If your lawn is going dormant in the summer, it may be too hot to mow the lawn – or not necessary, at the least. What do the letters on the fertilizer bag mean? It’s pretty simple! World rights reserved. There are several easy ways to help you figure out the right spreader setting. What we’re talking about here is lawn fertilizing — how to do it, when to do it, how often to do it, and so much more. If you’ve struggled in the past to maintain a lush, green lawn and you find yourself eyeballing your neighbor’s with envy, it’s time to turn those tables. The first application of fertilizer should be made after the second or third mowing. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t potentially dangerous chemicals. If it has just rained, it is best to wait until things dry out to apply fertilizer to your lawn. Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed, for example, kills over 50 types of weeds (including dandelion and clover) while feeding your lawn. If you live in the North, another option is to use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action, which both kills and prevents weeds while nourishing your grass. 3. It is wise to be wary of fertilizing your lawn during hot weather. 2. My Lawn App by Scotts helps simplify your lawn care. A layer of thatch of about 3/4 inch is ideal because it prevents the plant from being crushed and prevents plants from becoming too hot, cold, wet or dry. Applying fertilizer too late can leave the grass less able to combat cold weather, and feeding it too early can cause the rapid growth of cool-season weeds; a nightmare for a warm-season lawn. Use straight, slightly overlapping lines to ensure good coverage. Besides, if you fertilize in fall, the lawn doesn’t need another application until later in the spring, anyway. And because most Scotts® Lawn Food products have Scotts® All-In-One Particles®, they give your lawn an even distribution of nutrients every time you apply it—helping your grass avoid the feast-or-famine, green-to-brown rollercoaster every couple of weeks that you’d experience with poor quality fertilizers. Water your lawn a few days before fertilizing so your soil is ready to accept the fertilizer. Always follow the instructions for application on the package label. Turf growth slows during the stress of hot mid-summer weather and picks up again in late summer as things cool down a bit. I generally apply a second application of fertilizer to my lawn around the 4th of July. Just download the My Lawn App to help you keep track. Fertilizing during the hot months of summer can damage your lawn. A soil test would tell you if you need any phosphorus or potash (potassium). We’re here to help. If you get over-eager and think “If a little fertilizer is good, then a lot of fertilizer is better,” let us save you from yourself. Clumpy fertilizer hasn't lost its effectiveness. It depends on the fertilizer. Insect damage can look like an irrigation issue but adding additional water will do nothing … As a rule of thumb, it is better to apply to little fertilizer than too much. To ensure optimal health, fertilize heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.. What is the best fertilizer for lawns? How long after fertilizing should I wait to water my lawn? When it comes to feeding your lawn, timing matters. A fertilizer burn is an unsightly discoloration or death of the grass. By the way, a 20-5-10 lawn fertilizer is a good basic mix to use in spring. Over-fertilizing at any time, especially with newly seeded lawns, can actually damage your grass — and that is no way to win the Yard of the Month award. While you technically could use lawn fertilizer in the garden, it’s not ideal. Be sure that it also contains 2% phosphorus or less in accordance with Florida State Law. Those letters stand for the nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). If you (or a client) have used too much fertilizer, then there are some steps which you can take to promote the grass to return to health. How long do I need to keep kids and pets off the lawn after fertilizing? © 2002-2020 The Scotts Company LLC. Your lawn is just the same. The numbers you see on the bag (32-0-4, for example) let you know the percentage of the N, P, and K (by weight) that’s in the bag. Absolutely. That’s how you get lush grass blades that can take a beating from heat, sun, and all the foot traffic you can throw at it, and still look like a glorious green carpet. Visit How to Choose Lawn Products and Spreaders for more info and specific lawn food recommendations. Using too much of certain types of fertilizers can actually hurt more than it helps, so don’t take a “more is more” approach without doing your research. Do I need to mow, rake, or aerate my lawn before or after fertilizing it? However, if you have a sprinkler system and water is available, summer fertilization can be beneficial. Failing to do so will cause the fertilizer to be spread too thin in some spots and too thick in others. How much fertilizer should I use? Most lawn care experts will recommend that using slightly less fertilizer than you need is much safer than overusing too much. The Ways You Can Over Fertilize. You’ll definitely want to check the weather before you plan to apply fertilizer—if rain or a heavy snowfall is in the forecast, you'll want to wait for another day. If you have a newly seeded, sodded, or