to eight weeks. Your final fertilization should be in late fall before it starts to grow. Apply the fertilizer in an even manner to avoid burning the lawn. Water well afterward to allow the nutrients to seep into the soil and be absorbed by the grassroots.

Benefits of Fertilizing Grass

Less weeds

Weeds are the bane of any homeowner and you don’t want unwanted guests popping up into your manicured lawn. With stronger root systems, your grass will grow thicker, thus preventing weeds from growing.

Resistance to disease

Even grass can develop disease and a proper fertilizer will help against this. If your grass has all the nutrients it needs, then there is less chance that diseases can take hold.

Better growth

Again, if your grass has its nutrients, it will be able to grow better, longer, and thicker. The overall look is a lush view that is soft under your feet.

How do you fertilize grass?

Fertilizing your grass is relatively simple. However, you want to make sure it is done in an even manner.

Step 1 – Purchase your fertilizer

There are many types of lawn fertilizers, so this step may be harder than you thought. You will want to choose between a simple fertilizer or one that also has grass seed in case you want to over-seed your lawn.

You should look for important variables such as the right climate and sun exposure so that it matches your present environment.

Some grass fertilizers have different ratios of nutrients. The main ingredients are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and they work in different ways.

Nitrogen is responsible for making your grass look tall and green. As for phosphorus, it is responsible for making grassroots healthy and strong. Finally, potassium is responsible for drought resistance.

You can certainly purchase an all-around grass fertilizer to make things easier. Or, if you know there is a particular issue, you can purchase a product that is made for one purpose.

Step 2 – Measure

This step involves a bit of math but it’s ok if you have to guesstimate a bit. On the package, you will find a list of square footage and the corresponding amount of fertilizer.

Measure your lawn size and then take a measuring cup for the fertilizer. It’s important not to use much, as that can have serious consequences.

Step 3 – Spread out

Now, you may be tempted to just start spreading fertilizer with your hands but a much more effective method is with an actual spreader. This will release the fertilizer in an even manner over your whole yard.

Try not to overlap as you make multiple passes. Think of it as mowing the lawn and going back and forth from one side of your grass to the other.

If you have a well or a stream, you want to leave at least 20 feet of the room as you don’t want any fertilizer to get into a water source.

Step 4 – Water

After your spread your fertilizer evenly over your grass, you want to give it good water. Set up a sprinkling system so that there is a steady supply of water to really soak into the grass,

Water helps loosen up the soil so that the fertilizer can penetrate into the roots and your grass gets all of the advantages of it.

How often should I fertilize grass?

The grass is constantly growing and if it doesn’t have enough nutrients, this growth can quickly become impaired. Therefore, you need to continually fertilize it.

Ideally, you should fertilize your grass every six to eight weeks. Start in the early spring once any winter snow has melted. Then, continue until the late fall, just before it starts to snow once again.

This will result in three to four times a year when you fertilize, depending on the climate you live in.

Signs of over-fertilizing grass

You can indeed over-fertilize your grass so always make sure you follow the instructions on your package. Usually, over-fertilization happens in patches so be on the lookout for these signs.

To fix these issues, water plenty to break up the fertilizer and if need be, add a thin layer of soil to help the fertilizer work its way through.

  • Brown or yellow tips
  • Limp roots that are also blackened
  • No growth after you fertilize
  • Fertilizer cust on the surface of the soil

When is it too late to fertilize grass?

Fertilizer only works when the dirt your grass grows in can absorb the nutrients. If the fertilizer is just sitting on top of the soil and stays there, the roots of your grass don’t receive any benefits.

Once a hard frost sets in and your ground starts to freeze, it is too late to fertilize your grass. The ground will simply be too hard to get any benefits out of the process and you’ll just waste your money in the endeavor.

If you want to sneak one last fertilizer session in, during the late fall, take a look at the weather forecast. As long as the next week is above freezing temperatures, the ground will still be warm enough to absorb the goodness.


You should aim to fertilize your grass every six to eight weeks. Wait until the soil thaws in the spring and stop before the first snowfall in the winter. With proper care, your grass will be a lush green.

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