Fertilizing the lawn: when is the right time?

The right time to fertilize the lawn in spring and autumn is of great importance. We reveal when and how often the lawn should be fertilized.

As spring or autumn is approaching, most lawn owners will be aware that the lawn must now be fertilized to keep it healthy, green and dense. We explain the right fertilization times.

Not only the choice of the right fertilizer, but also the timing is decisive. Nitrogen fertilization at the wrong time, for example, can promote frost damage or fungal diseases. If the autumn lawn is fertilized too late, important potassium is not used to strengthen the frost hardiness of grasses. In the following we explain when and how often a lawn should be fertilized to keep it healthy.

When and how often a year fertilize the lawn?

When and how often you fertilize depends on the type of soil and the fertilizer used. In general, a lawn is fertilized two to three times a year. The first fertilization in spring stimulates budding, the second fertilization in early summer prepares the lawn for the stresses and strains of summer. The third fertilization in autumn brings the lawn plants safely through the cold season. Organic fertilization is generally carried out one month earlier than mineral or organic-mineral fertilization.

Note: The earliest fertilization is unnecessary on heavy soils that do not need start-up help for sprouting.

Fertilize lawn in spring

On heavy, clay-rich soils, the first fertilization takes place in May or June and only two applications per year are applied. Organic fertilizers should be applied accordingly in April or May. On light, sandy soils, the first fertilization is carried out in March or April, provided that the weather is already vigorous. Organic fertilizers are therefore applied in February or March. At this point it is possible to distribute a larger amount of organic fertilizer so that you only have to fertilize twice a year.

Fertilizing the lawn: when is the right time?

The timing of fertilization also depends on the nature of the soil [Photo: fotoslaz / Shutterstock.com]

Medium-heavy, loamy-sandy or loess-containing soils can either be fertilized for the first time between these dates. You should use an organic fertilizer – in this way you can rule out damage to the lawn, soil or the environment, even if you do not find the perfect fertilizer time for your lawn. Or you can observe the time of budding and the decrease in growth and orientate yourself on your observations in the following year. It is best to fertilize a month before you suspect a need for nutrients, with a primarily organic lawn fertilizer such as our Plantura organic lawn fertilizer.

If you need more detailed information on the spring care of your lawn, we recommend this article on lawn fertilization in spring. This one, too, which, in addition to fertilization, also deals with the first mowing and scarifying in spring, could be of interest to you.

Summary fertilize lawn in spring:

  • On light soils, fertilization is carried out for the first time in March / April, on heavy soils in May / June. Organic fertilization takes place one month earlier
  • On medium-heavy soils, we strongly recommend the use of primarily organic fertilizers or very close observation of the shoots and growth – otherwise lawn damage or leaching can occur
  • The mainly organic fertilization can be applied early and in sufficient quantities to ensure the supply over the entire summer

Fertilize lawn in autumn

The last lawn fertilization is generally carried out between June and October. If you want to use a mineral or organic-mineral slow-release fertilizer for autumn lawn fertilization, make absolutely sure that its duration of action ends in October at the latest. In this way, you can rule out leaching into the groundwater and frost damage to the lawn.

You can be a little more carefree with an organic autumn lawn fertilizer – such as our Plantura organic autumn lawn fertilizer. If some of this remains in the ground over the winter, it is hardly released any further due to the cold temperatures and can only be used again when it warms up in spring. However, do not apply an organic fertilizer too late either, so that the lawn has enough time to absorb the important potassium. This increases the cell wall stability and frost resistance.

Fertilizing the lawn: when is the right time?

An organic autumn lawn fertilizer with a long-term effect ensures a healthy lawn over the long term

Summary fertilizing lawns in autumn:

  • The last lawn fertilization takes place between June and October
  • Slow release organic fertilizers are the only ones that you can actually apply until October. Mineral fertilizers applied too late can damage the lawn

If you are looking for more information about autumn care of your lawn, we recommend this article on lawn fertilization in autumn or this one, which in addition to fertilization also deals with the last mowing and treatment in winter.

You can find out everything else about the big topic of “fertilizing lawns” in our overview article.

You can also find more information on various lawn fertilizers here.

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