Fertilizer doesn’t expire, but we recommend keeping it dry and in an airtight container, and using it up within a year to get the best results. The best lawn fertilizer for a thriving lawn depends on the kind of grass you have. Lawn fertilizer keeps best under cool, dry conditions. To apply the proper amount of fertilizer to a turf area, use a broadcast or drop spreader. If the lawn appears vigorous and healthy at that time, delay the first application until May. The Best Lawn […] Ask an Expert is made up of groups and individual experts. The Ways You Can Over Fertilize. And finally, choosing the right fertilizer depends upon the time of year you are applying it, as grass has different needs during each season. 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. For more details, take a moment to read this article on How to Use Lawn Fertilizer. Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed, for example, kills over 50 types of weeds (including dandelion and clover) while feeding your lawn. 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. Sure, you can dump a whole lot of fertilizer on at once and achieve over fertilization in a snap, but there are some other, sneakier ways it can happen too. 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. The primary growing period for cool-season grasses is during the spring and fall, when average temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 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. 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. Unlike established lawns, new grass benefits from extra phosphorus, an essential plant nutrient that supports strong, deep roots. If your soil doesn’t drain well, then the fertilizer can build up and cause problems such as root burn. When is it too hot or too cold to apply fertilizer to my lawn? Simply choose a fertilizer with weed control, sometimes referred to as a weed-and-feed. The most rapid growth tends to occur when it’s warm, 70 to 75 degrees, but not hot. The first, and most important, is to remove as much of the fertilizer as you can. What temperature is too cold to fertilize lawn? Watering the lawn at the right time is the key to healthy lawns in hot summers. Use your lawn mower for weed management if you missed you… The area in between is known as the transitional region. First, determine whether you live in the northern or southern half of the country. 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 . You can, hopefully, avoid runoff by checking the weather forecast before you fertilize. 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. While you technically could use lawn fertilizer in the garden, it’s not ideal. For instance, over-fertilizing when it’s too hot can burn your grass. Look for a fertilizer with at least some slow-release nitrogen, which releases the nitrogen to the grass over an extended period of time. They’ll stand much less of a chance in a lawn that is well-fed. 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. When feeding your plants in the summer, cut back to about 20% of how much fertilizer you would usually provide during spring or fall. Removal . Be sure that it also contains 2% phosphorus or less in accordance with Florida State Law. You can use a hand-held spreader, like the Scotts® Whirl™ Hand-Powered Spreader, for a small lawn or a broadcast spreader for a larger lawn. I’m attaching an article from MSU Extension which explains summer lawn care. I generally apply a second application of fertilizer to my lawn around the 4th of July. 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. The longer the fertilizer sits unused, the more likely it is to become damp and clumpy, which could make it hard to spread. Failing to do so will cause the fertilizer to be spread too thin in some spots and too thick in others. 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. Looking for some answers when it comes to feeding your lawn? How to know for sure? How do I kill or prevent weeds while fertilizing my lawn? Soil pH values above 7.5 will require soil sulfur or a lawn fertilizer containing sulfur to bring the pH down. Much like Scotts’ Turf Builder … Step 1 Fertilize your lawn on a day where temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit and conditions are slightly overcast. While it is important to be adequate on hydration, do not water the grass daily. It is wise to be wary of fertilizing your lawn during hot weather. The highest number for lawn fertilizers will usually be the “N”—after all, growing green grass is the ultimate goal, right? Your best bet is to fertilize your newly seeded or overseeded lawn with Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass directly after seeding. Fertilize warm season grasses when the grass begins to turn green at the beginning of spring. 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. If you live there, you'll see both warm- … The optimal growing period for warm-season grasses is late spring and summer, when temperatures average 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The first application of fertilizer should be made after the second or third mowing. This depends upon whether you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass. A light rain or snow after you apply the fertilizer won't hurt, but a downpour the next day could wash the fertilizer away. It’s important to know how various products affect your lawn. It’s pretty simple! In the South, Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action is the product to turn to for weeding, feeding, and all-important fire ant control. Whether you are just starting out, maintaining or troubleshooting, you'll find advice and answers here for all your lawn care needs. For more information, check out How to Aerate & Dethatch Your Lawn. Soils with a low pH, like 5.5 or 6.0, will require applications of lime to “sweeten” the soil. Fertilizing during the hot months of summer can damage your lawn. Whether you're feeding, seeding, or battling weeds, Scotts has the right product for your lawn. Dormant lawns should not be fertilized. 