Early Spring Best Practices For Fertilizer Application Results

Published On: February 16th, 2024|

Fertilizers support turf growth and build up nutrient reserves, making them a key ingredient in maintaining a thriving lawn. A well-fed lawn develops better root systems that can handle heat, cold and drought, along with other stressors such as high foot traffic and mowing. Getting the fertilization process right results in a beautiful lawn. Fertilizers that are applied incorrectly or at the wrong time can encourage weed growth or burn and possibly even kill the grass. That’s why determining when, what, and how to apply is as important as choosing the right product for the turf.

Pinpointing the Optimal Application Window

Early spring is an ideal time to fertilize a lawn in our zone because soil temperatures begin to warm up and grassroots start actively growing after winter dormancy. It’s when the ground and air temperatures allow plants to really uptake nutrients. The first application usually has a crabgrass control mixed in and should be put down as early as you can – before crabgrass starts to germinate as the soil temperatures rise, but not so early that the pre-emergent is wearing off while crabgrass germination is still occurring. Try to have fertilizers applied as close to this window as possible without extending beyond it.

The Secret Under the Soil

Understanding soil characteristics will also improve fertilization program outcomes. While it’s good practice to test the soil so you can provide the most comprehensive and prescriptive treatment program, it’s not always possible. So there are some generalities of our region to keep in mind. Our zone tends to have a higher clay content, which tends to result in a higher alkaline soil that can tie up some key nutrients. It is important to use a fertilizer that offers iron in conjunction with nitrogen.

Choosing the Right Type of Fertilizer

Deciding between liquid and granular products involves analyzing several factors including weather. It is important when applying liquid fertilizer that it is done on a “low” to no wind day so that it is effectively applied. Using granular fertilizers will give you more flexibility for when you can apply the product because it’s more resilient and less prone to weather-related issues. Slow-Release fertilizer is recommended, whether it is liquid or granular. This is recommended to maximize the longevity of each application and to make sure it stays healthy and green. This simple approach will be sure to give you a lush, beautiful lawn this season.

Related Articles