common questions on fall fertilization

Common Questions on Fall Fertilization

One of Valley Green’s most popular products is its fertilizer mixes and with fall coming up, we answer a lot of common questions on fall fertilization. Many homeowners assume that they should fertilize their lawn solely in spring, but it is very important to also fertilize the lawn in fall. Because we offer many different fertilizer mixes for sale, we decided to focus our article this week on common questions on fall fertilization.

Common Questions on Fall Fertilization

How much fertilizer should I apply in the fall?
The best fertilizer you’ll want to apply in the fall should be one that is rich in nitrogen. A recommended dose for lawns is one pound of soluble nitrogen for every 1000 square feet or 1.5 to 2 pounds of slow-release nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet. You can view our high nitrogen fertilizers here.

When should I fertilize my lawn in the fall?
For most cool-season grasses that grow in the northeast, the best time to fertilize is in October into early November. As soon as the days gets cooler, the grass will start storing nutrients from the fertilizer. Many lawn care professionals opt for a “feed and seed” method where they overseed the lawn and then fertilize at the same time. Fertilizing at this time in the fall will ensure a healthy and green lawn for next spring.

What mixture of fertilizer should I use for fall?
A complete fertilizer with a high ratio of nitrogen and potassium is your best bet for enhanced rooting, cold hardiness, and disease resistance. Another example of a good fall fertilizer blend has a nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (N:P:K) ratio of 24-4-12 with isobutylidene diurea (IBDU). In this formula, the fertilizer is released slowly, and a small amount is available to the plant right away. Be aware that if you apply a fertilizer with too much phosphorus, you could contaminate local rivers and streams.

Other advice on the fall fertilization process.
Look before you fertilize is the saying that many lawn professionals go by. If your lawn or turfgrass is not growing, don’t waste your fertilizer. Putting fertilizer down on dead grass will not bring it back to health. You’ll want to overseed or sod instead. It is also a good idea to not put fertilizer down when you’re expecting heavy rains. The rain will wash the fertilizer away and make the application process useless. Loose fertilizer that gets washed away from rain can find its way into algae blooms and have other negative effects. An early frost can also block the fertilizer from reaching the soil.

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