Most people associate fertilizing a lawn with the purpose to push growth above the surface. They want that deep, dark green color, and a thick lawn. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that isn’t the only benefit of fertilization. A good lawn care program includes a complete lawn fertilizer which also includes Phosphorus and Potassium. During the growing season when temperatures are warmer, these elements are applied in smaller amounts so not to burn the lawn. However, in late fall or early winter, these 2 elements can be applied in a greater quantity along with the Nitrogen that encourages color and top growth.
When temperatures cool down, grass will all but stop growing above the surface. Instead, grass plants will begin to divert nutrient resources to further developing their root systems. This means it is prime time to fertilize your lawn. Adding a Late Fall Fertilizer, or as sometimes called “Winterizer” will help your lawn to develop this enhanced root system that will allow it to be more healthy for the most part. This will mean decreased winter injury of your lawn as well.
Another added bonus is that there will be a Nitrogen-rich soil when temperatures start to warm up the following spring. This means a lawn that will have better color than most of the neighboring lawns which are deprived of nutrients.
In our area in Central Pennsylvania, most lawns need approximately 3-4 lbs. of Nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. in a growing season. Only fertilizing your lawn 2-3 times per year won’t typically give the lawn the Nitrogen it needs to stay nice and green. A good lawn care program will be sure to give the appropriate amounts of Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus to allow for the healthy lawn you’re looking for. If treating your lawn isn’t your thing, find a lawn care company with Certified Turfgrass Professionals that know how to accurately design a program for your lawn’s specific needs.