Fall lawn care chores usually include pulling weeds, winterizing sprinklers, cleaning gutters, and (of course) raking leaves. But, what about fertilizing? While fertilizing your lawn in the spring and summer are extremely beneficial to your lawn, fall lawn fertilization is one of the best things you can do.
When it comes to fall lawn care, you can’t skip fertilizing. Here are a few tips to consider when looking at fall lawn fertilization:
The N-P-Ks of Fall Lawn Fertilization
Bags of fertilizer typically include the letters “N-P-K” along with a set of numbers. These letters represent the three main ingredients of fertilizers: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These three ingredients each serve their own purpose:
- Nitrogen: Responsible for growth.
- Phosphorus: Root growth and strengthening the root system.
- Potassium: Protection from cold temperatures and improve overall functions of grass.
Getting the right mix could be the difference between having a healthy lawn and an unhealthy lawn next spring. Typically, getting the right nutrient balance is where most DIYers mess up. Investing in a lawn care program that includes fall lawn fertilization will help you ensure your lawn is always getting the right nutrients at the right time.
Fall: The Best Time to Fertilize Cool-Season Grasses
Fall is the best time to fertilize your Ohio lawn for a couple of important reasons. The first important reason is the weather. Here in Ohio, fall brings cooler weather with plenty of rain. At the same time, the soil remains warm, creating the optimal growing conditions for cool-season grass. Fall is an excellent time to give your grass a boost before the frigid winter.
Another reason that fall is the best time to fertilize comes down to our grass type here in Ohio. Cool-season grasses, like the ones we have here, pick up the growing pace in the fall. The grass also prepares itself for the winter. In the fall, cool-season grasses absorb and store essential nutrients to help it survive the winter. To take advantage of this absorption mode, add a fall fertilizer to your lawn. Your grass roots will quickly absorb the nutrients and you’ll be setting your lawn up for success.
Protect Your Grass From the Winter Weather
The stresses of summer can be hard on your lawn, that’s why it’s important to give your grass a boost going into the fall. Lawn restoration services are a great way to do this. Aeration and overseeding is a perfect fall lawn service and has countless benefits. While lawn restoration services are a great way to help your lawn bounce back after a season of heavy use, giving your lawn protection is what it really needs. That’s where fall fertilization comes in.
Fall lawn fertilization gives your lawn the nutrients it needs to prepare for the winter, and the stamina it needs to endure it. This helps protect your lawn from winter diseases like snow mold and brown patch.
Adding a winterizing fertilizer to your lawn is another way to prepare your grass for the first hard frost. Typically, winterizing fertilizers contain more potassium (K) than other fertilizers. Potassium works by strengthening and hardening the grass all the way down to the cellular level. This makes your turf more tolerant of temperature fluctuations and the winds of winter. Potassium will even help your grass absorb nutrients.
Boost Your Grass Roots
Fall is important for cool-season lawns. This is the time when root growth is at its strongest. A good way to help your root growth is with proper irrigation and (you guessed it) fertilization.
Deep watering, done infrequently, will encourage deep root growth. When you have deeper root systems then you will have a healthier lawn. Deeper roots mean more nutrients are able to be absorbed and the structure of your grass will be stronger and more resilient.
Fertilizing in the fall will help you establish a healthy foundation for your lawn. It helps prepare your grass to easily bounce back in the spring and sets you up for a good year. By absorbing and storing nutrients this fall, you’re ensuring your lawn will come back ready grow next spring. Rapid growth in the spring means less of a chance for weeds to get a foothold in your lawn.