How and When to Put Fertilizer On Lawn?

How and When to Put Fertilizer On Lawn
13 min reading time

If you’re looking for lush, green grass, fertilizing your lawn is an essential part of lawn care. Fertilizing supplies your lawn with the necessary nutrients to grow and remain healthy throughout the year.

However, it’s important to understand how and when to put fertilizer on your lawn to achieve optimal results. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about fertilizing your lawn, from fertilizing schedules to proper application techniques.

Keep reading to discover our tips and tricks for mastering how and when to put fertilizer on lawn for a healthy and vibrant yard.

Principal Conclusions:

  • Fertilizing your lawn is essential for lush, green grass.
  • Understanding how and when to fertilize is key to achieving optimal results.
  • Proper preparation, application techniques, and watering schedules are important for successful fertilization.
  • Regular fertilizing schedules maintain the overall health of your lawn.
  • Troubleshooting common fertilizer issues can help you maintain a vibrant and healthy lawn.

Understanding Lawn Fertilizer Timing

Timing is fundamental when it comes to applying fertilizer to your lawn. By following the proper fertilizing schedule for your lawn, you can ensure that it remains healthy and vibrant throughout the year.

The Importance of Lawn Fertilizer Timing

Timing is crucial in lawn fertilization because it directly impacts the effectiveness of the fertilizer. Applying fertilizer at the right time allows your lawn to absorb the nutrients it needs to grow, while applying it at the wrong time can lead to wasted fertilizer and potentially harm your lawn.

Fertilizing Schedule for Lawn

So, when is the best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn? The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the type of grass, climate, and soil type. In general, the best time to fertilize your lawn is during the growing season, which typically falls in the spring and fall months. Applying fertilizer during this time provides your lawn with the necessary nutrients to grow and recover from stress.

It’s also important to consider the type of fertilizer you’re using when deciding on a fertilizing schedule. Slow-release fertilizers can be applied less frequently than quick-release fertilizers, which need to be applied more frequently to be effective.

Testing Your Soil

A crucial step in determining the best fertilizing schedule for your lawn is testing your soil to determine its nutrient content. Testing your soil can help you determine the right type of fertilizer to use and the appropriate amount to apply. You can purchase a soil testing kit from a garden center or performing a more detailed test through a professional service.

Creating a Fertilizing Schedule

Once you have determined the best time to fertilize your lawn and the appropriate fertilizer to use, you can create a fertilizing schedule tailored to your lawn’s needs. A typical fertilizing schedule for cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, would consist of fertilizing in the early fall, late fall, and early spring. For warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda grass, fertilizing in late spring, early summer, and early fall is recommended.

Overall, following a consistent fertilizing schedule will help keep your lawn healthy and looking its best year-round.

Choosing the Best Lawn Fertilizer for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting the best lawn fertilizer application, it is essential to consider your lawn’s specific needs. Fertilizers vary in their nutrient composition, release rate, and effectiveness in different soil types.

Fertilizer TypeNutrientsRelease RateSoil Type
GranularNitrogen, phosphorus, potassiumSlow to moderateMost soil types
LiquidNitrogen, phosphorus, potassiumFastSandy soil
SyntheticSynthetic nitrogen, phosphorus, potassiumVarietyAll soil types
OrganicNatural nutrients, including compost, bone meal, and blood mealSlowHeavy clay soil

Before making a decision, it’s important to identify your grass type and its nutrient requirements. For example, warm-season grasses such as Bermuda and Zoysia require higher nitrogen content, while cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescue require more phosphorus and potassium.

It is also essential to consider the release rate and application frequency of fertilizers. Slow-release fertilizers that dissolve gradually over several weeks are ideal for reducing the risk of fertilizer burn and maintaining consistent growth. Liquid fertilizers, on the other hand, are immediately effective but require frequent application.

Finally, consider the type of soil in your lawn when choosing a fertilizer. Sandy soils require frequent watering and nitrogen-rich fertilizers, while heavy clay soils may benefit from organic fertilizers to improve soil structure and drainage.

By considering these factors and consulting with lawn care experts, you can choose the best lawn fertilizer that meets your specific needs and ensures a healthy, vibrant lawn.

