Grass is the same. Here are some tips from the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Not here. Everyone, it seems, wants you to fertilize your cool-season lawn in April. For the majority of cool-season lawn owners, apply fertilizer anywhere from September through early November. How to fertilize your own lawn. Higher growth also shades the ground from the sun, reducing moisture requirements. Timing is everything when you apply fertilizer. For maximum appearance, fertilize your lawn about once every six to eight weeks during their active-growth period. Since fertilizing can invoke rapid spreading and growth, this might call for frequent mowing. Early April is the right time to apply a pre-emergent product to control crabgrass or a post-emergent product to suppress many of the broadleaf weeds that sprouted in the winter. 1. However, because it takes several months to be fully incorporated into the soil, it is best to apply it in the fall. If you are going to fertilize your lawn, do not do it too early in the season. However, we are here to help. Does it evaluate and treat your lawn as a single entity or does every lawn get the same treatment? If you're overseeding, wait until next year for weed & feed. If you have a small lawn, consider using a manual-reel mower. You should however check that the fertilisers used are safe for use around pets and animals. Here's some tips from the pros at Consumer Reports. As a rule of thumb, fertilizer for new grass of your lawn to be applied once every six to eight weeks during their active growth period. The most common need in this area is lime because most soils in Northern Virginia are acidic and lime helps to neutralize the acidity. Fertilizing your grass in the fall is an excellent way to get a jump start on spring and ensure your lawn is healthier and greener when that time of year comes around. You probably know that too. One common mistake with lawn care is mowing your grass too short. For a simple breakdown of the applications, carry out applications two or three in fall for cool-season grasses. If you are looking for a quick and easy guide for when to fertilize a lawn, late summer and fall are the optimal times for most lawns. Timing is everything when you apply fertilizer. Does it apply pesticides on a regular schedule regardless of need or does it limit pesticide use to only when needed? Never fertilize lawns before a heavy rain to avoid runoff, so be sure to check the forecast before you start. Once you know your lawn type, or if you already know, then go to the appropriate lawn care schedule for Cool Season Grasses or Warm Season Grasses. You'll be happy to hear that fertilizing your lawn more than once a year isn't necessary if you do it right the first time. Don’t ever fertilize during a drought when the plant will not have access to sufficient water. It is governed by climate, which is a function of longitude and latitude. Resist the temptation to apply a weed-and-feed product. The answer is, in a word, yes. Simply break up the yearly requirement of nitrogen into the appropriate number of applications, say one or two in spring and two or three in fall for cool-season grasses, three over the summer for warm-season grasses. Fertilization at a rate not to exceed a half-pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn should be done in the latter half of May when the grass plants have completed their annual growth of roots. As with all fertilizer products, check the label and follow instructions for your specific grass type. This is the time for the grass to grow shoots above the ground after the root growth has finished for the spring. Most lawn grasses in our area are cool season species, which go dormant during the heat of the summer. Start with a clean slate by mowing the lawn right before you fertilize. Brown patch (Rhizoctonia sp.) If you use pesticides, apply only to the area that is affected by the pest. After you cut the grass, let the turf clippings lie on the yard since they are mostly composed of the grass’s leaf tissue and reduce decompose rapidly. Some lawn professionals say that if you only fertilize your cool-season lawn once a year, you should do it in autumn. Which order and when do I start? The pellets spread more evenly with less dust. We Can All Prevent Pedestrian Crashes and Fatalities... 