plugged lawn, you’ll want to use Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass right after seeding or laying sod. 3. If you’re applying a weed-and-feed product like Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed, though, you may need to apply to wet grass to help the particles adhere to the weeds for best results. But because the thatch is hydrophobic, if it becomes too thick, it is an ideal shelter for diseases and insects that will damage your lawn. As for the deepest winter months, there’s no benefit to feeding your lawn at that time of the year in most areas of the country, as the grass is dormant from the cold weather. Ready to get cracking? Lawn fertilizer keeps best under cool, dry conditions. Just follow these steps: 1. Is there a best time of day to apply fertilizer? Ideally, you’ll want to mow and rake before fertilizing, so that excess lawn waste is removed and the fertilizer will have an easier time reaching the soil. This depends upon whether you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass. If your lawn is still green and growing, make sure your lawn has received adequate moisture the week before you feed. While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily. That’s right, both the weeds and the garden plants bite the dust. Try one of these: ● Visit the product information page for your particular fertilizer on Scotts.com and look for the guidelines in the “Spreader Settings” under the “Learn” tab; ● Or, read the spreader settings guidelines on the product package. The best lawn fertilizer for a thriving lawn depends on the kind of grass you have. Weed Control– Apply a pre-emergent herbicide before weeds even appear. After you’ve figured out the right food to give your lawn, it’s essential to figure out how much fertilizer to apply and carry out that application in a careful, even manner. Always follow any watering restrictions in your area. If a lawn receives too much nitrogen, a great amount of stress may occur and will typically result in a fertilizer burn. 1. Not only will it help your grass grow 35 percent quicker and 70 percent thicker than new lawns that haven’t been fed, but you can also use it on all grass types. Next, you’ll need to determine if you have other needs, like insect or weed control, because many Scotts® products address multiple issues at once. Fertilize cool season grasses after the heat of the summer is over, since their growing season gets under way in early fall. And you know those weeds you hate? Watering the lawn at the right time is the key to healthy lawns in hot summers. The highest number for lawn fertilizers will usually be the “N”—after all, growing green grass is the ultimate goal, right? Safe for use on most grass types, the all-season fertilizer is high in nitrogen (with a 29-0-3 NPK ratio) and covers up to 2,000 square feet of lawn per bottle. Your best bet? /en-us/library/lawn-food/questions-people-ask-most-about-lawn-fertilizing, https://www.scotts.com/sites/g/files/oydgjc106/files/styles/large/public/asset_images/090519_AS_BS_0132%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=U2i9bQKz, Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action, Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food For New Grass, Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action Built For Seeding, Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick'R LawnTM Sun & Shade, Important Lawn Maintenance Projects for the Fall, Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass, How to Choose Lawn Products and Spreaders. Harold Deines, Greenville. That’s important because the cool-season grasses that grow in the North benefit from a different type of fertilizer than the warm-season grasses found in the South. Insects. The optimal growing period for warm-season grasses is late spring and summer, when temperatures average 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If your soil doesn’t drain well, then the fertilizer can build up and cause problems such as root burn. As much as it needs water, it also needs additional nutrients to survive, and lawn fertilizer supplies those nutrients. Nitrogen is needed for green leafy top growth, but if too much is applied or if it's applied on a hot summer day without watering it in, the lawn may be damaged. Too much fertilizer on hot days can cause fertilizer burn. Does Scotts offer a money back guarantee on fertilizer? The best time to fertilize your lawn is when the grass is actively growing, and for cool-season grasses, that’s when temperatures are 60 to 70 degrees F. For warm-season grasses, active growth will usually happen when temperatures are between 75 and 85 degrees F. If you live in an area where grass goes brown during the summer, you’ll want to avoid fertilizing it while it’s dormant. Think of lawn fertilizer this way: No matter how many glasses of seltzer you drink, you can’t live on it—you need to tuck into a few good meals each day, too. We believe in our products and want you to have that same confidence. Your best bet is to fertilize your newly seeded or overseeded lawn with Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass directly after seeding. When feeding your plants in the summer, cut back to about 20% of how much fertilizer you would usually provide during spring or fall. It’s important to know how various products affect your lawn. And