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Fall Lawn Care Fertilizing Tips

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

A healthy green lawn that's the envy of the neighborhood usually requires a year-round fertilization program. One of the most important steps of your fall lawn care is the application of fertilizer before the weather turns cold. Your grass needs that last dose of fertilizer to remain healthy during the winter, and the nutrients can give your lawn a jump start when warm temperatures return in the spring.

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How to Fertilize for Fall Lawn Care

The timing of your lawn's fall fertilization can vary depending on your climate; a good rule of thumb is the grass should have stopped growing for the season, but still be green. It is also important that your yard is moist enough to allow the nutrients into the soil, so if you have had a dry spell of weather, water your lawn thoroughly the day before putting the fertilizer down.

Nitrogen is the most important ingredient in fertilizer for fall lawn care; one pound per 1,000 square feet of lawn area is what many experts suggest. If you're using an organic or slow-release fertilizer, you should adjust your amounts. Phosphorus and potassium can also help your lawn remain healthy through the winter, but do a soil test to determine the amounts your grass may need. Penn State University and Colorado State University have additional suggestions on fall lawn care and fertilizing for healthy grass in the spring.

Fall fertilization can lead to:

  • Healthier grass not competing for nutrients
  • A strong root system to survive the winter
  • Green grass in the spring without the additional growth that early spring fertilization can cause

A little bit of effort during your fall lawn care routine can help you relax all winter knowing you may have one of the best looking yards in the neighborhood next spring.


About the Author
Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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