3 Easy Steps to Report Streetlight Outages... Understanding Election Results and When Votes Are Counted... OmMade Peanut Butter to Expand in Reston with State and County Funding... Board Chairman McKay Talks Elections, Coronavirus, Social Justice and ... Fairfax County Weekender — Oct. 18-20, 2019. When should I fertilize my lawn in spring and fall? The best time for that first application is late spring, just as the green grass is beginning to grow eagerly. It also feeds weed species and can lead to disease and insect problems later in the season. Most of your fertilization should have been done the previous fall. Leave some grass clippings behind to help the roots. Aerate & Fertilize. When & How to Fertilize Your Lawn. Why should I fertilize my lawn? Fertilizer is a great way to feed your grass, and depending where you live in the country, there are a … By Gil Medeiros, Fairfax Master Gardener No matter how frequently you fertilize your lawn, the rule of thumb you should follow is that you should apply fertilizer while your grass is growing the fastest. You may have to go to a garden center for these because many of the big-box stores carry only weed and feed. Find weed control products without the fertilizer. After fertilizing you feel secure in the knowledge that you have done the right thing by your lawn. Fertilize only when the plants show signs of needing fertilizer for azalea. It is the accumulated wisdom of eons of survival. The same can … Nitrogen helps plants grow green, leafy shoots; that’s the part of the grass plant above the ground. It is best to set your blades for a mowing height that will remove only the top one-third of the grass blade. Caring for Your Lawn in Winter Get your lawn ready for the winter with Jonathan Green’s Winter Survival Fall Lawn Fertilizer. Fall Carnival/Harvest Days: Hands-on activities bring even more family fun. Spring fertilizing is not particularly helpful for your lawn. Use a lawn fertilizer with a higher amount of nitrogen, if your grass type is Kentucky bluegrass or perennial ryegrass, or soil is sandy, or grass clippings are not returned to the lawn. The optimal time (in terms of both desirable plant response and environmental protection) to fertilize cool-season grasses in Virginia is from mid-August through early November, keeping in mind that the timing will vary somewhat depending on where you are located in the state. Apply 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Reference The average first fall frost date is October 30 th for Wayne County, meaning mid- to late September is a good time to apply a potassium fertilizer. If you must fertilize in the spring, limit it to a light feeding (0 phosphorus) after the initial flush of growth has subsided in May. If you decide to leave lawn care to the professionals, carefully research a company’s methods of operation. The grass sends its roots deep into the soil because summer is coming; the rain may stop, and the heat is certainly on the way. If you are frustrated with your lawn in Virginia and want to improve its look and quality, find out when is the best time to overseed it from the experts at Jonathan Green, and discover how properly feeding both your lawn and soil will create a neighborhood showpiece! We would advise that you do not mow your lawn straight after an application as … It’s necessary. For just $10, the Virginia Cooperative Extension will analyze your soil sample and return the results to you. Before you fertilize, test your soil to learn what, if anything, it needs. Your first fall fertilization should be in late September to early October and then apply a second treatment of fertilization in November. Fall is one of the most important seasons to fertilize, and a little fall lawn care planning goes a long way. The timing of this root-growth spurt is not the same everywhere. The further north you garden, the sooner you'll feed your lawn. Fall is often associated with cool weather, hayrides and pumpkin-flavored goodies. How to hire a fertilizer company. One of the most important things you can do for your lawn is to fertilize it. Early spring is the right time to treat your lawn for weeds, but it is not the right time to fertilize. For best results, follow the recommended Virginia Cooperative Extension fertilization program for cool season grasses shown below. In Fairfax, the fescue and bluegrass awakens to push out new roots in April and early May. In addition, sharp blades help extend the life of your mower because the engine will not have to work as hard to produce the same results. June 10, 2020 / AAMG / 0 Comments; Question: When and how much should I fertilize my lawn? This is the point when the grass has stopped growing or has slowed down to the point of not needing to be mowed. Lawn Fertilization in Virginia, Publication 430-011, Virginia Cooperative Extension, ©Copyright Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, Inc | All Rights Reserved. Oct. 18: Living on a Farm! Does the company routinely combine fertilizer and pesticides in each application. There are no guarantees in biology. This priority is hard-wired into the DNA of the plant. A well-fed lawn is healthier, which means it has a better root system to combat heat, cold, drought, mowing, foot traffic, and other stresses. It appears that Sandy Scott on the Masters golf telecast was right. Build Your Personal Lawn Program. Is it OK to fertilize in spring? Generally, winterizing is best in October or early November when the temperature is around the upper 40ish… But if you want to take full advantage, apply fertilizer to your lawn in early September. In addition, you will have to mow the lawn more frequently. Resist. The commercial character Sandy Scotts tells you to “Feed your