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The best lawn fertilizer tips for all seasons

fertilized my lawns last weekend, in the middle of winter. It may seem preposterous to some but if you want to look after your lawn and not just prop it up every spring it might be worth considering.

Think of your lawn like your body. If you were to stop exercising during winter, eat hearty meals and drink lots of hot chocolates you'll find that the body you had last spring is no longer in shape. Then spring comes and you have to work extra hard to produce the desired result.

Your lawn is the same. Look after it throughout all the seasons and it will continue to look great and remain less onerous to maintain.

Fertilizing a lawn is like feeding it. Give it too much of one thing and you will start to see problems. Too much nitrogen and the roots will struggle to keep up with the blade growth. Too much phosphorous and your roots will grow so well you will struggle with thatch. So each season demands different fertilizer types to be fed well.

When applying lawn fertilizer, use a spreader if you're not an able broadcaster and water in immediately after the application.

Lawn fertilizer for Spring

The aim of fertilizing in spring is to encourage growth. Therefore you need a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer and lower on the phosphorous and potassium nutrients. Straight urea is a great source of nitrogen and you can usually find this can contain anywhere between 40-46%(N). Apply at about 50gm per square metre (1.75oz per 10sq.ft) and only at the start of the season. You should notice a marked difference with 7-10 days.

Lawn Fertilizer for Summer

Depending on your soil type you may want to add another application of fertilizer at the start of summer. If you have clay soils then I would find a product that is still high in nitrogen but also contains wetting agents. If you have sandy soil then stick with the urea but half the application rate to 25gm per square metre (0.85oz per 10sq.ft).

Lawn Fertilizer for Autumn

Now is the time to begin building the lawn roots and less focus on blade leaf greening. The fertilizer you need for this should still have a nitrogen level of between 11-18% but should be much higher in Potassium (approx 8-11%) and also an increased level of Phosphorous (approx 1-2%).

If you were to continue using a high nitrogen fertilizer throughout autumn and winter you will find that thatch will become a problem. Also, dead spots will begin to appear, as the roots are not encouraged to grow.

Lawn Fertilizer for Winter

This should be similar to feeding your lawn in autumn although you may want to use a slow-release variety rather than something that will be readily absorbed. The reason for this is lawns lay dormant during the winter months and very little growth occurs.

If this sounds too onerous a maintenance program then you can just schedule fertilizing in spring and autumn. However, don't be mistaken that a feed of urea in spring will be enough. Relying on just one application will symptomatically show in future problems.

stuart robinson
  • Stuart Robinson
  • Busselton, Australia
  • Email Me

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