The What and When of Fertilizing Your Lawn

Regular applications of fertilizer are critical to establishing and maintaining a good lawn.

Fertilizers are usually labeled with three numbers, such as 20-10-15. Each number designates a percentage by weight of three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or N-P-K. Since phosphorus is important to getting new grasses off to a good start, select a fertilizer high in phosphorus (P) for new lawns. For established lawns that need more nitrogen and less phosphorus, select a fertilizer higher in nitrogen (N), and potassium (K) helps grasses increase resistance to various diseases and drought.

It is important to fertilize when your turfgrass is actively growing. Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall when the temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees. Some common varieties of cool-season grasses are tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. In contrast, warm-season grasses, which grow best when temperature is between 80 to 90 degrees, flourish in the summer heat but become dormant in cold weather. Two of the most common varieties of warm-season grasses are bermudagrass and zoysia grass.

Regardless of what type of grass you have in your yard, Stockdale’s has an analysis that’s right for you.