Should I Fertilize My Lawn in the Fall? Yes! Here’s Why and How.

Should I Fertilize My Lawn in the Fall? Yes! Here’s Why and How.

Our toes love gliding through our lush, green grass. But did you know our lawn does far more than just look and feel good?

Lawns also improve air quality, reduce heat by 20 to 30 degrees and generate oxygen. That’s another reason why we need to ensure lawns stay healthy. So they can continue creating these perks.

One of the best ways to keep grass vibrant on the surface and healthy down into their roots is to fertilize. And right now is the most important fertilization of the year – not spring!

Learn why fall is the year’s most important lawn fertilization– and everything you need to know about the best time to fertilize. Should you mow first? Wait until after it rains? Or wait until the best time of day to fertilize the lawn?

Why Fertilize Your Lawn in Fall – The Best Fall Month and Time of Day to Fertilize

Davey Tree | Best Time to Fertilize Lawn in Fall (Month and Time of Day)

Summer heat is stressful on our lawns. Fall’s cooler temperatures provide the perfect setting for lawn to regain strength.

Fall is the best and most important time to fertilize your lawn because:

• Fall’s morning dew delivers moisture to help turf absorb the fertilizer.

• The grass has a chance to build stamina before a chilly winter.

• Supporting root growth in fall leads to a healthier, greener lawn in spring.

While fall is naturally good for feeding our lawn, you can deliver an extra oomph by fertilizing as best as you can, too.

When in fall should you apply fertilizer to your lawn?

Apply fall lawn fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks before the ground freezes.

To find an exact date, look for the first frost date in your area. That date is typically a good time to fertilize since the ground hasn’t frozen yet.

More generally, mid-October is a good time to apply lawn fertilizer.

Is there a best time of day to fertilize your lawn?

Sure is! The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening. Both times avoid the warm daytime temperatures that work against fertilizer.

When to fertilize lawn after mowing?

Start with a clean slate by mowing the lawn right before you fertilize. Leave some grass clippings behind to help the roots.

Should lawn fertilizer be applied before rain?

Never fertilize lawns before a heavy rain to avoid runoff, so be sure to check the forecast before you start. And if it recently rained, let the grass blades dry before fertilizing.

Need an expert to help fertilize your lawn this fall? We’re here to help!

  • The Tree Doctor October 10, 2018 > Hi Tom, We typically recommend higher nitrogen in fall and even higher later in fall, after the top growth ceases up until the ground freezes. A good ratio would be 4-0-1. Hopefully, this helps.
  • Tom Ulrich October 5, 2018 >I have used farm fertilizer for over 50 years with good results. I do light applications to avoid burn. I usually use a complete fertilizer- 10-10-10, 12-12-12 etc. Now I am hearing it might be better to use less Nitrogen in Fall applications, like 0-20-20, 5-10-30, etc. Then there is the thought of using higher Nitrogen in the Fall!! What do you recommend? We are in Ohio, SW portion. Thank you
  • Hariett Hada September 15, 2018 >To fertelize fruit tree ,blueberry,goosberry,rasberries,current.
  • The Tree Doctor March 6, 2018 >Hi there, Berna. Great question! We recommend fertilizing 3 times a year in the fall – September, October and November. Here if you have any other questions, Berna.
  • Berna Goldberg March 2, 2018 >What are the best months to fertilize in the Wash. DC area? How many times per year should I fertilize my lawn?
  • The Tree Doctor November 15, 2017 >Hi Cathy. To give you the best recommendation, we need to know what type of grass you have and photos of the brown spots. You can send your response to Talk more soon, Cathy.
  • Cathy Burden November 15, 2017 >My pretty green grass has gone brown. What time of fertilizer do I need?
  • The Tree Doctor October 31, 2017 >Hi Audrey. You can fertilize anytime from now until the ground freezes. Continue mowing until leaf clippings are no longer generated and do not alter the mowing height prior to winter. Hope this helps, Audrey.
  • audrey grimaldi grimaldi October 27, 2017 >Just wondering? We have 1 acre of land and will it be OK to fertilize the grass this Wed., 11/1/17 after it has been mowed 'short cut' for the winter? Rain expected on 11/2 and 11/3. Any help would be appreciated.
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