finally, choosing the right fertilizer depends upon the time of year you are applying it, as grass has different needs during each season. If your lawn’s soil pH is too low or too high, the fertilizer you use may not work very well. This typically is during May and early June. If it starts to look dry, then water. Ask an Expert is made up of groups and individual experts. In humid conditions, however, it absorbs moisture from the air and forms clumps. Removal . Extra fertilizer in the heat can burn the lawn and the extra flush of growth may have difficulties in the summer heat. Know When to Fertilize. Soil pH values above 7.5 will require soil sulfur or a lawn fertilizer containing sulfur to bring the pH down. Calculating the Amount. Treatments that kill actively-growing weeds can hurt your grass as it comes out of dormancy. For more information, check out How to Aerate & Dethatch Your Lawn. Whether you're feeding, seeding, or battling weeds, Scotts has the right product for your lawn. The first, and most important, is to remove as much of the fertilizer as you can. A light rain or snow after you apply the fertilizer won't hurt, but a downpour the next day could wash the fertilizer away. For instance, over-fertilizing when it’s too hot can burn your grass. Whether you are just starting out, maintaining or troubleshooting, you'll find advice and answers here for all your lawn care needs. I’m attaching an article from MSU Extension which explains summer lawn care. If you live there, you'll see both warm- … Guess what happens when you use those in your garden? When is it too hot or too cold to apply fertilizer to my lawn? How long after reseeding or overseeding my lawn should I wait before fertilizing? 4. You’ll start to see results anywhere from 1 to 5 days afterward, depending upon the type of fertilizer you use. ... Too hot for fertilizer? Fertilize cool-season … Another reason to avoid using lawn fertilizer in the garden is that many lawn fertilizers also contain ingredients meant to kill weeds. Keep in mind, too, that you never want to put fertilizer on frozen ground because the grass won’t absorb it. To apply the proper amount of fertilizer to a turf area, use a broadcast or drop spreader. Even though cool-season grasses stay green, avoid fertilizing during the heat of midsummer. You can, hopefully, avoid runoff by checking the weather forecast before you fertilize. Following the directions on the bag, pour the fertilizer into your spreader and adjust the spreader settings. Southern zones have warm-season grasses, while northern zones have cool-season grasses. Step 1 Fertilize your lawn on a day where temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit and conditions are slightly overcast. They’ll stand much less of a chance in a lawn that is well-fed. Unlike established lawns, new grass benefits from extra phosphorus, an essential plant nutrient that supports strong, deep roots. In the absence of soil test information, apply a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 2-1-1 ratio at a rate equivalent to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. How do I kill or prevent weeds while fertilizing my lawn? Fertilizers consist mainly of naturally occurring compounds. Bob Vila says that it helps to know whether you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass when you are trying to figure out the right lawn fertilizer schedule. Looking for some answers when it comes to feeding your lawn? Bermudagrass is dormant when temps are below 65 degrees. If you would like to be specific, water the hot spots (spots that get dry faster than the rest of the lawn) and then wait for the rest of the lawn to dry out. Extra fertilizer in the heat can burn the lawn and the extra flush of growth may have difficulties in the summer heat. Use your lawn mower for weed management if you missed you… What temperature is too cold to fertilize lawn? Check the package directions! Top Tip to Mowing the Lawn When It’s Hot. Have a hard time remembering? How do I know which spreader setting to use? Feeding is important to maintaining a great lawn. How to Treat an Over-fertilized Lawn. Late afternoon or early evening (when there’s still light, of course) is the best time of day to apply lawn fertilizer. Fertilize warm season grasses when the grass begins to turn green at the beginning of spring. This depends upon whether you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass . The Best Lawn […] Lawn fertilizer would still feed the garden plants, but they wouldn’t achieve maximum growth and might grow more leaves at the expense of flowers and fruits since that’s what lawn fertilizer is optimized for: growing lush, green leaves. Once the warm season begins and temps are steadily in the mid-60s, the grass will start growing again and it’s time to kickstart your lawn care. Alternatively, apply the fertilizer in the early morning hours when the sun is not yet fully up and temperatures are at their coolest. When is it too hot to apply granular fertilizer to a bluegrass/fescue established lawn ?I do have an irrigation system but with the high temperatures being projected for the next several days, I don’t want to do damage to the turf . If the lawn appears vigorous and healthy at that time, delay the first application until May. This will ensure that your grass is neither too dry nor too wet and that it has enough moisture to protect it from the midday heat. It is wise to be wary of fertilizing your lawn during hot weather. As you can see, there’s no need to apply two or three products to cover all of your lawn’s needs—and that’s a good thing, because who’s got time to waste when you’re trying to win the Turf Wars? For more information, check out When to Feed for a Greener Lawn. The longer the fertilizer sits unused, the more likely it is to become damp and clumpy, which could make it hard to spread. Aerating your soil before fertilizing can also help; the best times to aerate are when your grass is actively growing, such as in spring or early fall. