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Mastering Your Lawn’s Fertilization Schedule

Lawn maintenance technician pushing a red fertilizer spreader across the lawn.

Like any plant, your lawn needs plenty of water and the correct balance of nutrients to stay healthy and look its best year-round.

However, because grass remains in the same soil year after year, the nutrients the lawn depends on are depleted quickly and must be replenished.

Fertilizer provides the food your grasses need to thrive, but to be effective, you need to apply the right amount of fertilizer at the correct times. This guide will help you master your lawn’s fertilization schedule to enjoy a lush, green lawn that adds beauty and value to your home.

The Benefits of Proper Lawn Fertilization

It takes plenty of work to create a beautiful lawn and keep it that way. Regular fertilization is one of the most important lawn care tasks, and when done properly, it can provide several benefits:

  • A lush, green lawn that enhances curb appeal
  • A clean, neat exterior that adds value to your home
  • Healthy grasses with a strong root system
  • Improved resistance to sun, heat, freezing, foot traffic, drought, and more
  • Thicker, more durable grass that out-competes weeds
  • A more comfortable yard for you and your family to enjoy

Planning Your Lawn Fertilization Schedule

To give your lawn the best chance for healthy growth throughout the year, fertilizer needs to be applied at the appropriate times. In northern Virginia and the DC area, this means four feeding sessions per year:

Revive in the Early Spring

After being dormant all winter, your lawn needs a healthy dose of nutrients to start spring growth. A slow-release, fast-acting fertilizer is the best option to revive your grass in the early spring, and it should be applied between late February and early April, once the lawn starts growing enough to mow.

Renourish in the Late Spring

About six to eight weeks later, sometime around May or June, a second dose of fertilizer will be needed to keep the grass growing strong. Spring growth takes a lot of energy, and the lawn must be fed again to replenish the nutrients consumed and prepare it for summer.

Strengthen in the Summer

Summers in the DC area can expose your lawn to excessive heat, dry conditions, and increased foot traffic that can stress the grasses and make them need more nourishment to repair the seasonal damage.

Adding a slow-release fertilizer between June and August is important to help keep your grass as healthy as possible.

Recover in the Fall

During the fall, you need to give your lawn the support it needs to repair any damage left over from summer while preparing it for the winter dormant period. This means it needs a heavy dose of nutrients between late August and November, or about six to eight weeks after the summer application.

Tips for Proper Fertilization

It takes experience and knowledge to fertilize your grass properly, but here are a few tips that can help you avoid common pitfalls that could harm your lawn:

  • Stick to your schedule and avoid fertilizing at the wrong times.
  • Use the recommended amount of fertilizer, as too much, too often, can damage your grass.
  • Do not fertilize too early — wait until after the last frost and until the grass starts growing again.
  • Choose the right fertilizer for your grass type, climate, and soil conditions.
  • Select slow- or quick-release fertilizers depending on the time of year and your lawn’s needs.
  • Choose a fertilizer with the proper nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium ratios for your area and type of grass.

Schedule Professional Lawn Care With Wheat’s Landscaping

It can be challenging to develop the ideal fertilization schedule and procedures for your specific lawn and type of grasses, especially in the Washington, DC, area, where cold and warm weather grasses are common.

When you need the help of a professional to keep your lawn healthy and looking great, turn to Wheat’s Landscape. We have served northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington, DC, area since 1978, and we have the skills and knowledge to fertilize your lawn properly and keep it healthy year-round.

We offer award-winning landscape designs, an exceptional customer service experience, and unsurpassed attention to detail that ensures professional results with every visit.

Call 703-641-4790 today to schedule professional lawn care and maintenance in Montgomery County.

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“Everything always exceeds our expectations. Everything was done perfectly. Everyone was happy to be there. You have an excellent crew and business.” M.L.
“We were fortunate enough to find a company that has just finished doing a fabulous job in our back yard. Wheat’s did exceptionally high quality work, were extremely responsive and wonderful to work with.” D.G.
“I really like the communication, and the responsiveness. It is great to have a company that is there when you need them, and to have the comfort of knowing the property is well-maintained.” M.B.
“Well you all have quite a reputation for the quality of your work in my neighborhood. It’s just beautiful! Wheat’s is a legend around here.” R.B.
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