Preparing Your Lawn for Fertilizer Application

Before you apply fertilizer to your lawn, proper preparation is essential. Taking the right steps will ensure optimal nutrient absorption and prevent any damage to your lawn. Here are some fertilizing lawn best practices to keep in mind:

  • Mow the lawn: Begin by mowing the lawn to the recommended height for your grass type. This will prevent the fertilizer from getting trapped in long grass and reduce the risk of burning the lawn.
  • Remove debris: Clear the lawn of any debris, such as leaves or sticks, which may hinder the fertilizer’s ability to reach the soil and roots.
  • Test soil pH levels: Test your soil to determine its pH level. The optimal pH for most lawns is between 6 and 7. If your soil pH is too high or too low, adjust it before applying fertilizer.
  • Apply fertilizer: Once your lawn is mowed and cleaned, evenly apply the fertilizer using a spreader. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct application rate and spreader settings.
  • Water the lawn: Finally, water your lawn thoroughly after fertilizing. This will help the nutrients seep into the soil and reach the roots. Avoid over-watering, which can wash away the fertilizer and cause nutrient runoff.

By following these how to fertilize a lawn properly best practices, you can ensure your lawn is ready for fertilization and set it up for success.

Applying Fertilizer: The Dos and Don’ts

Proper fertilization techniques are essential to ensure your lawn thrives. Follow these dos and don’ts to make sure you’re applying fertilizer correctly:

  • Do read the instructions on the fertilizer bag carefully.
  • Do apply fertilizer evenly, using a spreader if necessary.
  • Do not over-apply fertilizer, as it can lead to nutrient burn and damage your lawn
  • Do water your lawn after fertilization to help the nutrients penetrate the soil.
  • Do not fertilize your lawn during a drought or hot weather, as this can cause stress to your lawn.
  • Do wear protective gear, such as gloves and a dust mask, when handling and applying fertilizer.

By following these fertilization techniques, you will help ensure your lawn is healthy and thriving.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fertilizer Spreader

To effectively apply fertilizer to your lawn, you need the right spreader. Here are some factors to consider when selecting one:

Spread PatternDifferent spreaders have different patterns, including drop spreaders, broadcast spreaders, and handheld spreaders. Drop spreaders apply fertilizer directly below the machine, while broadcast spreaders cover a wider area and are best for larger lawns. Handheld spreaders are great for smaller lawns and spot treatments.
CapacityThe size of your lawn will determine the capacity you need in a spreader. Larger lawns require spreaders with bigger hoppers to avoid frequent refilling, while smaller lawns can do with smaller hoppers.
Speed ControlSpeed control allows you to adjust the rate at which fertilizer is spread. This helps avoid over-application and ensures an even distribution of fertilizer across your lawn.
AccuracyThe spreader’s ability to distribute fertilizer evenly is important. Look for spreaders with adjustable flow rates and features that control the spread of fertilizer.

By considering these factors and selecting the right spreader for your lawn, you can achieve optimal fertilizer application and ensure your lawn stays healthy and vibrant.

Watering and Fertilizer: A Vital Combination

Proper watering techniques are just as important as knowing how to fertilize a lawn properly. After applying fertilizer, it’s essential to water your lawn thoroughly to ensure the nutrients are absorbed properly. Watering also helps to prevent fertilizer burn, which occurs when the fertilizer is not diluted enough and causes damage to the grass blades.

The best time to water your lawn after fertilization is early morning or late afternoon, as this is when the temperatures are cooler and the moisture can be absorbed more effectively. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, as the water may evaporate before it’s absorbed by the grass roots.

When watering your lawn after fertilization, it’s crucial to use the right technique. Instead of a light sprinkle, apply a deep watering that penetrates the soil to a depth of at least six inches. This will ensure the fertilizer reaches the roots, where it can be absorbed effectively.

Fertilizing lawn best practices include avoiding over-watering, as this can lead to nutrient leaching and waste. A general rule of thumb is to water your lawn deeply and infrequently, rather than shallow and often. This encourages the grass roots to grow deeper and develop a more extensive root system, which helps to create a lush and healthy lawn.

Maintaining a Fertilizing Schedule

How and When to Put Fertilizer On Lawn

Consistency is key when it comes to fertilizing your lawn. By creating and sticking to a fertilizing schedule, you can maintain the overall health and lushness of your lawn.

When it comes to figuring out how often to fertilize, it’s important to consider a few factors, such as the type of grass you have, the climate in your area, and the time of year. Generally, it’s recommended to fertilize your lawn every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

To create a fertilizing schedule, start by determining the first date of fertilization based on your grass type and location. You can then calculate the subsequent fertilization dates based on your desired schedule.

