Feeding Your Fall Lawn

Did you know that fall is a great time for lawn care? Not only is it ideal for weeding and pre-winter lawn prep, it is actually a great time to fortify your entire lawn ecosystem by applying the right nutrients.

There are many benefits to applying fall fertilizers and nutrients. Not only can it help extend the greenness of your lawn into early winter, but it can actually improve your lawn’s ability to resist injury and lawn disease throughout the dormant, winter season. By feeding your fall lawn the nutrients it needs, you’ll help your grass grow deeper roots—and that will really pay off come spring.

Forget traditional fall fertilizers

Unfortunately, many lawn fertilizers that are designed for “winter-prep” may contain ingredients that can cause unintended complications. The most common unnecessary ingredient is potassium (K). Too much potassium in late fall can actually cause disease issues over winter like snow mold. That’s why Sunday fall and winter products never contain potassium.

Find the fall nutrients your lawn needs

The secret to selecting the right ingredients for your fall lawn nutrients is to keep it simple. The most important things for your fall lawn, and your soil health, is Nitrogen (N) and Iron (Fe).

Nitrogen

  •   Boost root growth
  •   Recover from heat stress
  •   Maximize energy storage

 Iron 

  •   Improve dark green color

Seaweed

  • Enhance root growth
  • Stay greener

Calcium

  • Maintain plant structure

Timing is everything

Like with potassium, getting great results from nutrient applications is all a matter of timing. We recommend applying your fall nutrients while you are still seeing active growth in your lawn. This will change based on your climate, but for cool and transitional regions this means completing your applications by October. Not sure which region you’re in? Check out our climate map for more information.

 

By applying nutrients at the optimal time, your grass will have its greatest opportunity to absorb the nutrients right down to its roots. Since root strength is crucial before winter dormancy, timing really is everything.

 

It is also better for the environment. If your lawn doesn’t absorb the nutrients then they are left to leach out or run off during inclement weather. By applying nutrients while growth is still active, you give your lawn the opportunity to do what it does best, absorb natural ingredients.

A little fall lawn prep goes a long way

During the fall season, weeds enter a weaker part of their growth cycle – making them easier to pull and spot treat. The decreasing temperatures make it a great time to patch any bare spots, begin overseeding, reduce watering and tackle fall leaves. With just a few easy-to-do fall lawn tips, you can help build a fall lawn that’ll be ready to grow come spring.

CITED SOURCES

Fertilizing Cool Season Lawns. Kansas State University Extension.  

Late Fall Fertilization of Athletic Fields. Penn State University Extension.