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON. Simply send us evidence of purchase and we will mail you a refund check promptly. Simply choose a fertilizer with weed control, sometimes referred to as a weed-and-feed. Apply the fertilizer beginning with the perimeter of your lawn, then move inward toward the center, walking in your typical mowing pattern. The more water you provide, the more fertilizer the plants will take in along with it. The best time to fertilize your lawn is when the grass is actively growing, and for cool-season grasses, that’s when temperatures are 60 to 70 degrees F. Look for a fertilizer with at least some slow-release nitrogen, which releases the nitrogen to the grass over an extended period of time. The most rapid growth tends to occur when it’s warm, 70 to 75 degrees, but not hot. The burn is caused when the salt form of synthetic fertilizer dries out on top of the grass and soil. Fertilize the lawn again just after the hottest part of the summer is over. The best time is when temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit with overcast conditions, using a slow-release formula. Then, you need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before fertilizing again. A good rule of thumb here is to allow 24 hours after rainfall or irrigation has watered in the fertilizer before letting kids or pets play on the lawn. Applying it in the heat of a scorching afternoon can cause the sun’s rays to burn your grass—and when your goal is “lush and green,” burned grass blades simply won’t cut it. What are the benefits of putting fertilizer on my lawn? First, determine whether you live in the northern or southern half of the country. When it's hot and dry outside, reduce additional stress on your lawn by minimizing foot traffic. With a spreader, some grass fertilizer, and 15 minutes, you can be on your way to a thicker, greener lawn. The best time is when temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit with overcast conditions, using a slow-release formula. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer. If you’re into tag football, family gatherings, and anything involving bare feet, you’ll definitely want to get in the habit of properly fertilizing your lawn. Keep lawn fertilizer in the lawn. Applying too much fertilizer can harm your lawn and the environment. In the South, Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action is the product to turn to for weeding, feeding, and all-important fire ant control. The lawn is about 95 percent green (largely from the bermuda but with enough baby crabgrass to irritate me) and coming up thick enough that I've already mowed it twice in an effort to promote it to spread laterally and start crowding that crabgrass. What is the best way to apply fertilizer? Soils with a low pH, like 5.5 or 6.0, will require applications of lime to “sweeten” the soil. Perhaps the fertilizer was spilled, and you can still see it on the ground. If you're starting a new lawn from seed, sod or plugs — or you're doing bare lawn spot repair — a starter fertilizer helps grass get the perfect start. Every Scotts® fertilizer carries the Scotts® No-Quibble Guarantee: If for any reason you, the consumer, are not satisfied after using this product, you are entitled to get your money back. Dormant lawns should not be fertilized. The plants will need a lot more water due to the hot weather. How do I choose the right fertilizer for my grass type? Return any unused product to the bag and store it properly (again, check the bag for instructions). The good news is that with the proper watering schedule, nutrients, and sunlight, your grass can thrive during the summer months in Texas. Some lawn foods perform better when you water them in right after applying, while others—such as some weed-and-feed products—need to be watered a day or two after fertilizing. The primary growing period for cool-season grasses is during the spring and fall, when average temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. How to know for sure? Here’s why it matters: Nitrogen greens up your grass and helps it grow, phosphorus stimulates root growth and helps seeds sprout, and potassium helps your lawn withstand drought and disease. The area in between is known as the transitional region. ( Go here for more about seeding.). Aeration will break the barrier to prevent this. It all comes down to this: Check the product directions on the bag—they’ll tell you when to water. , and most important, is to remove as much of the grass won ’ t it. Just download the my lawn before or after fertilizing and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and conditions are slightly.! 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