Fertilizers add nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the soil to help plant growth. Fertilizers are important in lawn care because they supplement the soil with needed nutrients.
• Nutrients are needed by grass plants because of the many stresses people apply to them.
• Grass uses nutrients to repair damage done by normal wear and mowing.
• Other plants in the landscape, such as trees, flowers and weeds, also consume the nutrients.
• Nutrients are lost when clippings are removed while mowing.
Lawn Fertilizing Schedules
With cool season grass, we want to fertilize in the early spring, but not too early. Once the outside temperature reaches fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, the lawn should no longer be dormant and it will be ready for a spring feeding. Keep in mind, if you fertilize in the fall (which you should), there will still be some fertilizer left working while the lawn is waking up. Since there may still be some slow release fertilizer left, treating the lawn with nutrients too early will be a waste of fertilizer and time.
Here in Montana, the temperature could hit fifty-five degrees in March, or it may not reach fifty-five until late April, we just never know! With our crazy temperatures, it makes it a little bit harder to make a lawn fertilizing schedule with a specific timeline.
At this point you should be mowing your lawn, as grass should be actively growing during this time of the year. When it gets to the peak of summer, remember to cut your grass at 3 to 4 inches to keep the roots shaded and allow for maximum water retention. Water your lawn and keep your grass happy to avoid summer lawn stress and damage. If you are facing extreme heat during the summer, which does happen in Montana, water strategically for extreme heat and keep the nutrients in your grass and soil.
If you only wanted to fertilize once a year and you had to choose between spring and fall, fall should win every time. With cool-season grass, the fall is the most vital time to fertilize your lawn. NEVER skip the fall fertilization. Since it is the last fertilization of the year, most people tend to skip this period, but it is actually the best time to fertilize!
Roots are still active through December in this area of Montana, and giving the soil nutrients will ensure strong root growth. This fertilizer will still be active through early spring. This means that your spring grass will be beautiful, green, and healthy! To make the best out of your fall fertilization, you may want to aerate your lawn and overseed as well.
Professional Lawn Care
Keeping a lawn fertilized, green, and healthy is not so easy for everyone. There are many options out there, but you do not have to decide everything for yourself! Hiring a professional lawn care company to take care of your yard is the easiest way to keep your lawn as healthy as possible.