Maintaining a nice garden lawn in your backyard or front yard isn’t a “fix it and forget it” kind of deal. It takes a little love and care and a green fingered touch.
Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself particularly green fingered. You can easily learn the ropes just by reading a few articles like this one.
One of the questions we’re often asked is how often to apply fertilizer to a lawn. So that’s what we’re going to tackle in this article today, along with a couple of other relevant FAQs.
It’s important to regularly apply fertilizer to your lawn, so that the nutrients in the soil are properly replenished as the original nutrients start to slowly be depleted.
But exactly when and how often to feed your lawn with fertilizer depends on a number of different factors.
Table of Contents
Key Factor In Determining How Often To Apply Fertilizer
The key factor in determining how often to apply fertilizer, depends almost entirely on what brand of fertilizer you choose to use.
Some fertilizer brands for example, specialize in providing starter food for new grass, and they are designed to be applied just once.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, you can get brands of fertilizer that you’re meant to apply once every 3 weeks initially.
Many fertilizer brands also specify a number of maximum applications over the year, and some brands can reach a maximum as high as 8 times per year.
Other factors in determining how often to apply fertilizer to your lawn
Despite there being so much variation between the way that different brands of fertilizer work, we can still make some generalizations.
For example, you should of course always apply fertilizer when seeding a brand-new lawn.
Always Apply Fertilizer in the Growing Season
Other than that most of your fertilizing should ideally take place during the growing season.
In other words, you will need to fertilize your lawn more frequently during late spring and early summer than during the late summer and early fall/autumn. And you should avoid fertilizing the grass altogether in the winter.
This is because the grass is more active in some seasons than others, and when the rate of grass growth is at its fastest, it will need that bit more supply of nutrients to help it to flourish.
Granular Fertilizers Vs Liquid Fertilizers
Granular lawn feed as the name suggests is composed of granules of fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer on the other hand consists of a water soluble particles that mix with water to form a liquid solution.
Liquid fertilizers get absorbed almost immediately, directly through the roots and leaves. And Depending on the quality of the lawn beforehand, you may need to apply the liquid fertilizer about once or twice a month.
Some granular fertilizers on the other hand will only require two applications per year, and this is because they release their nutritional value to the soil far more slowly than their liquid fertilizer counterparts.
Before we go onto our FAQ section, I just want to wrap up what we’ve discussed so far. The best plan for fertilizing your lawn is to decide on a really good brand of fertilizer, stick to your decision, and follow their suggested instructions to the letter.
Can You Overfeed A Lawn?
Unfortunately it is possible to overfeed a lawn with fertilizer.
If you apply too much fertilizer, a significant amount could leach through the soil and make its way into precious groundwater, and cause environmental pollution through the phosphorus in the fertilizer.
Moreover, if you were to overfeed grass with fertilizer, the grass could start to take on a strange bluey green color, and the leaves of grass will grow only at the expense of the roots underneath. This is not good. It means that you will have to water your lawn more frequently.
Or you could get lawn burn, where brown or yellow patches of grass will appear on your lawn in the areas that have had too much nitrogen. The excess nitrogen effectively kills off the grass, and you will have to reseed.
If in any doubt about how often to feed your lawn to avoid under-or overfeeding, simply refer to our instructions earlier in the article.
Should You Seed Or Fertilize Your Lawn First?
If you are seeding a brand new lawn, most landscaping professionals agree that it’s always best to fertilize the soil first before planting or sowing any seeds. Best practice is to spread the fertilizer just prior to sowing the seeds.
It is not recommended to apply the fertilizer and the seeds together. Not only can this cause an uneven distribution, and result in patchy areas, but you could also cause seedlings to burn from excess fertilizer.