Today was a good day for applying a fall fertilizer to lawns. Why? Because it is still not too cold out, the grass is no longer growing but still green, and it was drizzling. At least it was as I finished the five lawns I had to fertilize. It’s raining harder now, which is also ideal because the rain helps water the fertilizer in. However, try to avoid fertilizing before a downpour, so your hard work is not washed away.
Today’s conditions were ideal for fall lawn fertilizing. Most experts will tell you that fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawns. Fertilizer applied at this time of the year is to strengthen (deepen) the roots, repair the lawn from summer drought/stresses, and prepare the lawn for winter, so it is important to get the right product. These are two I frequently use for fertilizing lawns in the fall…
Both are pet and kid friendly, safe to walk on immediately after application. They can be purchased at your local garden centers or DIY (Home Depot, Lowes etc) stores.
Apply the fertilizer as instructed on the bags. I use a push spreader and apply the fertilizer in two directions to avoid patchiness (as pictured below). For irregularly shaped lawns, block off the lawn (visually) in squares or rectangles to ensure even distribution of the fertilizer.
Remember, a great-looking lawn enhances the appearance of your garden. We all know I appreciate beautiful gardens. If you miss/forget any fertilizer applications, don’t miss the fall one!
This rainy weather is good for ducks, as my mother used to say, or for overseeding your lawn. A “Weed and feed” product is also best applied in cool, wet weather, but not at the same time as the seed.
There are a few new products on the market to fix bare patches too. They come in a 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 mixture of composed/amended soil, seed, and fertilizer. If your lawn is patchy with bare, grassy, and weedy spots, try one of the mixed products. I have had success with both of these. They do not contain a weed-killing ingredient, so you will have to treat the weeds six weeks later.
There are several “weed and feed” products out there. On established (not patchy) lawns I prefer to weed first, then feed. Otherwise, I tend to feed the weeds.
Another job for cool, wet, spring weather is fertilizing your trees. I have three evergreen trees I planted as tiny seedlings when each of my three sons was born. They were originally planted in my backyard. As they reached about four feet in height, I asked the owner of the building behind us if I could plant them in his yard. He agreed, so now I get the privacy but still have space for a garden in my yard…
To fertilize my trees I use spikes that get pounded into the ground around the tree’s drip line. One spike contains enough fertilizer for every 2 inches of tree diameter. There are many varieties on the market. Be sure to choose the proper spike for the tree(s) you want to feed.
The weather here is going to be cool and rainy for a few more days. With it too muddy for work in myclients’ gardens, I will get these chores done at home. If it is cool and rainy where you are, use this weather to get your overseeding and fertilizing done.