lawn; feed it.” That advice is not bad. When to do it depends on where you live. Does time of day matter when I fertilize my lawn? You turn off the TV, but it still doesn’t end. Fertilizer companies bombard you with their slick, sophisticated, sometimes entertaining television ads. Don’t Fertilize Your Lawn in April By Gil Medeiros, Fairfax Master Gardener Everyone, it seems, wants you to fertilize your cool-season lawn in April. It saves energy, reduces pollution and burns calories, too! A balanced pH will improve the absorption of nutrients, encourage thatch decomposition and benefit soil microorganisms, all of which are essential to the soil’s health and fertility. Below are some tips to help you determine which lawn type you have. This is contrary to the popular belief that spring is the best time to fertilize. When the plant is growing shoots, it slows and eventually shuts down the growth of roots. It encourages leaf growth at the expense of root development. Yes, but not in April. Some questions to keep in mind include: Podcast: County Executive Discusses COVID-19 Vaccine, Social Justice and Police Reform, Podcast: Economic Development Chief Talks COVID-19 Impacts, Commercial Growth, Leadership Tips, Need for Help Even Greater This Year — Ways to Give This Holiday Season, Hypothermia Shelters Now Open Through April 1. However, we can say that grass that has not been fertilized in April has a better chance of surviving the tough, mid-summer conditions. 2. Fall is… If you’ve never aerated before or need a little reminder, check out How to Aerate Your Lawn.Aerating gives your lawn a chance to breathe before the grass goes dormant, and helps relieve any compaction that has built up during the warmer months. Most lawn experts agree that a fall fertilizer application is a good idea in cold-weather climates where winters are a period of dormancy. Effective lawn feeding after Thanksgiving often is hampered by wintry conditions, when precipitation will wash the fertilizer into local streams, contributing to waterway pollution. The most important time to fertilize your lawn is in the fall to help you lawn develop a strong root system. It has never looked happier. It’s when the roots that will sustain the plants through the following summer are actively growing. You turn off the TV, but it still doesn’t end. Should lawn fertilizer be applied before rain? Here’s why: In the early spring, as most plants awaken from dormancy, they want to grow roots. Fairfax, VA 22035, Directory of Virginia Green and Clean Lawn Care Companies, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, Home Turf: a Healthy Virginia Lawns program, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District website. Fertilizer companies bombard you with their slick, sophisticated, sometimes entertaining television ads. Pick up a soil test kit at any Fairfax County Public Library or at the Virginia Cooperative Extension on the 10th floor of the Pennino Building. Virginia Native Plant Society Native plants, invasive species removal, Wildflowers across Virginia program www.vnps.org (540) 837-1600 Contents Understanding Plant Nutrition 3–4 Testing your Soil 5 Erosion Control 6–7 Tilling the Soil 9 Fertilizing your Vegetables 10 Irrigation 11–12 A Healthy Lawn 13–14 Reducing the Impact of Drought 15 Here are some tips from the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. To answer this question, it is recommended that you should always follow the instructions found on the label of your chosen fertilizer. Mike in northwest D.C. writes: “I need to seed, fertilize and weed my lawn. When the best time to fertilize your own yard is. As well as knowing how often to apply fertilizer, it’s also key to know when to apply the fertilizer. While lawn care companies and manufacturers of granular and liquid fertilizers recommend fertilization, independent scientific studies from university programs do confirm that late summer and fall are especially good times to fertilize turf lawns. Supplement your mowing by using healthy lawn care practices. Does the company offer a variety of pest management approaches from which you may choose? You do not need to set up an azalea fertilizing schedule, since you don’t need to fertilize these shrubs throughout the growing season. Fall is often associated with cool weather, hayrides and pumpkin-flavored goodies. Apply Your Fertilizer When Grass is Growing. Spread it anytime from early September through mid-November when air temperatures are cooler and the soil is still warm enough for grass roots to grow deep. Instead, turn to Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 for the year's final feeding. As a general rule, allow six to eight weeks between fertilizing and your first expected frost. The exact timing to fertilize varies based on weather conditions and climate zone; however, the final fertilizer application should be done sometime in November in most regions. 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” … The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening. 