Your Charleston Landscaper
Licensed & Insured

When Should I Fertilize My Lawn In The Fall?

landscapeWhen Should I Fertilize My Lawn In The Fall?

Fertilizing your landscape in the spring is common but get fooled by autumn’s cooler temperatures. If you are looking for the best time to fertilize the grass in your landscape, you should consider doing it in the fall season. After the extreme heat and humidity in summer, grass gets back its strength before the winter season by fertilizing it. It also helps it develop a deep and thick root system that will help it survive the next summer’s heat.

Taking Stock

One great way of knowing what nutrients your lawn needs is performing a soil test. Check for potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. Don’t forget to test for the soil’s PH level as well.

Evaluate if your yard has warm season or cool season grasses. Fall fertilizing is beneficial for cool season grasses like ryegrass varieties, fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and bent grass. They are usually plant in areas with cold winters as well as warm to hot summers.

Selecting A Fertilizer

Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, NPK for short, are three are the main components found in lawn fertilizers. Nitrogen helps build strong roots, keep the grass green, and protects it from various kinds of diseases.

Just like Nitrogen, phosphorus helps strengthen the roots and fight diseases. It also makes a lawn more tolerant to cold, heat, and drought.

Meanwhile, potassium aids in the protection of the grass and roots from the extremely cold temperatures of the winter season.

Another component that could be present in the fertilizer is Gypsum. It helps loosen up heavy clay soil and improves nutrient absorption. Loose soil allows spring grass to break through easily. The ph level of your soil will also indicate the chemistry. When the ph level indicates the need to lower acidity, what you can do is add lime. In case alkalinity must be reduced, you can apply sulfur.

The label of the bag will show the N-P-K concentration in terms of the weight with the use of a series of three digits. For instance, a 50 pound bag of fertilizer that has a label of 5-10-5 consists of 2.5 pounds or 5% of nitrogen, give 5 pounds or 10% of phosphorus, and 5 pounds or 10% of potassium.

Large numbers mean greater concentration of nutrients. The concentration will determine the Charleston landscaping area that the bag of fertilizer can cover, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for application.

There are fertilizers that quickly give off nutrients while there are others that do it slowly. Find which is best for your lawn based on your grass and the climate in your area. Slow release fertilizers provide longer, more uniform feeding while fast release fertilizers provide nutrients to the grass quicker in advance of cooling soil and air temperatures.

In case there is a lot of shade in your lawn, it might not need that much fertilizer. Shady lawns usually grow slower compared to sunny lawns. Be sure to read the label for special instructions for shady lawns.


During the cooler autumn temperatures, the top growth of the grass in your landscaping either slows down or stops all together. However, the roots will continue to grow. In late October, you should apply the second feeding. In December, you should apply the third feeding. The N-P-K nutrients will feed the roots to ensure that the grass remains strong during winter. They will also offer reserves for a green as well as swift growth spurt in the spring. Fertilizer dissolves quickly and easily into a moist soil. In case your yard is extremely dry, you have to water it and wait for a day before applying the fertilizer. If you don’t, the ingredients of the fertilizer won’t be effective.

Call Porter Hayes Landscaping LLC if you are looking for a professional landscaping company or an expert in fertilizing lawns.

Porter Hayes Landscaping LLC
Charleston, SC 29419
(843) 532-3270

Porter Hayes Landscaping LLC
2170 Bees Ferry Rd #3 Charleston SC 29419