Lawn Care


simple lawn care tips for greener healthier backyard lawns
Fertilizing Cool Season Grasses

Fertilizing Cool Season Lawns requires a slightly different routine than fertilizing warm season grasses, this is mainly due to the fact that the Cool Season Grasses are often subject to extremes of cold, snow and possibly ice during their Winter period. So fertilizing these lawns must be done at the optimum time when the lawn can best use the nutrients to gain the greatest benefit for their long term health, survival and most importantly, to use these nutrients in order to flourish and makes our lawns look their best.

As mentioned in other lawn care articles, Cool Season Grasses include lawn types such as Kentucky Blue Grass, Tall Fescues, Fine Fescues and Rye Grass.

Lawn fertilizers for Cool Season Grasses really aren't that specialized when compared to other lawn fertilizers, however to make things easier, you will find that the gardening stores in your local area would hopefully stock lawn fertilizers which are best suited for use on lawn types in their given area, and this makes the choice of lawn fertilizers so much easier for us.

The best times to fertilize Cool Season Grasses is during their periods of active growth and optimum health which is in the Spring and Fall seasons. Fertilizing should begin at the beginning of both of these seasons. Applications of fertilizers should be on the minimum side of manufacturers recommendations and applied either two months apart when using recommended dosages, or one month apart if using a lower dosage such as half manufacturers recommended levels.

The other great advantage to using this system is that we are preparing the lawn to be in optimum health for both the heat of Summer and the cold of Winter, giving the lawn the greatest chance of survival for both seasons, and allows the lawn to be in its best level of health possible to fend off weed infestations during the Summer.

Fertilizing Cool Season Turfgrasses in the Summer is not necessary, and is most often detrimental to lawns during the heat. This is because most Cool Season lawns will be under a high amount of stress as the weather heats up because they are just not suited to withstanding hot weather. Any application of lawn fertilizers during this time will have no effect, or may even damage the turfgrass by applying an excess of nutrients which the lawn cannot use, so it is often left sitting in the thatch layer or in the topsoil which can possibly allow the Nitrogen to burn the leaves and roots of the lawn in the heat.

If your region doesn't put your Cool Season lawn into heat stress in the Summer, and the lawn continues to prosper in a milder region, then fertilizing lawns can be continued throughout the Summer as well. In this case simply spread the fertilizer applications evenly throughout the seasons of Spring to Summer to Fall, ensuring a good application prior to the onset of cold which can boost the resistance of the lawn to the coming Winter.