Spring means planting, and plants need food. The lawn particularly needs to have the right amount of fertilizer added at the right time. So, when should your landscaping company apply fertilizer to your lawn this Spring?
The timing of fertilization is important for a couple of reasons. Many fertilizers have a time-release feature, meaning that the nutrients can stay in the soil for up to 3 months. If you apply fertilizer too soon after the last application, you wind up mega-dosing your lawn. Just as people can get sick from taking too much Vitamin A, lawns can get sick from an overdose of nutrients.
Even if the fertilizer used is not a slow-release type, you have to know when to apply it. If you add the nitrogen in fertilizer too early or too late in the year, you make the grass susceptible to damage from the cold and bugs. Your lawn will need different nutrients throughout the year, and it is important to add the right type fertilizer when it needs it most.
To know the best time to fertilize, your lawn care company will want to consider the type of grass they are fertilizing. Cool weather grass starts growing roots in early spring when it starts to warm up. It can use a boost in late spring, but fertilizing after June will stress the grass as it struggles to thrive in the heat. Fertilizer encourages more grass leaves to grow, which will soak up the energy the grass needs to maintain the roots. One good example of a type of cool season grass used here in North Carolina is Tall Fescue. It grows in the fall and spring and best gets fertilizer in March.
Warm weather grasses can use the fertilizer throughout the summer when it is growing. If you feed a warm weather grass during the early spring or late winter months, you will stress out the lawn. Some common warm weather grasses that are used here in North Carolina are Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass. These lawns should receive their fertilizer between May and August.