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Planning Your Late-Season Fertilizing Schedule

by Shannon Lee, All About Lawns Columnist

With the heat of summer just around the corner, perhaps you aren't thinking about cold weather plans. But the sooner you begin planning your late-season fertilizing schedule, the healthier your lawn can be when spring rolls around.

Tips for Late-Season Fertilizing

Here are a few tips to get you started on those plans for late fall:


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  • If there are bare spots in your lawn, the best time to plant is during the fall. Chose a cool season grass like tall fescue to fill in the spots, as it grows heartier during the cooler months, and slows down during the warmer ones. For a new seeding, try 10-12 pounds per 1000 square feet. For filling in patches, decrease the amount by half.
  • Around the middle of September, apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn. Do the same again in November. By feeding right before winter, you are providing plenty of food to the roots of the grass, and that keeps it strong throughout the dormant months.
  • Don't forget the trees and shrubs! Though the fertilizer you use for your lawn may also benefit your trees, make a point of applying more fertilizer to the area around the trees in November. That gives them a boost during the dead of winter, when they need it most.

Finally, complete your late-season plans by taking a few days to dig and divide your perennials, and to pull up the bulbs that have a tough time outside during the winter. Elephant ears are a good example. If you leave them in the ground, they can decay over the winter, and then your careful planting of the garden or landscaping may be ruined.

About the Author
Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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