3. Everyone knows fertilizer is important. Whenever you walk into a big-box hardware store to buy a Also be sure to keep your mower blades sharp to produce a cleaner cut that slices through grass rather than pulling it by the roots. For many people, they don’t understand the importance of adding fertilizer to their lawn. Posted on October 21, 2019 in All News, Environment, Think Spring!, To Know. The fertilizer will strengthen your backyard’s soil like no other thing – and in exchange, your lawn will grow better than before. For turf, pelletized limestone is preferable to pulverized limestone. Most people apply a dose of lawn fertilizer in the spring, followed by one or two more applications during the growing season. A healthy lawn can get by with fertilizing in the spring, and maybe again In the fall to keep it strong through the off-season. on tall fescue. And, yes, the time of day that you fertilize your lawn this fall matters as well. Ah, the age old question–should I or shouldn’t I fertilize my lawn? But it’s also the best time of year to fertilize your yard and give it the best chance to thrive next spring and summer. Applying 20 lbs of 30-3-10 uniformly to the 6000 sq ft lawn delivers 6 lbs of total N, or 1 lb N/1000 sq ft. A fall fertility handout detailing how to calculate fertilizer amounts accompanies this podcast as a pdf attachment and can be accessed at Virginia Tech’s Turf and Garden Tips weblog page. Azalea Fertilizing Tips. Just don’t feed it at the wrong time, and don’t give it too much. Fall is the best time. The problem is that many of those weed-control products are packaged with fertilizer in the bag. Another resource is Home Turf: a Healthy Virginia Lawns program. Higher settings allow the grass to compete effectively with lower-growing weed species. Great question and thanks for your concern about our water table! Most lawn fertilisers are safe and you can use or walk on your lawn almost immediately after application. Fertilizer sources that contain more than 50% WIN can be applied up to 1.5 lbs N/1000 sq ft; those that are predominantly WSN should be applied at no more than 1 lb N/1000 sq ft. Clippings left on the lawn will contribute a substantial amount of nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil and reduce fertilizer requirements. Root growth is, therefore, stunted as the grass plants take advantage of nitrogen availability to grow luxurious, green, top growth. For the good of your fescue, bluegrass, and perennial rye, resist. Help load the antique... 12000 Government Center Pkwy Keep it on the lawn. Recommended N levels from now through the end of May on cool-season grasses should not exceed a total of 1.5 lbs/1000 sq ft for Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, or perennial ryegrass, and no more than 1 lb for fine-leaf fescue. A sharp blade will give your lawn a more uniform appearance. Mind you, any spring fertilization is a booster shot. You can generally transition from an establishment fertilizer schedule to a regular fertilizer schedule after the first 30 days of establishment are up. Sooner is better. Just before your area’s first expected frost date, head out to your lawn and aerate. What happens when you feed the grass in April with a lawn fertilizer that contains 20 to 30 percent nitrogen? I don’t want to overdo it and have fertilizer going into the water table! When To Fertilize A Lawn – A General Guide. But it's also the best time of year to fertilize your yard and give it the best chance to thrive next spring and summer. Never fertilize in the summer. Whenever you walk into a big-box hardware store to buy a furnace filter, you must walk past the colorful displays of plump lawn-fertilizer bags. Beyond the advertising blitz, there is another temptation to apply fertilizer at the wrong time. Lime can be applied to your lawn area any time of the year. Keep your lawn looking its best by working on it all year round. Therefore, the major advertisements of nationally marketed fertilizers, and the splashy promotions in the big-box stores are correct for some parts of the country. 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If you only fertilize your lawn, consider using a manual-reel mower lawn... Fertilizer, it seems, wants you to fertilize it since fertilizing can invoke rapid spreading growth... Will analyze your soil sample and return the results to you shuts down the growth roots... Should have been done the right time to fertilize it saves energy, reduces pollution burns... Manual-Reel mower not mow your lawn straight after an application as … Azalea fertilizing tips out to lawn!, sometimes entertaining television ads fertilize a lawn – a General Guide lawn to! Fertilizing is not the same treatment should be in late September to early October and then a... Grow eagerly old question–should I or shouldn ’ t end approaches from which you may have mow... On a regular schedule regardless of need or does every lawn Get the everywhere. 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