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While not all homeowners follow the same rules when it comes to fertilisation, nor do they use the same type of fertiliser, there are some universal rules that you can follow in order to get the best results and have an amazing-looking lawn all year long.

What’s a Fertiliser and What Benefits Does It Offer?

Before we get into our main topic today – which is when to fertilise your lawn, we need to go over some of the basics of fertilisation as well.

Lawn fertilisers come in two forms: synthetic and organic. 

The basic ingredients in lawn fertilisers include nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Your lawn uses nitrogen for its blades, the phosphorous is used for root growth, and the potassium gives it protection against diseases and increases its heat and cold tolerance. Both the synthetic and the organic fertilisers have these three main ingredients; the main difference is that the organic ones are better for the environment and are slow to break down offering slow-release long-term nutrients for your lawn. 

Benefits of Fertilising Your Lawn

Fertilisers offer nourishment for your lawn and keep it looking healthy and strong throughout the year. So if you want to have the best looking lawn on the block, do not skip this important step of lawn care.

Some of the main benefits that it offers include:

1. Resistance to pests

Supplying your lawn with the right nutrients helps the grass roots grow strong and healthy which makes the entire lawn less susceptible to pest and diseases. Don't forget that your grass is alive and therefore requires certain nutrients in the form of lawn food to grow strong and fight off attacks.

2. Weed reduction

As we mentioned above, when your grass has the essential nutrients that it needs to grow strong and stay healthy it becomes less vulnerable to attacks from pest and diseases. The same goes for weeds as well. As your lawn grows strong, healthy and thick it grows deeper roots as well. Maintaining a healthy lawn makes it easier for you to avoid or reduce weed growths, without having to apply any weed treatments.

3. Improved root growth

Having strong and healthy roots is an essential part of having a lush green lawn. Proving the right lawn food allows your grass roots to grow deep and strong, improving the overall growth of your entire lawn. 

4. Stronger root system

A stronger root system can protect your lawn from pests, diseases, weeds, cold winters and harsh weather. If you want to green up your lawn you need to make sure you use the appropriate lawn feed, applying it at the appropriate time of year and according to your lawn's specific needs.

5. Greener and healthier lawn

While regular lawn mowing, aeration, seeding and other lawn care practices can really influence the health and strength of your lawn there's nothing like applying the right fertiliser at the right time to improve the overall look of your lawn and boost your curb appeal.

6. Better quality soil

Maintaining a regular fertilising practice enriches the soil and improves its quality over time.  

7. Supply of the right nutrients at the right time

Regular fertilising is essential in helping your lawn maintain its strength and lush green look by supplying the roots and the soil with the right nutrients when they're needed the most.

When and How Often Do I Need To Fertilise My Lawn?

The best time to apply fertiliser is when your lawn is actively growing so it can use up all the nutrients from the fertiliser to grow stronger and healthier.

There are a few different lawn fertilising schedules homeowners follow to achieve the best results for their lawn.

Some swear to a single application of organic fertiliser in early autumn and skip the spring application, while others believe that if you want to achieve the absolute best results, you should be prepared to fertilise three times a year, including early spring, middle of summer and late autumn. 

However, if you just want to maintain your lawn looking green and healthy, you can achieve that by applying fertiliser two times a year, once in early spring and once in late autumn. You want to time your spring application just before your grass enters its peak growing season, which may vary from region to region. You can prepare your lawn to enter the winter months of hibernation by applying fertiliser in late autumn, which will give it a nice boost once spring arrives.

Your individual fertilising schedule depends mainly on the area you live in as well as the type of grass you have. Always follow the instructions on the bag, so you don’t under or over apply the feed. 

Pro tips on fertilising from lawn care experts:

  • More is not better when using fertiliser. Over fertilisation may cause the root systems of your lawn to burn and may even lead to soil toxicity.

  • Resist the urge to fertilise newly planted grass or plants. Instead, wait until they’ve grown for a full year, so you don’t risk burning their root system.

  • Always water dry fertiliser to activate it and reduce the chance of root burns.

  • The ideal time of day to apply your fertiliser is early in the morning or late afternoon.

  • To save water, you can time your application of the fertiliser just before it rains.

  • If you don’t have a lot of time for lawn maintenance and frequent mowing, you can apply fertiliser once a year, just as your lawn starts to wake up from the winter months.

  • If you plan on fertilising your lawn twice a year, you can do so in spring and autumn. Once you notice that your lawn is awakening in the spring and turning green, it’s time to start fertilising.

  • Always try to use a spreader to get even coverage, or if you’re doing it by hand, use a criss-cross pattern to apply it evenly.

  • Wait at least two days after you’ve mowed your lawn to apply fertiliser.

  • Wait a week after fertilising to mow your lawn.

  • Make sure to rake the lawn before fertilising to remove any debris and leaves. 

  • Don’t store an open bag of fertiliser for more than six months.

Why Hire a Professional to Fertilise your Lawn

While you can easily fertilise your lawn on your own by following the tips and advice listed above, there are certain benefits that you might be miss by doing the entire process yourself.

Here's what those benefits include:

1. Avoid accidental damage

Although fertilisers are an essential part of any lawn care practice, there is such a thing as applying too much or even too little fertiliser which can come with certain risks and downsides.

Over-fertilising your lawn can cause the grass to burn, causing yellow and brown patches to form. This is particularly the case when you use fast-release fertilisers which can flood the lawn with a lot of nutrients at once.

2. No labour required

By hiring a professional to do all the work for you, you won't just get an amazing result, but you'll also avoid doing the labour-intensive process of getting your yard ready and fertilising your lawn, among other tasks. 

3. No need to buy supplies and equipment

Hiring a professional lawn care service means not having to buy any supplies and equipment which are necessary for the successful completion of any yard work, especially fertilisation and other delicate and precise lawn care processes.