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When to Fertilize Your Lawn

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

There's still time to fertilize your lawn before cold weather arrives. Giving it the proper care while it's still fall can help protect your backyard lawn.

Taking Care of Your Lawn: Choose the Right Formula

Decide what your backyard lawn needs before going out and purchasing chemicals. When shopping for fertilizer you may notice that the different brands have three numbers, which each stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen helps blades and foliage to grow, phosphorus helps roots grow, and potassium helps with cell function.

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You can use a formula with more nitrogen in late September to help nourish grass after the hot summer months. But late October or early November is when you'll want to fertilize to your lawn with a formula that contains more phosphorus to help stimulate the roots. Fertilizer applied at this time should continue working into December. Taking care of your lawn's roots now can help it be more resistant to disease and drought.

Choose the Right Conditions

Avoid using fertilizer if the soil in your backyard lawn is frozen. It's best to apply fertilizer when your lawn has stopped growing or no longer needs to be mowed. The actual date when you apply fertilizer to your lawn can vary each year depending on the weather.

Organic Fertilizers

If you don't want to use a lot of chemicals on your lawn there are organic fertilizers available. Organic products can give your backyard lawn nutrition without burning the grass. Organic formulas may cut down on pests and promote better growing conditions.

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About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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