Last Updated on January 7, 2021 by woodcutter
You have mischievously skipped those monthly visits to your dentist or doctor and claim to be still OK. However, routine maintenance on your lawn is one thing you should avoid skipping; that is if you still desire a thriving green turf.
The operations involved come with uncertainty, with several people having asked me the curious questions, “Should I fertilize my lawn in the winter?” or “When should I put winter fertilizer on my lawn?”. If you are one of these curious minds, then this is your lucky day. This article explains in detail on when to fertilize your lawn during the chilly winter period.
Is it OK to fertilize lawn in winter?
This question can be answered by looking at it in two dimensions. These have to do with two classes of lawns, namely summer and winter grasses. Summer grasses are those whose growth is active in summer and will go into the dormant state in winter.
On the other hand, winter grasses are active winter growers while in summer, they lie in suspended animation like state. It is usually encouraged for you to fertilize your lawn during its dynamic growth season because that is when the roots will be able to extract and utilize the nutrients the most.
In the grasses dormant states, only weeds will benefit from the applied fertilizer. Thus before you undertake the operation, you should be sure to what class of grass your lawn falls under. However, there are some exceptions; feeding summer grasses towards winter will sometimes help your lawn with its outlook. It is helpful after a busy hot summer and protects the grass during harsh winter conditions.
Winter/cool-season grasses do well in fall and winter. It is the case as long as the temperatures do not fall into the freezing extremes. In particular, the fall season is crucial in feeding cool-seasoned grasses like Kentucky bluegrass.
It allows them to grow longer, providing reserves needed for the coming spring. The reason for you to avoid fertilizing your cool-season grass too early in spring is meant to prevent having an excessive lush top growth at the expense of root growth.
More like a fool’s gold scenario, which will be of no use, thus it is in your best interest to avoid it. Keep in mind that having applied your fertilizer in the fall will cancel out any applications within this time frame until springtime.
One indispensable aspect of winter fertilizing is that you have to understand your fertilizers well. I shall shortly introduce some of these to you.
Fertilizers Available On The Market
These are also known as NPK fertilizers due to the presence of abbreviated elements. N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorus, and K for potassium.
This is somewhat analogous to our very own balanced diet. With winter fertilizer, potassium and phosphorus are in more significant quantities than nitrogen.
It is because in winter growth of roots together with their strengthening are what’s needed; phosphorus and potassium are responsible for these characteristics.
In winter, we are not looking for that much of rapid growth (especially in the frost period), which is why nitrogen, “the triggering element,” has to be reduced. Here we have details on best winter grass fertilizer for your lawn.
1. Quick Release: Autumn / Winter Fertilizer
NPk 3.12.12, a low nitrogen fertilizer with high phosphate and potassium contents, strengthens the roots and stiffens the leaf blades to protect the grass plant throughout winter.
Quick Release is excellent if your timing is such that you have the feeding done in autumn for summer grasses. Make sure you abide by this for you to get tangible results. On the other hand, in cold climates, you can either apply it late fall or during the actual winter when you got winter lawn.
2. Slow Release: Autumn/Winter Fertilizer
This one is labeled NPK 10.5.20. Like the previous one, it is a low nitrogen winter feed. It is usually applied in late season for best results when it prevents the growth of lush grass, which will be more susceptible to frost and diseases. The potassium and phosphorus promote healthier grass by also promoting stronger roots
.They also impart leaves with frost protection. Like the Quick Release formulation, stick to an early or mid-autumn application when it comes to summer turfs. The best time for winter turfs will be towards the end of mid-autumn because the nutrient release is slow in this case.
3. Liquid: Autumn/winter
The formulation here is NPK 2.4.4+Fe, which is a multipurpose feed for winter protection of your lawn. In its makeup, it is merely natural seaweed and fertilizer with the incorporation of some iron content.
This fertilizer prepares the turf for the coming winter by reducing its stress, greening up the sward, and by simply hardening it. This is good news if you want to maintain that green, vibrant appeal even over cold old gloomy winters.
For summer grasses, application right before winter is what I recommend. As mentioned before, it would harden the turf. However, you could go ahead and apply during winter for the winter lawns.
However, there should not be frost conditions or snow. In the worst scenario, you would have this liquid fertilizer condense such that the soil would not effectively absorb it.
4. LawnPro 7-Day-Green
If you happen to stay in areas prone to heavy frost or snow during winter time, then LawnPro 7-Day-Green is just what the doctor ordered. It’s an application in the period from mid to late autumn that will strengthen your lawn for winter.
Also, it will allow it to grow strong and healthy come springtime. If you are planning on using it for your summer lawn, just note that it will not be able to make the most out of the fertilizer is applied in winter. However, winter turfs will dance to the tune of the applied LawnPro 7-Day-Green during this time.
When Should You Put Winter Fertilizer On Your Lawn?
As a rule of thumb, fertilizer for new grass of your lawn to be applied once every six to eight weeks during their active growth period. For a simple breakdown of the applications, carry out applications two or three in fall for cool-season grasses. Since fertilizing can invoke rapid spreading and growth, this might call for frequent mowing.
However, if you are that much of a “lazy head” and would prefer reduction of this frequency, then fertilizing once in spring and once in fall would do just fine. Lazier than this? No problem; just do a standalone fall fertilizing. Here are a couple of tips to guide you with the timing of the winter fertilizer application.
1. Avoid Applying Fertilizer In Bad Weather
“How do you define bad weather?” you may ask. Well, just stay away from rainy winter’s days or those snowing ones. Applying feeds on such weather conditions is detrimental to the overall effectiveness of our formulations.
In other words, they will not get effectively absorbed by the soil for uptake by the lawn’s roots. Also, avoid those days with heavy winds. It merely is in your best interest to select a day with still weather.
2. Apply When The Soil Is Just Moist And Not Too Wet
Soggy wet soil will hamper the effectiveness of nutrient absorption. You are permitted to apply when the soil is just moist, however. Confused? No need to be.
Just pick a little load off the soil from your turf and squeeze it gently. If it gives out the water, then it is highly likely you have yourself a case of soggy wet soil. Stay away from this!
Try to water your turf a day after fertilizing so that you can stop your lawn from getting burnt.
3. Do Not Mow Just After Application
Picture this, after the application of winter fertilizer, you bring your mowing machine, which starts trumping all over the fertilizer granules and disturbing its distribution. How would this turn out? Your guess is as good as mine.
For convenience, plan your maintenance operations and make it a rule of mowing at least three days after the application of your fertilizer. Application after mowing is helpful, considering it clears dense cover, which reduces soil-fertilizer contact.
4. Apply Soon After Core Aeration
Winter core aeration, which is ideal in late fall, has to be put to full use by incorporating it with lawn fertilizing operation. The core holes left by aerators increase the contact of fertilizer and soil layers beneath, thus increasing the rate of nutrient uptake by roots.
Finally, with this, I put to rest the question, “Should I fertilize my lawn in winter.” The kind of turf you have got will guide you on whether you should fertilize in winter.
However, winter grasses do well when winter lawn fertilizer applied. However, as a precautionary measure, make it a habit to apply the feed early fall to prepare your grass for potentially harsh frost.
Whatever you do, never fertilize summer lawns in winter. Strictly do so during the fall. I also conclude that to address the question “When should I put winter fertilizer on my lawn?” it is essential for you to keep in check with the planning of maintenance operations like the frequency of mowing.