Last Updated on June 18, 2021
Knowing exactly when to feed a lawn to look after your grass plants and create a healthy lawn can be more complicated than it seems. Fail to apply lawn fertiliser and treatments at the right time, and you could end up with brown, dried-out grass.
Crucially, most lawn treatments come with some initial instructions on the packet to help you give your lawn the nutrients it needs. It’s best to check the instructions provided for lawn care before you get started. However, the following tips should ensure you’re prepared for lawn feeding at the right times of the year.
Check the Conditions First
Before you apply any lawn feed to your garden, you need to ensure that the conditions are right. For instance, the soil needs to be moist enough to respond to the soil nutrients you’re giving it. Even if it hasn’t rained for a week, there should still be some moisture in the soil if you dig down a little. Good lawn moisture will combine with the feed to help your lawn seed grow.
You can always water the lawn after applying feed to ensure that everything soaks correctly. Some lawn treatments don’t require any watering to encourage growth, provided that the lawn already has adequate moisture. You can check this on the side of the bottle or package.
Typically, a good lawn enthusiast will apply soil nutrients and lawn feed after they’ve already cut the grass. It will help ensure that you get the right spread of feed for a slow release of the right nutrients. You can also check the grass for any weeds before you feed your lawn. You don’t want to end up wasting feed on weeds.
Avoid applying weed killers to deal with weeds at the same time as applying fertiliser and feed. It can have a negative impact on your grass, particularly if the weed killer mixes with the fertiliser on your lawn.
Applying Lawn Feed at Different Times of Year
It’s essential to take good care of your lawns throughout the year, which means applying the right feed during the summer, spring, fall, and winter months. The amount of fertiliser you apply and the kind of substances you use will depend on the weather and the season.
Spring Lawn Feed
During spring, applying lawn feed sometime during April is often a good idea to encourage strong growth and green grass development. Make sure you mow your lawn before applying the feed and check for evidence of whether you need to remove moss and other substances before you begin encouraging growth. Check your lawn for any sign of diseases too.
It’s often a good idea to play it by ear when you feed your lawn in spring. If the weather isn’t warming up in April, you might need to wait until a little further into spring to start giving the roots of your grass the feed they need.
Summer Lawn Feed
After spring, your next stage of applying fertiliser will take place in the summer. Summer lawn feed can have a different structure, so check you’re using the right lawn care. Once again, you’ll need to make sure that you’re done mowing your garden before applying any feed in the summer. Check the growth of the grass and the green colour to ensure that the seed is healthy. It might be good to try watering the grass after applying feed in summer to give it an extra boost of moisture.
When you’re gardening, make sure you keep kids and pets out of the way. During the summer, you should usually apply fertiliser about 10 to 14 weeks after the spring treatment, provided the weather isn’t too dry. If the weather is too dry, you may need to look for feed that’s less likely to experience issues with scorching caused by sodium. Regular mowing throughout summer will be crucial to keep your lawn in good shape.
Autumn Lawn Feed
In the fall or autumn, most lawns can benefit from some additional lawn care during September. If you had to wait until late spring to apply your feed or late summer, you might need to wait a little longer in autumn. It all depends on how your grass grows. Once again, make sure that you complete your lawn care strategy, mowing the grass, removing moss, and getting rid of any sign of diseases in your grass before applying nutrients or food.
Autumn treatments for lawns will require some common-sense timing. Generally, there’s no point waiting until the end of November to start feeding your lawn, as this will be almost the right time to start applying winter lawn feed. Check your turf carefully, and follow the instructions provided on your lawn feed. Regular mowing once again will help to remove moss and reduce the risk of thatch on your lawn. Make sure you know when to mow.
Winter Lawn Feed
Applying lawn feed in winter can be quite tricky, as it’s often difficult to know when the weather is suitable for plants to continue growing. High amounts of rain can be useful for your plants, but when rain turns to sleet and snow in the winter, it is harder for nutrients to seep into your plants properly.
Choosing when to apply feeding nutrients to your garden in winter will depend on the kind of substances you’re using. For instance, iron fertiliser is often best used from November onwards. You can also use ferrous sulphate from October, but you shouldn’t use this at the same time as the iron substances in winter.
As usual, check your garden for disease, and look for any signs that the roots of your grass or plants might be damaged. You probably won’t be mowing your garden at this point, but you can remove debris from trees, moss, and weeds that may damage your lawn.
Can You Overfeed a Lawn?
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Applying too much food to your lawn at the wrong time could cause problems with your roots. Don’t drench your turf in lawn food, or you could end up with an increased risk of disease and problems caused by excess potassium and nitrogen in your soil.
Grass that’s been overfed with too many nutrients tends to take on a blue-green colour that leads to the growth of moss and thatch. Side shoots might also be common in an over-fed lawn. Instead of drenching your soil, look for the right feeding solution, and apply based on the slow-release guidelines on the bottle or package.
Don’t risk excess feed creating lawn diseases in your grass, leaving you with patches of exposed soil. Ensure you get the right winter feed, spring feed, and summer feed to address the different conditions when the soil warms up and cools down. Additionally, it’s helpful to use a good spreader with your seed to ensure that you get the right amount of food to all of the soil equally.
One point to keep in mind is that the impact of your lawn feed can be different depending on whether the grass is dry or wet, what kind of grass you’re feeding, and whether you’ve already completed your lawn care first cut for the year.
Start Feeding Your Lawn
Understanding when to feed a lawn is essential in having a healthy and beautiful garden. Feeding your lawn can be quite the process, so it’s important to have the right information to get the best results. Different times of the year calls for different treatments, so make sure you review all of the information before getting started and don’t forget to read the lawn feed instructions.