When to apply fertilizer to your grass

Fertilization is an important part of total lawn care, but applying fertilizer incorrectly or using the wrong variety can cause major damage to your grass. In order to ensure that you are implementing the proper fertilization methods you must first get to know your lawn. Here are some ways to make sure that you are fertilizing your lawn correctly:

Perform a pH test

Before you can determine if fertilization is required in your lawn, you must first perform a pH test. The results of this test will indicate the level of acidity or alkalinity that is present in your soil. Most plants, including grass, grow best in soil that is slightly acidic, if the reading shows anything but this level you will need to take steps to remedy the pH balance before moving forward with any other lawn treatments.

Unbalanced lawns require one of two types of treatments: Lime and sulfur. If the soil has too much alkalinity present adding sulfur can help restore the acid level, making it easier for your plants to thrive. If the soil is more acidic than necessary, you will need to perform a lime treatment. The amount of product that is necessary depends on the exact results of your test, and a lawn care expert at your local lawn and gardening center will be able to advise you on the proper amount of lime or sulfur that is best for your pH test results.

Create a seasonal fertilization schedule

Spreading fertilizer throughout your lawn each season may not be necessary, and over-feeding your grass could lead to negative effects. By creating a fertilization schedule for your lawn, you can be sure that you aren’t fertilizing your lawn more than necessary. The seasons that you select will depend on your area, but here are some fertilization facts about each season:

Spring is one of the most important times of year for your lawn. Lawns become exhausted from the extreme temperatures that are present in winter and summer, and during the spring your lawn begins to wake up from its winter hibernation. When your lawn starts to wake up in early spring it will be hungry, and this is an ideal time to fertilize your lawn. Spreading fertilizer during this time will give your grass a great start to the year. As summer starts to approach and weeds begin to appear you may find it necessary to fertilize again. Make sure to remove any weeds prior to fertilizer application.

Summer is rough on your lawn, and if you have warm-season grass it is a great time for fertilization. Your grass may be feeling strained during these hot days, and a fertilizer treatment will help strengthen it, ensuring that it stays healthy well into fall. Be careful to avoid over-fertilization during the summer, if you decided on a late-spring feeding you may want to forgo summer fertilization.

Fall is the end of the year for your lawn in most areas. Very few states experience temperatures that are mild enough for a lawn to survive all winter long, but by taking the good care of your lawn during the fall you can be sure that it will wake up happy in the spring. Giving your lawn one last fertilizer treatment toward the end of fall can strengthen the roots, allowing them to stay in contact with the soil all winter lawn. Many lawn care companies place more importance on this late-fall feeding than any other.

If you are unsure of the best type of fertilizer for your lawn, speak with a local lawn care expert for advice. They will know about all of the local conditions that affect your lawn, and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction of methods and types of fertilizer that you should use. Don’t let your lawn overwhelm you, if you find that fertilization is more than you can handle get in touch with a professional lawn care company.


TruGreen will gladly visit your property as often as needed between scheduled visits to make any necessary adjustments and to ensure your satisfaction.

Getting Started with TruGreen

1. Call or fill out the form above to reach a lawn care specialist.

2. Know the square footage of your yard, as well as any specific areas of concern.

3. With the help of your specialist, create a customized lawn care plan that meets your lawn's needs.

4. Schedule your Healthy Lawn Analysis to start your service.