When Should I Fertilize My Lawn?

Updated: Sep. 01, 2023

The more you know, the more your grass will grow. Here are the best ways to maximize your lawn fertilization schedule.

Understanding when and how to fertilize your lawn is a major component to maintaining a healthy, lush yard. Fertilizers give your lawn a healthier root system while eating up unhealthy nutrients. With some simple steps, you’ll be on your way to having a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood.

When to Fertilize Lawn

Knowing when to fertilize your lawn depends on how often you plan to apply it. If you fertilize once a year, do it around Labor Day; that’s when lawns absorb the most nutrients. For biannual fertilizing, add a second application the middle of October.

There are exceptions to this timeline depending on climate and soil types, so adjust if your lawn is not retaining enough nutrients. In the spring, if you feel the need, spread a little fertilizer (half the normal amount) to help the greening process.

Best Time to Fertilize Lawn

Fertilizing in the morning allows the soil to take in the most nutrients, soak in the morning dew and take advantage of cooler temperatures. That’s the best time. Do not apply fertilizer on an abnormally hot day, not even in the morning. Wait until the weather cools back down to a normal temperature.

You can mow anytime after fertilizing with a granular treatment. With a liquid treatment, wait a day or two.


How Often to Fertilize Lawn

Over-fertilizing is a thing. If once a year is right for your lawn, stick with that and don’t get carried away. Fertilizer can be a valuable tool to keep a lawn healthy, dense and looking great, but it can also create environmental concerns if not used responsibly. Follow the label instructions on your fertilizer as each product has unique specifications and needs.

Picking the Right Fertilizer

Picking the right fertilizer depends on your lawn type and your end goal is. If you want to make your lawn greener and healthier, a product like The Andersons 16-0-8 Fertilizer with Humic DG is great for you. It contains methylene-urea that will give your lawn an even feed over eight to 10 weeks. It’s also safe for pets.

To control weeds like crabgrass, Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food For New Grass + Weed Preventer is a good option. For starting a new lawn, consider an organic product.

How Weather Changes Timing

Do not apply fertilizer before a heavy rain or on a particularly hot day. Rain will wash away some of the nutrients that should be absorbed by your lawn. Instead, hold off until the weather is a little more temperate and dry.