Lawn Care Tips for a Fertilizing Schedule

  • Mark down your fertilizing schedule on a calendar to keep track of when to apply fertilizer
  • Water your lawn before and after fertilization to ensure proper absorption
  • Avoid fertilizing during periods of drought or extreme heat
  • Adjust your fertilizing schedule as needed based on weather conditions and the appearance of your lawn

By following these lawn care tips and establishing a fertilizing schedule, you can ensure that your lawn remains healthy and vibrant throughout the year.

Troubleshooting Fertilizer Issues

While fertilizing your lawn is a crucial step in maintaining its health and vibrant green color, sometimes problems can arise, even when you’ve done everything right. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you tackle the most common fertilizer issues:

  • If your lawn has yellow spots after fertilization, it could be due to over-application. Avoid applying too much fertilizer, as this can burn your grass and damage it. Alternatively, if you notice a general yellowing of your lawn, it may indicate that it needs more nitrogen.
  • If your grass’s growth is stunted or seems to be growing unevenly, it could be due to an incorrect fertilizer application schedule. Ensure that you’re applying fertilizer regularly, based on the needs of your particular lawn, and that you’re not over or under-applying it.
  • If you notice that your grass has developed brown patches following fertilizer application, this may indicate that you’ve applied fertilizer during excessively hot weather. Avoid fertilizing during periods of extreme heat, as this can cause your grass to burn and wilt.
  • If your grass is not growing at all, despite proper fertilization, it may be due to a lack of water, nutrients in the soil, or sunlight. Address these issues by watering your lawn adequately, testing your soil’s nutrient levels, or increasing the amount of sunlight it receives, respectively.

By following these tips and troubleshooting any issues that arise, you can ensure that your lawn remains healthy and vibrant, with a lush green color all through the year.

Remember to follow proper fertilization techniques and maintain a regular fertilizing schedule. By doing so, you’ll keep your lawn in top shape, giving it the nutrients it requires to remain healthy and beautiful.


Caring for your lawn can be a tedious task, but by following these lawn care tips, you can achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn. By mastering how and when to apply fertilizer, you can ensure that your lawn remains lush and green throughout the year.

Remember to establish a regular fertilizing schedule to maintain the overall health of your lawn. By doing so, you can avoid common issues that may arise with improper feeding.


How often should I fertilize my lawn?

The frequency of lawn fertilization depends on various factors such as grass type, climate, and soil conditions. As a general guideline, most lawns benefit from fertilization every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

How do I know which fertilizer is best for my lawn?

Choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn can be determined by factors such as grass type, soil composition, and specific nutrient needs. Conducting a soil test or consulting with a lawn care professional can help determine the best fertilizer for your lawn.

Can I fertilize my lawn during the winter?

Fertilizing during winter is generally not recommended. Most lawns are in a dormant state during this time and do not require additional nutrients. It’s best to wait until the spring when the grass is actively growing to apply fertilizer.

Should I water my lawn after applying fertilizer?

Yes, it is essential to water your lawn after applying fertilizer. This helps to activate the nutrients and ensure proper absorption into the soil. Watering also helps to prevent fertilizer burn and distribute the nutrients evenly.

Can I over-fertilize my lawn?

Yes, over-fertilizing can harm your lawn. It can lead to excessive growth, weak roots, and an increased risk of disease. Always follow the recommended application rates and avoid applying more fertilizer than necessary.

What is the best time of day to fertilize my lawn?

It is recommended to fertilize your lawn in the early morning or late afternoon. This allows the fertilizer to be absorbed before the heat of the day and reduces the risk of fertilizer burn.

Should I mow my lawn before applying fertilizer?

Yes, it is best to mow your lawn before applying fertilizer. This ensures that the fertilizer reaches the soil and grass blades effectively. Additionally, mowing helps to remove any debris or clippings that may hinder proper fertilizer absorption.

How long should I wait to let my pets or children play on the lawn after fertilizing?

It is generally recommended to keep pets and children off the lawn for 24-48 hours after fertilizing. This allows ample time for the fertilizer to be absorbed and reduces the risk of contact irritation.

Can I use a regular spreader for applying fertilizer?

Yes, a regular spreader can be used for applying fertilizer. However, for more precise and even application, consider using a rotary or drop spreader specifically designed for lawn fertilizer.

What should I do if I accidentally spill fertilizer on a certain area of my lawn?

If you accidentally spill fertilizer on a specific area of your lawn, it’s important to act quickly. Remove the excess fertilizer and water the area thoroughly to dilute any potential excess nutrients.

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