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Too late to fertilize lawn?

Posted by glen3a Wpg MB 3A (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 16, 05 at 10:02

I read that the lawn can be fertilized and even sprayed for weeds in late August, early September. Unfortunately, every year I seem to get busy and miss the boat. Do you think it's too late?

I guess my thinking is, I don't want to encourage a bunch of new growth and have the lawn too 'active' going into winter.

I know some people do fertilize in late October, the reasoning being that the lawn is already dormant and the fertilizer will actually soak into the soil and be used by the lawn first thing in spring.

I really need to pay my lawn some special attention, it seems nice, but a bit thin in places.

Thanks for any advice,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too late to fertilize lawn?

Glen, it mustn't be too late - Canadian Tire has lawn fertilizer on next week!

RE: Too late to fertilize lawn?

Now is the time.......... My DH uses a fertilizer that maintains a healthier root system over winter, since you don't need the top growth. He uses a fertilizer with the numbers 12-51-0 or similar, something with a high second number.
To get the weeds "gone" they plant should be actively growing to take-in the chemical to kill it.
Hope this helps :)

RE: Too late to fertilize lawn?

The owner of a local greenhouse (which has a beautiful lawn and gorgeous display gardens) always fertilizes in fall, since she's often too busy to remember in spring. She uses a granular/slow release fertilizer (like 8-32-16) on the flower and shrub beds, and corn gluten meal on the lawns. Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of corn starch manufacturing, and has an NPK of 9-0-0. It is used as a pre-emergent--it inhibits seed germination for up to 4 months, so it's great to use on an established lawn.

Our local Cooperative Extension MG person also recommends fertilizing in the fall. She says that's usually the only time she fertilizes. She spreads some balanced granular fertilizer in the fall, and all summer long just mulch mowes. As long as it's not a soluble/quick release fertilizer, it seems like a good idea to fertilize in fall. All winter it will sit there, waiting for spring, and as soon as things thaw out you will have fertilizer available to your lawn. Plus, with our short growing seasons, who has time to remember to fertilize first thing in the spring? There are seeds to start, seedlings to transplant, cuttings to take, ice to chip, compost to turn, beds to rake....I'm getting tired just thinking about it!
Emily in cloudy Fairbanks

RE: Too late to fertilize lawn?

Thanks for all the info. I did fertilize. I did some research and they said if you only fertilize once a year, fall fertilizing is preferred (with a slow release fertilizer that is recommended for the fall) because it helps nourish the roots to help the plant through winter and green up quicker in spring.

Basically, in fall when you grass is still green but not really growing, the roots are actually establishing themselves for the winter ahead.

If you fertilize in spring, summer and fall, they said dont be too quick to apply fertilizer in spring because you dont want to trick the grass into becoming active while its still cold and also the fertilizer applied during the fall is still in the ground. A late May or early June fertilizing would be preferred to one done right after the snow melts in early April.

Now, I hope I got the slow release stuff. At any rate, I think the grass is pretty well dormant seeing that there's hardly any clippings when I mow it.


RE: Too late to fertilize lawn?

The best lawn doesn't need artificial fertilizers. Go to Home Depot or wherever and buy $2 bags of sheep manure and spread it (any time) over the lawn. You'll have a thick, lush lawn and no danger of dead spots from burns, etc. This also adds to the texture of the soil.

A dozen bags will be more than enough for the average city lot and, if there's any left, throw it on the garden.

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