When to Start Fertilizing in Spring

Spring marks an eventful time in lawn maintenance, particularly for warm-season grasses emerging from winter dormancy. Fertilizing during this period is essential to provide the necessary nutrients to support your grass through its active growing season.

Fertilizing in spring replenishes the soil with nutrients lost in previous seasons. It ensures a continuous supply of nourishment, setting the foundation for a healthier and more resilient lawn. Following the winter season, lawns may lose some of their vibrancy, and the harsh, cold weather may have also damaged your grass—and a spring fertilizer application not only accelerates the green revival of your lawn but also aids in the recovery of areas affected by the rigors of the lower temperatures.

Is Spring a Good Time to Apply Lawn Fertilizers?

As soil temperatures begin to warm, your lawn will start to green up with new growth. This period also presents an opportunity for fertilizing your grass, as it creates optimal conditions that maximize nutrient uptake among plants, ensuring your lawn receives the necessary nourishment for healthy growth.

But When is the Best Time to Apply Spring Fertilizer?

Many homeowners apply the initial round of grass fertilizer in mid-spring, right as the grass emerges from dormancy and starts displaying signs of vigorous growth. It is followed by one or two more applications throughout the growing season.

We advise against applying fertilizer too early in the season because, during this time, the grass focuses on developing and strengthening its root system rather than leaf growth. Applying fertilizer too soon may prematurely encourage leaf development at the expense of the roots, potentially compromising the overall health and stability of your lawn.

Moreover, an early spring fertilizer application can result in too much fertilizer on the grass. When the grass is not actively growing, it may struggle to absorb the nutrients effectively. This excess fertilizer, along with the lack of active growth, increases the risk of nutrient leaching, which can be detrimental to the environment.


What is the Best Fertilizer for Grass?

Over time, the nutrients in your lawn become depleted as vegetation utilizes them, and fertilizers are a great way to replenish what is lost. The type of fertilizer and how much fertilizer you need depends on the specific requirements of your lawn.

A soil test is a valuable tool to understand its nutrient composition and identify any deficiencies. It also provides insights into the soil pH that can guide you in making necessary amendments, such as adding compost, to naturally balance pH and improve soil health.

Warm-season grasses thrive in slightly acidic soils with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. A high pH, which indicates alkalinity, may reduce your plant's ability to absorb nutrients. Meanwhile, low pH levels, signifying highly acidic soils, limit the availability of essential nutrients like phosphorus and may also lead to aluminum and manganese toxicity.


Final Tips

Timing is essential to maximize the benefits of spring fertilization and ensure your grass grows to its full potential. However, there are other considerations to keep in mind to make the most out of your lawn maintenance efforts.

  • Always read the label before applying fertilizer for recommended usage and specific instructions.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing to prevent issues associated with too much fertilizer—leaf burn, nutrient leaching, and excessive and uneven growth.
  • Work the fertilizer into the soil thoroughly to ensure proper absorption and even distribution of nutrients.
  • Schedule your fertilizer applications based on the type of fertilizer used, whether liquid, granular, or slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, aligning with the spring growing season for optimal results.

Remember these tips on your upcoming spring fertilization schedule and enjoy a dense, healthy lawn throughout its growing season.

How to Fertilize Your Lawn in the Fall

Should You Fertilize in Winter?

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