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? 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. So, for example, if you fertilize on Thursday and water or have rain on Friday, then on Saturday, you can let everyone release all of their pent-up energy out in the yard. 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. Is there a best time of day to apply fertilizer? 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. Treatments that kill actively-growing weeds can hurt your grass as it comes out of dormancy. After all, that lawn isn’t going to feed itself! Insects. If it starts to look dry, then water. Apply the fertilizer beginning with the perimeter of your lawn, then move inward toward the center, walking in your typical mowing pattern. That’s right, both the weeds and the garden plants bite the dust. Step 2 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. Use this quick rule of thumb for the best time to add winter fertilizer to your lawn: Apply in September, unless you live in the southern third of the U.S. That's because the northern two-thirds of the U.S. is home to lawns with cool-season grasses or “transition” lawns with both cool-season and warm-season grasses. There are several easy ways to help you figure out the right spreader setting. © 2002-2020 The Scotts Company LLC. As a rule of thumb, it is better to apply to little fertilizer than too much. The plants will need a lot more water due to the hot weather. My Lawn App by Scotts helps simplify your lawn care. How much fertilizer should I use? The best time to water your grass is the early morning, preferably before 10 a.m when the midday heat isn’t overbearing. If a lawn receives too much nitrogen, a great amount of stress may occur and will typically result in a fertilizer burn. When is it too hot or too cold to apply fertilizer to my lawn? Growth naturally slows down in very hot weather, and applying fertilizer at that time can actually weaken the lawn. Too much fertilizer on hot days can cause fertilizer burn. https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/michigan_fresh_summer_lawn_care. Most Scotts® fertilizers can be applied to either a wet or dry lawn. Know When to Fertilize. Fertilize cool-season … Then, you need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before fertilizing again. 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. Have a hard time remembering? This simple guide tells you all you need to know. Extra fertilizer in the heat can burn the lawn and the extra flush of growth may have difficulties in the summer heat. 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. Always follow the instructions for application on the package label. The best time is when temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit with overcast conditions, using a slow-release formula. How long after fertilizing should I wait to water my lawn? ( Go here for more about seeding.). But that doesn’t mean they aren’t potentially dangerous chemicals. Check the package directions! Fertilize the lawn again just after the hottest part of the summer is over. Insect damage can look like an irrigation issue but adding additional water will do nothing … Just follow these steps: 1. Extra fertilizer in the heat can burn the lawn and the extra flush of growth may have difficulties in the summer heat. How long after reseeding or overseeding my lawn should I wait before fertilizing? Calculating the Amount. Water your lawn a few days before fertilizing so your soil is ready to accept the fertilizer. 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. 3. Bermudagrass is dormant when temps are below 65 degrees. What happens if it rains or snows soon after I apply fertilizer? 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. 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. A Quick Word About NPK The first step before applying any product to your lawn is understanding what you are actually using. Harold Deines, Greenville. 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. 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. That’s because veggies and flowers have totally different needs from grass. The more water you provide, the more fertilizer the plants will take in along with it. How do I know which spreader setting to use? 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. Return any unused product to the bag and store it properly (again, check the bag for instructions). If it has just rained, it is best to wait until things dry out to apply fertilizer to your lawn. 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. When it's hot and dry outside, reduce additional stress on your lawn by minimizing foot traffic. This typically is during May and early June. It all comes down to this: Check the product directions on the bag—they’ll tell you when to water. Applying too much fertilizer can harm your lawn and the environment. How to Treat an Over-fertilized Lawn. Always follow any watering restrictions in your area. 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 your lawn’s soil pH is too low or too high, the fertilizer you use may not work very well. Alternatively, apply the fertilizer in the early morning hours when the sun is not yet fully up and temperatures are at their coolest. Most lawn care experts will recommend that using slightly less fertilizer than you need is much safer than overusing too much. Keep in mind, too, that you never want to put fertilizer on frozen ground because the grass won’t absorb it. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON. In humid conditions, however, it absorbs moisture from the air and forms clumps. Top Tip to Mowing the Lawn When It’s Hot. Lawns need only one-inch of water per week, including rainfall. Weed Control– Apply a pre-emergent herbicide before weeds even appear. How do I choose the right fertilizer for my grass type? The good news is that with the proper watering schedule, nutrients, and sunlight, your grass can thrive during the summer months in Texas. Just download the My Lawn App to help you keep track. Another reason to avoid using lawn fertilizer in the garden is that many lawn fertilizers also contain ingredients meant to kill weeds. Southern zones have warm-season grasses, while northern zones have cool-season grasses. Fertilizers consist mainly of naturally occurring compounds. It is wise to be wary of fertilizing your lawn during hot weather. 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. 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. 1. As much as it needs water, it also needs additional nutrients to survive, and lawn fertilizer supplies those nutrients. 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. It depends on the fertilizer. If your lawn is going dormant in the summer, it may be too hot to mow the lawn – or not necessary, at the least. 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. Even though cool-season grasses stay green, avoid fertilizing during the heat of midsummer. 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. By the way, a 20-5-10 lawn fertilizer is a good basic mix to use in spring. And you know those weeds you hate? 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. 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. ... Too hot for fertilizer? Your best bet? 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. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer. 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. What are the benefits of putting fertilizer on my lawn? Feeding is important to maintaining a great lawn. 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. We’re here to help. 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. 4. If your lawn is still green and growing, make sure your lawn has received adequate moisture the week before you feed. 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. We believe in our products and want you to have that same confidence. Use straight, slightly overlapping lines to ensure good coverage. Simply send us evidence of purchase and we will mail you a refund check promptly. Those letters stand for the nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Following the directions on the bag, pour the fertilizer into your spreader and adjust the spreader settings. Ready to get cracking? 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. 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. Besides, if you fertilize in fall, the lawn doesn’t need another application until later in the spring, anyway. A soil test would tell you if you need any phosphorus or potash (potassium). To ensure optimal health, fertilize heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.. What is the best fertilizer for lawns? Absolutely. The burn is caused when the salt form of synthetic fertilizer dries out on top of the grass and soil. How long do I need to keep kids and pets off the lawn after fertilizing? World rights reserved. Your lawn is just the same. Aeration will break the barrier to prevent this. This depends upon whether you have cool-season grass or warm-season grass . However, if you have a sprinkler system and water is available, summer fertilization can be beneficial. Clumpy fertilizer hasn't lost its effectiveness. You’ll start to see results anywhere from 1 to 5 days afterward, depending upon the type of fertilizer you use. What is the best way to apply fertilizer? Visit How to Choose Lawn Products and Spreaders for more info and specific lawn food recommendations. Do I need to mow, rake, or aerate my lawn before or after fertilizing it? Turf growth slows during the stress of hot mid-summer weather and picks up again in late summer as things cool down a bit. Perhaps the fertilizer was spilled, and you can still see it on the ground. For more information, check out When to Feed for a Greener Lawn. Does Scotts offer a money back guarantee on fertilizer? 2. 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. Keep lawn fertilizer in the lawn. A fertilizer burn is an unsightly discoloration or death of the grass. 3. What do the letters on the fertilizer bag mean? 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. The best time is when temperatures remain below 85 degrees Fahrenheit with overcast conditions, using a slow-release formula. Fertilize cool season grasses after the heat of the summer is over, since their growing season gets under way in early fall. 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. When it comes to feeding your lawn, timing matters. This one’s easy — fertilize four times a year, in early spring, late spring, summer, and fall. Late afternoon or early evening (when there’s still light, of course) is the best time of day to apply lawn fertilizer. Guess what happens when you use those in your garden? 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. With a spreader, some grass fertilizer, and 15 minutes, you can be on your way to a thicker, greener lawn. How long does it take to see results from using lawn fertilizer? /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.